New charter and excursion bus service on Lopez Island

Friendly Isle Charters, owned by Jay and Deanna Brant, is offering charter and excursion bus services based on Lopez Island.

Their kick-off event was over the July 4 holiday when they were chartered by the Lopez Island Chamber of Commerce to shuttle passengers to and from the Lopez ferry landing,to the village and Islandale. Shuttling more than 600 people in the course of five days, the event was deemed a success. Friendly Isle Charters hopes to provide a similar service during other busy holiday times.

When not busy with holiday shuttles, the company will be available for private charters such as events, parties, tours and weddings. The company will organize off-island excursion events, such as day trips to the Skagit Valley Big 3 (Costco, Wal-Mart and Target), art tours, casino trips, Mariners day games (with game ticket included), winery and brewery tours, ski trips and more. Excursion events will be sold by the seat and prices will vary by destination.

Friendly Isle Charters operates a comfortable and spacious 16-passenger bus which is mobility impaired accessible. There is a wheelchair/person lift for the mobility impaired, with room on the bus for two wheelchairs or personal mobility vehicles.

Additionally, there’s room for luggage, bikes or cargo and the bus also has towing capabilities. During the summer, Friendly Isle Charters will offer tours of Lopez Island, narrated by Deanna, who is a fifth-generation Lopezian.

Along with their two sons, Jimi and Anchor, the Brants settled on Lopez Island last year. They moved from Norfolk, Va., where Jay retired from the Navy. In true island fashion, both Jay and Deanna have other occupations as well. Deanna is the deli manager at Lopez Village Market; Jay owns and operates a second business called Groundwerks, which offers field mowing, trenching, erosion control and site stabilization.

Visit or call 468-2359.

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