Liko Smith and the Future of Sugar Loaf Mountain

Here’s a preface to the preface. This comes via our Absolute Michigan web site. You probably know some of the background info we offer but there is some interesting reading, especially if you follow the link to Liko’s web site and (under Friends of Sugar Loaf) read the letter from Skip Telgard of the Bluebird.

I'm a Sugar LoaferToday we’re bringing you a whole lot of information about a Michigan landmark that is very near and dear to my heart: Sugar Loaf Mountain in Leelanau County. I am indeed a Sugar Loafer. I grew up skiing there, worked as a lift operator and was taken for thousands of dollars in services rendered but never paid for by the last management company to run the resort and was one of the leaders of a movement to try and acquire the resort as a community ski area. That effort was halted when the current owner, Kate Wickstrom purchased Sugar Loaf.

Since then, the resort has lain dormant. Then, about a month ago, Liko Smith emerged on the scene as a potential savior for the resort. Close on his heels were a slew of stories and accusations that have made many question whether we’re climbing back on the merry-go-round of disappointment that has become synonymous with the name of Sugar Loaf. Today I’d like to present for your consideration a wide range of information including an interview with Mr. Smith on Absolute Michigan Radio co-sponsored by Traverse Legal, so that you can come to your own conclusions.

Jacob Wheeler of the Glen Arbor Sun has a feature looking at Liko Smith, his business connections and what it would take to resurrect the long-beleaguered ski resort:

Michael Berry, President of the Denver-based National Ski Areas Association, thought that reopening Sugar Loaf was entirely possible. Berry guessed that one could acquire new ski lifts and snowmaking equipment at Sugar Loaf for $4-5 million, and satisfy insurance company standards within two or three months (there are only two or three players in the industry).

…But one ski expert at a Midwestern resort, who asked to remain anonymous, doubted Berry’s optimistic prognosis for Sugar Loaf, and estimated that it would cost at least $10-15 million to buy equipment, make snow, and open the hills. He added that Smith would have to order lifts by next month, or there would be no way to get them in time for next winter.

…“Sugar Loaf would have to pull skiers away from (nearby resorts) Crystal Mountain, Nubs Nob and Boyne. … The market isn’t getting any bigger. Sugar Loaf would have to draw from the existing players.”

Click through to read more and other coverage from the Glen Arbor Sun.

If you’d like to meet Liko and hear more about his plans, there’s a $100 Quad Fund mixer at Red Ginger in Traverse City. More about that and more from Liko at (hint: click the “Friends of Sugar Loaf” for some interesting reading and insight into Liko Smith and the feeling in the community).

By far the most active discussion has taken place in the Friends of Sugar Loaf group on Facebook.



347 replies
  1. lex
    lex says:

    I think the 2 figures above in the article are based on 2 different things. One is just to get the hill open(fixing 2, fixed quad on 1, snowmaking for that area only)which is a limited opening and the higher amount is to get the entire hill open (fixed grip and HS quads, entire hill snowmaking, new resevoir, grading, etc…actually could be 20million depending on how tech you get).
    I have 2 thoughts about the Remo connection.1)Should have been more honest up front…but I think they were keeping their fingers crossed hoping to keep it quiet. I do feel personally he did get told by Polselli about the area, if so then it’s ok to say it. 2)Why would Liko be a front man for Polselli…just asking. Unless the investor is Polselli, which is what is being denied. Why does Polselli even care about the place? I would assume he would want to wash his hands of the place and focus on other adventures that make money. I think Molly(who has been quoted numerous times) has done the most research and has been outspoken. She should have interview with Liko…1 on 1. Still, it is a private sale so not sure what would come of anything.

    Market is down, yeah sort of, certain aspects are. If you look at twintip and fat skis and reverse camber snowboards you see this market is up. Not to ditch racing and those events but every resort needs to focus much more attention on terrain parks and having features(fun things)spread around the hill.You could say roughly 50% of your ticket sales will be riding the park.

    Crystal Mtn would lose the most business out of any of the resort if the Loaf was doing a good job. Boyne/Nubs cater to an existing crowd and are doing not much to get new customers. They spend lots of money to open terrain parks but put them in bad spots with bad slopes. If you continue to do the same old thing and not look to the future then of course the market will decline. Anyways, a ski hills cash cow is the real estate, liquor,lodging but is not the ticket or season pass sales. Unless you charge $600 for a pass like Nubs.

  2. Andrew McFarlane
    Andrew McFarlane says:

    Hey Patrick – looks like Liko changed his mind on the letter.

    Skip basically said that the community has been suffering for the loss of Sugar Loaf and that while he hoped Liko would succeed, his methods & background were not inspiring confidence that we were moving out of the mire that Sugar Loaf has been stuck in.

