Vacation rental company's closure is leaving some reservoir visitors high and dry



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

PEOA, Summit County — A dispute between the state of Utah and a guy who rents lakeside cabins and yurts at Rockport Reservoir has left travelers high, dry and worried about their deposits.

If you look around Rockport's marina, you will see some rental cabins and yurts that look like they are almost ready for folks looking for a little relaxation and recreation. But, alas they are not.

"Our reservation was cancelled," Jessie Dennerline told us of her and her family's vacation plans made way back in April.

But as they were preparing to head up to the reservoir, they got an email telling them their reservation with the Marina at Rockport was now void.

"We've been looking forward to this all summer," Dennerline said. "We're supposed to go this weekend, so we're just finding out now."

Worse, those reservations were not free. Between her and other family members, she said they paid about $1,000. The reservations were not made directly with Rockport State Park, but instead with a private company called Marina at Rockport that operated inside the park. Dennerline said she tried to reach the owner, repeatedly.

"So, when you call his cellphone, it sounds like it's turned off," she explained. "It doesn't ring or anything."

When calls to Marina at Rockport got her nowhere, Dennerline decided it was time to call the KSL Investigators.

We reached out to both Marina at Rockport and the Utah's Division of Parks and Recreation to ask about all of this. In emails they pointed the finger at one another.

A dispute between the state of Utah and a guy who rents lakeside cabins and yurts at Rockport Reservoir has left travelers high, dry and worried about their deposits.
A dispute between the state of Utah and a guy who rents lakeside cabins and yurts at Rockport Reservoir has left travelers high, dry and worried about their deposits. (Photo: Josh Szymanik, KSL-TV)

The park manager for Rockport State Park wrote that they had been working with the company to address concerns about "safety, maintenance and cleanliness." The email went on to say, "Unfortunately, these issues remain unresolved, and the concessionaire has opted to terminate its agreement with the state park."

The company's owner admits he terminated the contract, but he blames the state, saying it has "poor management of the park" and "predatory contract processes." As for the late notice to those who rented, he said they made social media posts, and it was also reported by news outlets.

"We just want to know what is going on," said Dennerline. "Is there any intention of refunding our money?"

Marina at Rockport said it is processing refunds but would not say when she could expect to get it. She is not waiting and has filed a dispute with her bank to try and get her money back.

The company, Marina at Rockport, said it is also currently "moving toward litigation" against the Division of Parks and Recreation for what it calls "multiple breaches of contract."

A dispute between the state of Utah and a guy who rents lakeside cabins and yurts at Rockport Reservoir has left travelers high, dry and worried about their deposits. Jessie Dennerline lost her pricey deposit and is now fighting to get it back.
A dispute between the state of Utah and a guy who rents lakeside cabins and yurts at Rockport Reservoir has left travelers high, dry and worried about their deposits. Jessie Dennerline lost her pricey deposit and is now fighting to get it back. (Photo: Josh Szymanik, KSL-TV)

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KSL InvestigatesOutdoors & RecUtahSummit/Wasatch County
Matt Gephardt
Matt Gephardt has worked in television news for more than 20 years, and as a reporter since 2010. He is now a consumer investigative reporter for KSL TV. You can find Matt on Twitter at @KSLmatt or email him at matt@ksl.com.
Sloan Schrage

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