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New RV Park and marina owners start fresh at lake
Wateree Marina - Dentons
Chesnut and Josh Denton are the new owners of Wateree Lake RV Park and Marina, a one-stop shop located along Dolan Lane at Lake Wateree. - photo by Michael Ulmer


Just over the Beaver Creek Bridge on Lake Wateree, Josh and Chesnut Denton are working on a renovation project they hope will last for generations.

The Dentons, who grew up around at the lake, are now the owners of Wateree Lake RV Park and Marina, a one-stop shop for those wishing to enjoy life on the water. The couple purchased the property in December, which includes a 75-lot RV Park, convenience store and marina.

Josh said he hopes the revamped business, located at 2367 Dolan Lane, will help produce a hub of activity around the lake.

“It’s definitely going to be a great combination. Not only do you have the lake and all those who can come in by water, but we also have an RV park that can draw in its own crowd,” he said.

The Dentons, purchased the property near the end of 2012 Harvey Branham Jr. The business has operated as a RV park, marina and store since 1992.

Josh Denton said it was an opportunity he’s been eyeing for awhile and hopes to expand upon the original idea.

“We’re not going to change the basic layout or structure of the business,” he explained. “We’re going to work with the concept and try to improve upon it and market it. We want to see if we can get a bigger outside footprint.”

Chesnut Denton indicated one way they hope to accomplish that goal is by creating a strong online presence.

“We’re in the process of not only getting a website, but also offering online reservations. So when you go on to our website, it’ll be just like going to a hotel,” she said, noting the website link will eventually be “You can go online and reserve your spot to meet the specifications that will meet your needs. It makes it easier for people who want to come here.”

She also said the new venture has already sparked interest from those living both near and far.

“Looking at our Facebook page, it’s amazing how many people are from outside of Kershaw County,” she said.

Her husband noted they’ve received a lot of feedback from cities throughout South Carolina, but particularly Darlington, Hartsville and Florence, as well as Charlotte, N.C.

“It’s kind of a hidden jewel,” he said of Lake Wateree. “It doesn’t have quite the overpopulation as some of the other lakes. It’s great for fishing and water sports. It’s very family oriented and just a very relaxing area.”

Along with offering a few perishable items and produce in their store, they plan to serve grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and other menu items.

“The beautiful thing about this area is that if you get tired of eating a burger or sandwich here at this grill, you’ve got multiple options all around you on Beaver Creek,” he said. “I think all the other places and businesses are going to complement each other. We don’t want to directly compete with them, but complement what they have to offer.”

Chesnut Denton noted the store will also carry ice cream and for the first time, the location will have a beer and wine license.

“That’s a big deal. You can zip in and purchase your ice, restock your cooler, and let the kids get an ice cream,” she said.

The property will also soon have upgraded bathroom facilities and a brand new laundry area.

“Right now, there’s no place for people that are staying to wash and dry their clothes,” she said. “There will actually be a building that has washer and dryers. We keep getting feedback on that.”

She also said the price of purchasing a lake rental house far outweighs the expense of buying an RV or camper and renting a spot by the lake. 

“They can leave their RV here and go back to work or the wife can go back and bring the kids. It just offers a lot of flexibility. They’re getting more bang for their buck, while also having a multitude of services right here on site,” she said.

A spot at the RV Park can be rented for $35 nightly, $210 a week, or $350 a month, but rates are subject to change.

Along with their kids, Clarke, 15, and Gus, 13, the couple will continue to make upgrades and improvements to the location throughout the year.

“Right now, it’s really a full-time job,” Josh Denton said. “We’re truly giving it a facelift.”

As the couple transitions into their business, they’re offering visitors a third day free if they stay two nights. The deal runs through April 15. For more information about the RV Park and marina, call 273-3013.