  3. Andrew McFarlane
    Andrew McFarlane says:

    Here’s what Liko sent last night:

    On Friday April 30th, 2010 at RED GINGER from 6pm to 9pm, I will be unveiling a plan that is to re-open Sugar Loaf by Thanksgiving of this year. You can view details at:

    After being closed for 8 years, Sugar Loaf is at a critical time, if it is not opened within the next year, it may not ever be opened again. There are no developers that can save it: I will explain why on Friday. We are also taking it into a new direction based upon “real” facts on the ground of whats needed “today” for a successful ski operation in the midwest; since the 90’s the resort has not been able to turn a profit, we will discuss how that has affected our decision making … however, we will keep the key components of what makes Sugar Loaf so memorable.

    Finally, the design and layout of “what” we will open and “why” will be posed to the 100 people present, and sugestions and reccomendations will be considered for the “last” time prior to the fierce effort it will take to re-open Sugar Loaf.

    This day, will be the last day that anyone can steer the direction of Sugar Loaf besides its owner, myself. I hope that you can join us for this once in a lifetime meeting. I will not leave on Friday until every person has been heard.

  4. mrsparks
    mrsparks says:

    He want people to pay $100 for the chance to talk to him?? To establish a ‘fund’ for a for-profit enterprise?? Asinine.

  5. Tom
    Tom says:

    I hope you people from the area of Sugarloaf are checking this guy out……he has a criminal past with a project in LA called the Block Hotel.
    I do not trust this guy and would question him far more than what i am reading. I know you all want to believe he is the one to save and redevelope SugarLoaf but I assure you he is not.

  6. lex
    lex says:

    Wow, really? This is old news that has been discussed over and over. Do you even know a thing about Sugar Loaf or our area? Block was Lake Tahoe and Big Bear by the way

  7. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    I questioned Kate Wickstrom’s motives at the time, but wasn’t her unveiling and question/answer meeting open to everyone, and FREE!?

  8. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    So, I keep looking for feedback from the Friday night meeting Liko hosted. Did anyone who reads this blog invest the $100.00 cover charge?

  9. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    I don’t know why anyone would question what my motive is. I have no motive other than to sell the resort and have Sean (or whoever) succeed – completely. I had stops put on my lines within 6 weeks after I purchased and it has been a constant battle since. I have paid out close to $2 million dollars over the past 5 years and continue to fight those that feel it necessary to supress the mountain going forward. Unfortunately, Leelanau county residents do not know the truth and the newspapers only print what they want, to feed on the drama and hold back on what the real story is. If this deal does not go through with Sean, it is not because I stopped it. I have no motive – what motive – I would like nothing more than this nightmare to end for me and for the resort to open and provide jobs for the community.
    The fact that I did not attend the “Red Ginger” dinner is that it is bittersweet for me. I had a dream and a vision. It hurts me deeply that I could not be the one to re-open the loaf and even though I paid alot of money to fight, I am of the wrong gender and not part of the county cartel.
    If Sugar Loaf does not re-open, it is not because I didn’t want it to, and I will tell you why.

  10. lex
    lex says:

    Kate, I met your dad, really nice guy. He briefly filled me in on some of the things you were trying to do and the frustrations. Are you going to put your side of the story out there? Because all we have it bit quotes, no comments, etc. and to be honest, I can’t remember anything remotely positive.

  11. Jerry
    Jerry says:

    Kate, since I was the only poster to mention a motive, I assume you were responding to what I wrote and apologize if it was misunderstood. I stated that I questioned your motives “at the time”; that time being when you purchased Sugar Loaf. This was primarily from a quote in which you said you were “considering a number of options for the property” and that you didn’t know “if it would ever work as a ski resort again.” Considering what you said, I don’t see why questioning at that time was unjustified.

    As for my earlier post, I was merely pointing out that even though there were concerns/questions over your acquisition of the resort, you held a Q&A meeting (I believe at Sugarfoots) which was free and open to the public. I hold what you did in much higher regard than Liko’s $100 dog and pony show.

  12. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    Jerry – my apology. After I wrote and sent it, I realized what you had meant. My qoutes back then regarding if it would ever work as a ski resort again, was referring to the fact that it could never be just that – more had to be added to draw people to it (i.e. snowboard park, wellness activities, more year round/4 season). The PUD that I had put together identified different options, while being modest and not overloading with 800 condo’s, a village, destroying the airstrip, etc.
    I had every intention of bringing the resort back to life and had the means to do it at the time. Shortly after my purchase though, stops were put on my lines by others, creating delays and thus forced my lenders and investors to back away. I apologize to the public for not being able to do this.

  13. lex
    lex says:

    Kate, anyword on the pending sale of Sugar Loaf? Nobody seems to know if things are moving forward or not.

