Last employee living in Wasserbahn Waterpark hotel moves out

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 10:23 PM CDT
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WILLIAMSBURG, Iowa (KCRG) - Ruth Wheeler said she was told around 11:00 am Monday that the lights in the Wasserbahn Waterpark hotel were going to be turned off, and the building was dark about one hour later.

Wheeler had worked at the hotel in Williamsburg; she and her two sons lived there as well. Wheeler said they had been at the hotel about four months.

Employees of Wasserbahn were left with bounced paychecks and lots of questions when the waterpark closed suddenly earlier this year.

Wheeler said in March she had been given permission to stay at the hotel until the end of the month.

On Monday, Wheeler said she had plans to move to a similar situation. “The Knights Inn—I called them and we’re going to hopefully be able to stay there and work there for a room until hopefully something comes up.”

She had a similar reason for going to live and work at Wasserbahn in the first place. “My hope was to be here just long enough to find a place.”

Wheeler said the stress of the last weeks has taken a toll on her family, including her son. “My son has also started having seizures, all of a sudden, out of the blue from six years ago, he hasn’t had seizures, and now he started.”

Wheeler is asking for damages from the owners of the property, Yule Park and Thomas Smock, in their capacity as her landlords. A letter from Wheeler’s attorney addressed to the two said Wheeler’s payroll deductions in exchange for board at the hotel are “evidence” of the “existence of a rental agreement.” The letter goes on to say Wheeler did not receive “a thirty-day notice of termination related to her Lease” and that “the propane was disconnected.”

We reached out to both Park and Smock for comment. We have not received a reply.

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