Sugar Loaf Resort has had no skiing since March 2000. And now the facility is closed because of a loss of sewer services to the building.
Now there are hopes for a new owner, and plans for a re-opening. Brad Lutz of Omena has signed an option to purchase Sugar Loaf Resort from Kate Wickstrom.
In recent years the property has changed hands several times, and been owned by some potentially shady customers. One past owner ended up in prison for tax evasion. Wickstrom, the most recent owner, was not able to overcome all the obstacles to bring the facility into compliance with health codes.
Lutz admits that it will be quite a challenge to reopen the resort. He has said, however, that bringing skiing back will be one of his primary goals. But don't expect to see anything open for this ski season.
Lutz says that he's local with lots of enthusiasm to make the whole project work. But he's also realistic about the obstacles that must be faced.
Sugar Loaf Resort is located in Cleveland Township’s "recreation district." Last year, the Township Planning Commission worked on a zoning ordinance amendment, at Wickstrom's request, that was to make it easier to bring the facility back on line. Lutz may now be able to benefit from that bit of advance work.
The county has felt the impact of Sugar Loaf being closed. It's ski runs have been considered some of the best in the state, and the economic impact of their inactivity was described by a Commissioner as "crushing."
Everyone wishes the best for Lutz and his Sugar Loaf dreams.
read the full article at Leelanau Enterprise, "Sugar Loaf Deal Reached", Jan 30, 2008
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