  14. Q
    Q says:

    Liko has a new update posted at the same website listed above. It doesn’t look good for Sugar Loaf, which is really a shame. It seems, from what he says, that many of the forces that have acted to keep the Loaf closed are still in effect (one of which is Kate Wickstrom according to Liko).

    It’s sad to say, but it seems that short of a miracle Sugar Loaf will continue to slowly decay. Greed and dishonesty seems to have permeated every level of the transaction, which doesn’t bode well for the future of the property. I don’t imagine this situation will ever be resolved, at least as long as any potential owner has to pay for the sins of the previous owners.

  15. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    What a crock! The majority of what is posted at this site is not true and appears to be written, only to make Sean look like a victim. I above anyone, have every reason to sign the necessary documents, get this nightmare over with and Sean is aware of that. All that has been asked of him, is lets do it legally. When I am advised by legal counsel not to sign something, it would only mean that something is not above board. I should not be slandered by someone who has not held up to one promise made.

  16. Rick
    Rick says:


    Pretty sad when you have done this in the past, other people have tried to buy Sugarloaf from you and for some stupid reason you want Sugarloaf and the area to turn into a ghost town. One thing that frustrates me and a lot of other people, is the ski area could put a ton of people back to work, but you would rather wait til the bank ends up taking the ski area back from you. I can’t wait til you try to tell people in the this area of Northern Michigan, that you are keeping jobs out of this area for some STUPID reason. This isn’t about Sean or any of the buyers in the past; I and other people have watched you keep destroying the number one ski area in the Midwest. What have YOU done for the Ski Area? THANKS Kate!!

  17. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    Rick – I don’t believe we have met, because had we, you would know that your statement is not accurate. Each time someone has come to the table, I have been hopeful it would go through. Each time, these potential buyers wanted to meet with adjoining property owners and BAM – they were gone. A closing date was set for this past Tuesday – Sean called my attorney and asked for yet another extension. Sean called in a salvage company to sell everything in the resort and wanted me to sign the deed over to him and he hired some notary to meet him at the resort – stating he would do the rest of the paperwork with the bank later on in the month. When I told him I wasn’t comfortable with that because I needed to hear from the bank that it was okay, he then offered to split the proceeds from the salvage company with me. When my attorney called the bank to verify this was ok – Sean screamed at me and my Dad that we were stupid to call the bank and ask them this. The bank said absolutely not! These “workers” were sent home because the bank would not allow Sean to sell everything out of the building. Somehow it just didn’t seem right to sign a deed, let him empty the building and put the money in his pocket, and I still am obligated on the mortgage. Somehow it just seemed like the best thing to do was to make sure everything was legal.
    This is just a tip of the iceberg of what I have had to endure and obviously, by my statement, is the other side of the story – the truth. If you don’t believe me, ask my Dad or my attorney.
    I am not at all trying to stop the sale; I am not at all trying to keep people from working. You have no right to say that when you don’t even know me and have only read the BS that someone else has chosen to print. I have had an uphill battle from day one – as far back as the first township meeting when I was approached by one of the public officials and asked – “Are you an Indian? We don’t want the Indians owning the resort”. It goes as far back as Ed and Brian terminating my sewer agreement because I wouldn’t sell them my land and besides, the bank not allowing it to be split. There is so much people don’t know and as far as what Sean thinks he knows – well………
    Come on Rick – don’t judge me til you’ve walked in my shoes.

  18. lex
    lex says:

    Might be a stupid question, but what about trying again with the county, maybe a non-profit ski area. There are ski areas that are owned by the public, there are grants for using green technology for snowmaking and other energy saver, would be nice if Obama can send us some money back to us. Maybe the best idea is not this grand oasis of a place, but keeping with a more simple concept to more showcase our area instead of trying to be the next Boyne. Shares could be sold or tax write-off donation can be used. This whole thing seems like a bad soap opera that doesn’t end. Regardless, what has been happening or not, isn’t working.

  19. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Kate – one of the big things that folks in this area are trying to support is the concept of reopening Sugar Loaf resort as, first and foremost, a ski area. The golf course was really in question and has remained open despite the demise of the hotel and ski area. The loss of the Sugar Loaf ski area was one of the key reasons that winter tourism in Leelanau County has dropped off over the last ten years. The loss of the Sugar Loaf ski area has been seen as one of the major reasons that high school ski racing in Leelanau County has seen a marked drop in participation. The loss of the Sugar Loaf ski area was, if memory serves, one of the main reasons Pete Bardenhagen chose to close Sugarfoots over the winter a few years back. The loss of the Sugar Loaf ski area is one of the main reasons that Cedar and Maple City are practically ghost towns in the winter months these days.

