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Sleek New Breed of Boat Takes to Lake Powell


SAN DIEGO (TheStreet) -- Lake Powell has long been known as a destination for houseboating.

Since at least the late 1960s, the slow moving boats have been lumbering around the canyon-lined reservoir that straddles Utah and Arizona.

This month, however, a new breed of boat was introduced to Lake Powell that may lead to a substantial change in the type of boating that takes place there.

Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas added a first-of-its-kind, lavish, 65-foot lake yacht to its rental fleet. The yacht includes such luxurious amenities as a 55-inch flatscreen television, satellite TV, four private staterooms with queen beds, a kitchen with stainless steel appliances and an eight-person Jacuzzi.

The yacht rents for about $13,000 a week and is the first of seven such vehicles Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas plans to add to its fleet between now and Memorial Day, says Eric Johnson, vice-president of operations for Aramark Parks & Destinations, which manages Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas.

"We really believe that the future of houseboating in America is this next-generation lake yacht," Johnson says. "It's truly all of the luxuries you would have in a hotel, with the ability to venture out onto magnificent Lake Powell."

The rental company is testing the market for luxury lake yacht rentals. If successful, the opulent vehicles will likely become the new focus for Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas, which has about 168 houseboats in its fleet, Johnson says.

Houseboats have been available for rent at the lake for decades. A spokeswoman for the National Park Service, who asked not to be named, says the government agency issued contracts to three boat rental companies around 1969. The contracts regulate such things as how many boats each company may have in its fleet.

Every few years, the companies refresh or update the fleet of boats available for rent, the spokeswoman says.