Man in Cottonwood Heights claims police targeted his bar to drive him out of business

Posted at 10:28 PM, Oct 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-23 11:25:28-04

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah -- It’s the end of an era for an iconic Cottonwood Heights bar. After 25 years, owner Jim Stojack officially sold the Canyon Inn. The last drinks will be served this weekend.

“It’s a very tough day," Stojack said. "I met my wife here. My kids have grown up here, and they have taken this all away."

'They’ are the Cottonwood Heights Police. Stojack says they began targeting his business five years ago when he discovered plans for the Canyon Center development, plans which included Stojack selling his property.

“When I refused to sell this to the developer in the property behind us, he looked at my wife as I walked away and said, 'You better have your husband reconsider, or we’ll let Cottonwood Heights do the dirty work.' I thought it was an idle threat; he made good on it,” Stojack said.

Cottonwood Heights City Manager John Park adamantly denies that police are responsible for the Canyon Inn’s demise. Park says they’ve been asking Stojack to bring evidence proving this harassment for years, and everything they have seen, proves nothing of the sort.

“We’ve seen videos that he’s given to other people, pictures that he's given to other people, and most of them do not substantiate the claims he’s made,” Park said.

Stojack says he’s issued several formal complaints, even with the State Attorney General and the FBI. However, after years of inaction, he had no choice but to sell, and give up on the family business.

“I would’ve loved to pass this on to my sons, Stojack said. "One is 20, one’s 24, but they have taken this all away."

Stojack sold the business to his neighbors, who own the Lift House Ski Shop, and they plan to turn the restaurant and bar into another ski shop.

Stojack says he never received another offer from the developer of the Canyon Center.