    Developers have been rumored at various times to be eyeing the property with the idea of leveling the ski area and hotel and dividing the property up into little more than homesites. One of the biggest reasons that the original “Friends of Sugar Loaf” organization got together back in 2002 was to support the idea of reopening the Sugar Loaf ski area rather than seeing the property raped for its land value. Without the ski area in operation, the property is basically without any real value. There are numerous marked subdivisions throughout the county that have languished unsold for years. There is one such subdivision just over the hill from my house just north of Suttons Bay. There is a setup on Jacobsen Road that has had about 30 marked homesites, complete with utilities, for about the last five years or so and the last time I drove through there, all the homesites remain empty. The sad part is it’s not the only one – there are numerous such projects throughout the county in similar states of distress. Try as they might, the developers who set up these subdivisions can’t blame all the inactivity in the real estate market on the economic temper of the times. What’s the key to turning things around? Nobody really is willing to say, but I’d consider that an apparent lack of recreational opportunities that aren’t necessarily related to golf or the water – especially in the winter months. Getting the Sugar Loaf property up and running again – as a ski area – would be a huge step in the right direction and a lot of folks are willing to support a feasible and well-planned attempt to make that happen. Will Liko be the guy who pulls it off? Too soon to tell, but at least he’s giving it a shot.

  20. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Lex – if you get a chance, google “Big Tupper” sometime. Big Tupper is a ski area in the Adirondacks just outside Tupper Lake, NY that closed nine years ago and was essentially abandoned. A group of local folks in Tupper Lake got together and got the resort open again last season. This in mind, the idea of a community-operated ski area has merit and precedent.

  21. farlane
    farlane says:

    Mad River Glen is a great community owned ski area –

    Way back in the day, there were a bunch of people in the area looking at this as an option for Sugar Loaf.

    I also want to issue another call for everyone to be civil on our blog.

  22. Molly
    Molly says:

    So let me guess….Liko wanted to buy the place with no money down and with no guarantees. He can’t even throw a party at Red Ginger without trying to scam them out of money. I don’t know Kate personally, but she is smart for holding strong to her requirements. One less person Liko has made a fool of here.

  23. matt b
    matt b says:

    Well I can’t speak for Cedar, but I never noticed a loss of business in Maple City because of its closing. I think Cedar holds its own in the winter as well. Sugarfoots probably took the biggest hit when the Loaf closed.

    Right from the beginning something did not feal right about Liko……but I gave him the benefit and hoped like so many others that he could do it. I just never could see how someone would be able to scam enough money out of the locals to make it worthwhile, So I believed that he really was trying. Now its hard to say what he was up too. After reading this article: I now will just be glad to see him go.

  24. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    From the get go some asked where is Liko’s money, what is his credit worthiness? In his last post he admitted he refused to show his financials. Try borrowing money for a home, car or anything without providing third party verified financial information. You won’t get far.

  25. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    What about Karl Kitchen’s role in this? From the beginning he took down negative posts on his Friends of Sugar Loaf page. Wouldn’t answer specific legitimate questions about Liko. In the end he deleted people like me from the site. Is Karl going to reimburse the Red Ginger? How about people who bought advance tickets? Liko did not have one positive line on his resume. With Liko’s resume he couldn’t get a job as a street sweeper!

  26. Travis Wood
    Travis Wood says:


    Hearing your stories about Liko reminds me of the same shady crap he tried to pull in the past. I think you dodged a bullet. The guy is all hat and no cattle.

  27. lex
    lex says:

    Karl is a great guy, who is doing everything he can and has donated a lot of time trying to help open the Loaf, well before Liko got in the picture. He worked there, knows the area like a lot of people and does have technical experience with the lifts. He is just trying to be fair, report the news the best he can & just focuses on the Loaf, period. There are many people who just point a target at Liko or Kate or whomever & go off on them, others don’t. Karl likes to keep the peace. When/if Liko backs out, Karl will continue to try to get the Loaf open, while many of the posters will focus on something else.

  28. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    A known felon came into town and was helped by Karl. Karl refused and apparently you do as well to look at the reality of the situation. Karl is still in denial. His site should be called “Sugar Loaf at Any Cost”. Liko is a confessed and convicted criminal! With great guys like Karl, who needs enemies. Lex, maybe you want to reimburse the Red Ginger??

  29. lex
    lex says:

    Wow, seriously? I live here, I love it here & like Karl, want what’s best. Any action was done to help guide. That’s all, it’s private transaction. Liko does have the right to purchase the place. Posters can vent of course, I just don’t do it that way, sorry blame my parents. Others have posted real life experiences or links to the past, which is great. Some have posted about 2nd chances, early on of course. Putting me down won’t cause me to lose a wink of sleep, but talking down to Karl is pretty low. He deleted that section, as a gut reaction. Anyways, his facebook page will go on & it should. Am I right? I don’t know, did I try to get as many facts, yes I did, will I help see what is possible with opening the Loaf after Liko is gone, yes I will. Have a good memorial weekend & if you want to put me down then at least give it some thought. I can take criticism & I can listen as well.

