• Resort partially swallowed by sinkhole rescinds offer to reimburse lost belongings


    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - The Disney area resort that was partially swallowed by the sinkhole is taking back its promise to reimburse victims.

    Skywitness 9 flew over the Summer Bay Resort after it opened earlier in August.

    A guest gave Channel 9's Tim Barber a letter from the resort president Wednesday, which says resorts are not required to pay for their guests.

    Faith Clark's family said at the scene of the sinkhole that they trusted the company and are annoyed, to say the least.

    The terrifying night ended with a heroic tale: Summer Bay Resort security guard Richard Shanley evacuated buildings before they were torn apart by a 60-foot wide sinkhole.

    Guests applauded him and as did resort president Paul Caldwell, who guests said promised to reimburse them for their stuff that was swallowed up.

    For Clark's family, that praise turned to frustration Wednesday.

    They got wind of the letter from Caldwell, which said "we are informed under Florida law a public lodging establishment is not responsible for the loss of personal belongings."

    "I was very upset because the kept swearing that they had sinkhole insurance and that they were going to make things right and they were going to take care of us," Clark said over the phone from New Hampshire.

    Instead the letter said we've "learned that such losses might be recoverable under an owner or guest's personal homeowner's insurance policy."

    Clark and some other guests checked and said it doesn't.

    Clark said she has to fork over money for new computers, iPods, and jewelry after she already spent a lot on the nightmare vacation.

    "People asked me when they interviewed me if I believed them when they said they were going to make it right and I guess I am a very naive person to think people are going to do things that I would do them," Clark said.

    Eyewitness News reached out to the resort's spokesperson for comment but has not heard back.

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