Avid sailing fans in Cherry Creek have a showdown on the waterfront

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AURORA, Colo. -- The Cherry Creek Marina is making waves, but not on the water. The State Attorney General’s Office is shutting down—in effect—the Cherry Creek Yacht Club by failing to renew their contract to run the marina, a facility owner Todd Brophy, has operated for nearly 30 years.

“I was angry, I was sad, but now I am really angry over the way the state is treating me and my business,” said Brophy. “They refused to retool my contract, instead putting the contract up for bid. But even the winner of the bid, Vencore, couldn't meet the new specs in the proposal for a new contract, so now we don’t know how the season will begin for users of the marina.”

The Denver Sailing Association, the Mile High Rowing Club and the Victoria Sailing Club along with some youth sports groups all call the marina home, they are moving ahead as if they will still be allowed to use docks, slips, and cranes—to move big sailing craft—when the water calms. No one is sure of what they will be able to do at the marina on the west side of the Cherry Creek Reservoir.

The state, by letter is said to have told Brophy anything he doesn't remove from the property will be confiscated by the state. Even holding ‘garage sales’ has still left dishes, glasses, and other property inside the Yacht Club looking for some place to go.

At the marina today, sailors were busy getting the property cleaned up, as races are supposed to begin next weekend, but even that is up in the air, members saying, “We hope to be able to use the facility.”

But Brophy says, “The state has turned off the electricity to the crane, meaning yachtsmen won’t be able to use the crane to lift their huge boats into the water.”

The marooned owner now said he hopes to take the state to mediation to resolve contract issues. He has built the docks, slips, crane, and parking lot over the past 30 years. If not, he plans on filing a law suit to get the issue settled. But for now, he is moving out of the Yacht Club and boxing up all of his possessions and walking the planks to his SUV.