  30. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    The criticism is simple, he is a criminal and it was not a private transaction. The criminal solicited your neighbors and friends. How is it private when a criminal goes to the media and uses someone like Karl to solicit funds from the community. THE PERSON BUYING SUGAR LOAF IS A CRIMINAL!! Are you supporting the criminal?? I don’t think Karl is bad person, I think he is so caught up with Sugar Loaf fever that he is not thinking clearly. Someone needs to shake him and tell him what he is doing is wrong. You don’t hire an embezzler to do your books.

  31. lex
    lex says:

    I agree with the criticism of opening the Loaf at all costs, actually I question myself. But it is a private transaction, unless he uses public funds….which he did try, so in that case it would be a big public issue. I see where it looks like supporting a criminal, but more or less the if Liko buys the Loaf then it was to help make the Loaf operational & a good thing for the community. Lot of gray areas. Liko’s past is piss poor, no question, not paying the red ginger says a lot. Would be nice, as somebody posted years ago, that we just find another hill, hopefully in a snowbelt and start fresh. Then there wouldn’t be any of these parties to deal with & have everything handcuffed up in BS. Oh, thanks for not ripping me a new one by the way.

  32. lex
    lex says:

    Sorry, this whole thing is a public issue, was referring to private transaction unless brownfield grants or township money or tax breaks were given. It’s always been a public issue.

  33. max
    max says:

    Karl and the other lemmings are just flakes! Kate I must admit, the talk was all over the place after you couldn’t make a go of it. Understandable now given the circumstances..stuff happens. Then along comes….LIKO (sean or what ever he calls himself for the intended audience).

    And you get this Liko nit wit, bullying his way around and trying to talk you and the bank into letting him loot the place and split the proceeds with you of the scrap metal sale.. LOL LMAO. I am sure you , your attorney, your bank and just about everyone here (except Karl and Lex) think this guy is insane! Well lets see: Bake sale fund raiser so he can get a ski-lift going on a place he doesn’t even own or have an option on….Has a $100 dollar dinner/cover charge at Red Ginger in TC for those that might do business with him, (suckers), and then questionable as to who’s paying… hmmm…runs around the county getting people (suckers and simps) into his web of doing some laborous work for him, then send them home due to.. he dosn’t own the place!!! Sheesh! And his former place in Tahoe has brass stripper poles int the rooms!..Ok enough I’m rolling on the floor laughing to hard!!! LOL LMAO

    And to top it off, he moved to the Northport area, and now they might have to pay for his kids to go to college!

  34. Molly
    Molly says:

    Max, Liko has to return to Tahoe by June 8 for his restitution hearing. I don’t think we’ll be seeing him again.

    Rip, there are probably a hundred people who endorsed Liko via emails, posts, etc. Karl never endorsed him (he made it very clear that Liko ripped off the “Friends of Sugar Loaf” name), and in my conversations with him, always expressed that he was wary of the deal.

    We can learn from everything, but let’s move on. Let’s not let Liko’s influence have us mad at each other, he would take too much joy in that.

  35. Molly
    Molly says:

    By the way, Rip….why did you wait until after the project failed to accuse Karl? If the deal had gone through would you have remained silent?

  36. farlane
    farlane says:

    Hear hear, Molly. Karl expressed optimism and while Liko was (is?) a huge question mark, Sugar Loaf has been an emphatic period for the last 10 years.

    As in: No Jobs. No Movement. No Future.

    Hopefully Liko has at least served the function of waking us up to what a giant mess is sitting out in the middle of Leelanau County.

    Township officials? Commissioners? State Representatives? Do you have any interest in why the heck this valuable piece of property is cratering?

  37. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    I was the first person on the Friends site to criticize under the name ripnruns. Karl deleted the posts. When I and others complained he started the threads Progress and Criticize. I then asked the question I asked on this blog “Why is Karl supporting a criminal” He deleted me as a friend which deleted all of my posts and I could only look at the site occasionally through a friend’s address. Molly, you pointed out the same things and he simply brushed aside critical points by replying “but, he is all we have”. Karl refused to consider that he should not be supporting Liko and his deal. I have tried to point that out.

  38. Molly
    Molly says:

    Rip, I was right there with you. You can see the litany of bitching I’ve left behind on all of the boards. Some of my posts were deleted too, and maybe that was wrong. Karl acted in the moment, and apologized to me for doing that. I’ve since spoken with him many times, and he respects me for being an outspoken force against Liko. Just as I respect him for owning up to that mistake and trying to be an intermediary in all of this. Rip, there is nothing constructive coming from your end of things, you are simply trying to throw a community member under the bus for some reason. Liko is gone, Karl is still here….and he is willing to help revitalize Sugar Loaf. I think we’ve all learned some lessons, and now it’s time for you, me, everyone to move on in a positive direction.

  39. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Rip (or whatever your actual name is) – I killed off your posts on FOSL because you violated the Facebook terms of service in using your posts to attack and insult another Facebook member directly. Lex, Molly and even Travis know full well my opinions on this deal and how I have conducted myself in this situation and have voiced agreement. Even farlane (the gentleman who run this very board) knows me better than you do. I split the threads into Progress and Criticism as a means to keep one side of the issue from preventing the other from speaking. People who are closer to this situation than yourself have supported this idea for the same reason. I have been basing my take on this whole deal on information I have been receiving from various independent sources closer to the deal than yourself. If you want to attack people, please make sure you get your facts straight before you speak.

  40. Molly
    Molly says:

    Karl got to that one before I could…that was definitely a bad line of comments on fb that were taking us nowhere, and I was guilty of feeding the fire. People were getting way out of line and you were, self-admittedly and proudly, leading the way.

  41. Max
    Max says:

    Farlane.. get a grip! this property or anyother “privately” held property is not the townships, Leelanau County’s or anyone elses to bargain with or prod soemone into doing something other than what they want to do. Leelanau has no standing in providing jobs via forcing somebody, someone or something to do something with Sugar Loaf. I for one am glad the county has not dumped money into this rickety rat trap! Lack of willing buyers for a motivated seller on a crazy-quilted “privately” owned headache as Sugar Loaf, is actually the problem.

    Without the golf course attached as part of any potential deal, it’s just a tall hill in the middle of no where, with dated aggedout condo’s anda firetrap of a former hotel. what nit wit would pay 10 million for that? Not many.

  42. farlane
    farlane says:

    No nitwit should have to pay $10 million, or even 5.

    To suggest that there isn’t a public interest in securing a qualified, credible owner for Sugar Loaf ignores the whole concept of economic development.

    Brownfields money. Tax incentives. Federal jobs money. These are concepts that need to be applied to Sugar Loaf by our elected officials.

  43. max
    max says:

    The elected officials can not be soliciting that they have money to give for one certain projects but yet not fund everyone else. The solicitation has to come form the private side of the equation. If you think the leelanau county EDC is going to do anything you are sorely mistaken. all they do is have lunch once a month and prop up each otehrs egos! They are a do-nothing group of tail chasers. When their leadership sends everyone to Traverse City for EDC help and programs..well that’s a telling story.

    It is not the job of local townships or the county government to generate economies for the local community. It is the job of an EDC, (which is a quasi-private enterpise) to generate economic development. Private enterprise is the engine that drives the market and job creation. Sugar Loaf was a poorly run business for years> yet so many locals feel they are due a job there under any ownership or circumstance. they came running when Liko wanted to loot the place right in front of Kate!

    Sugar Loaf is an empty place with missing pieces that makes it difficult to do anything.. Everyone has got to move on!! All these people sit pining for the Loaf to open so they can have a job. Get off your duffs and go get one yourself. Stop waiting for some deep pockets savoir to owe you a job! Get out from under your rocks and get on with your lives! sheeesh!

  44. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    I agree Max – While everything you say is true, and it may be to late for me to do anything about it, what can I, if anything, do about turning things around? If I can eliminate the current situation and create a positive future, I would in a heart beat. Perhaps the Loaf should become a co-op (profit sharing entity) with every rsident of Leelanau Conty owning a piece of it and everyone prosperuing from it, Not just one individual. I am sure there are investors out there that would rather invest in a community rather than one greedy idividual. Why can’t everyone make some money? I am open to ideas –

  45. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    Sorry for grammer errors – at 3:00 a.m. it is difficult – hope you understand what I am saying.

  46. Andrew McFarlane
    Andrew McFarlane says:

    While the EDC has a role to play in job creation, it is most definitely the role of local townships and county government to generate economies for the local community. They do this through creating an environment conducive to business and an EDC is one tool.

    Paying attention to massive problems like Sugar Loaf and taking an active hand in engaging their ownership is another part of that. Watch how communities that get the tie between job creation and a healthy community do it.

    When Sugar Loaf sits silent, tourists choose to go elsewhere. Those are jobs we will not get.

    On a personal note, Max, your tone is insulting and degrading.I have no idea who the heck you are, but to wander in here with no clue as to the history of efforts to try and wrest Sugar Loaf from a decade-long quagmire and suggest that we’ve all been sitting under rocks waiting for the likes of Liko Smith to save us is way off base.

  47. JTHoagland
    JTHoagland says:

    I have been following this issue, and this blog on this issue.

    I need to respond to “max” on some mis-perceptions with regard to the Leelanau EDC.

    1) we do not meet every month

    2) we do not meet over lunch

    3) we DO rely on staff at the Traverse Bay EDC for support functions. The Leelanau EDC has no staff of it’s own, we are a group of volunteers, receiving only travel reimbursement for bi-monthly meetings.

    4) we DO seek to bring good paying jobs to the county, and to support county businesses.

    5) we DO seek to bring State and Federal funds to help county business. For the taxpayers of Leelanau County, who have already written checks to Lansing or Washington, we seek to bring some of those funds back to our county for economic activity.

    6) as a board, we have had no direct communication that I am aware of from Mr. Smith.

    As for ego and tail chasing – I will refrain from commenting

    chair Leelanau EDC

  48. max
    max says:

    Farlane, I have been around quite a while and watched Kate Wickstrom be dragged through the quagmire of the Loaf.(kate you gave it a shot and you are to b e commended for it, but with the obstacles and Poselli night mare you had put in front of you I applaud you for hangin in this long.) Sure she got herself into it, but when the county and its (impotent) non-existent EDC, can not even recognize the opportunity she tried to bring with her “skin in the game” there is a little animositc attitude. Lining up behind the likes of this Liko and the moronic things that have transpired in such a short period with him rambling in here, well I stand by my earlier statement. “..stop living under rocks..” Even the group in TC chuckles at the thought of the EDC in Leelanau doing anything for anyone, let alone the Loaf.

  49. JTHoagland
    JTHoagland says:

    Reply to “max”

    I can be reached at if you would be interested in discussing this matter.
    I am being public in publishing my email

    I am responding on behalf of the Leelanau EDC
    “(impotent) non-existent EDC” (which supposedly meets monthly over lunch to massage egos)

    You state very well that there are issues surrounding the SugarLoaf properties, and, unless and until private parties come forth with requests, we will not take a position, other than to offer support for job creation.

    Sugarloaf and the surrounding properties could indeed bring back some economic vitality to Leelanau County. But with ongoing issues as to ownership and rights, we choose not to spend time and effort on this.

    As a private citizen and taxpayer, I have participated in visioning sessions, have followed this matter with interest and can assure you that there is an interested and ready partner if and when there is a sound project to address.

    I personally welcome constructive comments and feedback, and you are welcome to attend meetings and present your views in public comment.


  50. obvious
    obvious says:

    When something doesn’t smell right or feel right, maybe it isn’t right. It is obvious that there are two sides to every deal (that is more apparent) and sometimes you have to go through a process to discover that. Karl and Kate should be commended for entertaining another entrepeneur and seeing if something could work. The good thing is that hope for Sugarloaf is still alive and that hope will never disappoint. I would rather have that hope even if it means waiting for the right thing to happen, which may not mean another decade. Let’s believe that good things do happen. The real test for the community is whether we still hope even if it encounters setbacks like Sugarloaf has had several times with potential buyers. Nothing is accomplished by tearing about fellow community members nor the present owners. Believe for the right thing to happen on the mountain and don’t criticize each other for at least trying to explore another potential buyer. Kate wasn’t the one way out in front of the deal promising more than could be delivered – including paying a restaraunt tab. The strength of a community and its leaders is to hope again despite another setback – and be a bit wiser in the process including the value of those working on this in the community.

  51. Del Nolan
    Del Nolan says:

    Max, you hit the topics right on the head. Lots of whishful thinkers but not a lot of do-ers from the lofty perches they occupy. Kate, good luck it’s yours to do with as you see fit. Sure has been an interesting circus. Does the county own a clown car?

  52. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    I don’t know where to start – Sean made his announcement in the Leelanau Enterprise and to no surprise, Eric Carlson made no effort to contact me. I have yet been granted an interview in the paper. When I complained, I received a call from Amy who asked me one question. When I asked if that was it, she said “yes, now you can not say you have never had a chance to report your side” and hung up on me.

    As far as Sean’s announcement, it too is no surprise as this in part is also some of the threats he has made to me over the past couple months when either myself or my attorney questioned his actions or promises (that are all documented in e-mails). He did fail to mention the threat though of his associates, Hanna and Remo, filing suit and going after my fathers assets also, believing that I have transferred my assets to him. For God sakes, my Dad is 80 years old and failing health! The fact that I transferred any assets is bull – I don’t have any left. Go after my Dad? I can not believe that anyone would stoop that low to harm an elderly man who has done nothing but good in his life and has worked hard for every little thing he has. Shame on them!
    Sean states that if I had only cooperated and signed over the deed, all would be fine. Well what about the other documents sitting at the title company that he swore everyone would sign? Promises made that I doubt other parties involved knew anything about. I think this was all part of the plan – to get me to sign the deed and Sean knowing for a fact, that no one else would.
    I am sorry – I have no resources to fight Sean and his associates and he will most likely, eventually win. While I understand the need for jobs in our community, I am sorry they will be provided under these circumstances. Had I had my way, things would have been different, but believe I have been set up from the beginning. As I stated, I had no documentation (and still don’t) that Hanna was a co-signer. Did the bank assign the mortgage back to her – I have nothing to back that. When we found out a year ago that there was a co-signer, and asked who? – the bank told us they did not have to divulge that. Why not? We (my attorney and I) found out when you did. Is there something being hidden in all this? I suspect there is and perhaps some know more than they are telling. The truth will come out though, I have nothing to hide.
    Sean wanted a deal – I wanted a deal. I only asked that it be legal, above board and that all t’s were crossed. When it became obvious that wasn’t going to happen, then we get this weeks announcement.
    I am sorry that it has come to this – I could not sign a deal though with a clear conscious and knowing that people were not protected. It is a shame that the drama of SL continues. It is a shame that Leelanau County is only now learning about the past 5 years – shame on me for not speaking up before this. I wish only the best outcome for ALL.

  53. Susan
    Susan says:

    They actually have jounalists at the Enterprise? Kate, you got short shriffted as many have over the years. Most people wonder what meeting Amy and /or the Suprise was at when the suPrise reports on local township or village meetings. Obviously you are being strong armed by the former SL group and Liko. This is completely wrong and legallity should be questioned.

  54. Molly
    Molly says:

    Kate, I would encourage that only your lawyer speaks to Liko from this point on if that’s possible. He needs to communicate everything to you and your lawyer in writing…enough with the threats and (seems to me) blackmail.

  55. Max
    Max says:


    Molly and Susan make very good points. It is sad that your good intentions for the Loaf got sidetracked and twisted as they have. Personally, things happen and that’s understandable, we all have gone or go through such things. your personal financial situation and their encumbrance on your livelihood and life is a peresonal matter and none of our business. Publicly though, your efforts have been nobel. However, to be cornered by the likes of the Liko and his shadowy backroom figures is going over the top.

    How the community and even others 25 miles aweay got sucked in is astounding. Now serious things, as you note, come to light and should not be stood for. The actions that you describe by the “prise” are par for the course with such a puilpy paper that really is just a printed blog. The actions by Liko (concerning the inference of the deed and the others involved with that), may be coersive in nature and even extortive. Certainly hope your stand your ground and not be trampled by the “Poselliness” of the situation.

  56. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    I read the post. Excuse me if I don’t start this post with telling everyone what events and meals I’ve had so far this weekend. I recall previous posts from Liko that said he would make this project successful because he was going to bring together all of the properties. New life at Sugar Loaf was only possible because he would bring sewer, airport, ski and golf together under one umbrella. Apparently he has changed his mind. He can make a go of it with just the ski part??

  57. I'm not Liko but...
    I'm not Liko but... says:

    Here’s what he wrote:

    JUNE 4 2010

    To All,

    The standoff continues.

    I want everyone to know that I do not intend on giving up on the purchase; the property at Sugar Loaf is the most important property purchase for the area. The place is also in need of jobs, once we acquire, there will be a job FAIR to help boost the job prospects in the area.

    Also, the towns surrounding Sugar Loaf are in need of a “winter” customer – this one change to the economic landscape will help more than any one thing that has happened in this part of Michigan in a decade. I’m honored to be able to bring it about if we can make it happen; we’re very close…if we open Sugar Loaf..The number of months where customers can visit TC and LC go from 4 months to 8, in one full swoop.

    I’ve been around the community, it’s been very positive meeting with people in the county.

    I hope that everyone enjoyed the beautiful Memorial Day weekend. .., it was probably the best time I’ve ever had on Memorial Day weekend in my life; here’s a quick breakdown…I don’t normally do this but hey..It was the best weekend of my life remember.

    Thursday- Sarah sang with Shane at the Hayloft near Cedar, wow…there are bunch of undiscovered Johnny Cash’s and Willie Nelsons in LC that need to get out more often..great stuff (see photo).

    Friday- Sarah and I attended the opening game of the Beach Bums on Friday..saw great fireworks (see photo).

    Saturday-, Sarah and I spent the day at the Fish Town in Leeland (see photo) and then went to Glen Arbor for fish and chips at Boones and then dessert at BLU where we watched the sun set..afterwards,..we went flying…all over the harbor and above Sugar Loaf Mountain with Dane Hyde, the person that keeps the runway in pristine condition …!! What a Saturday.

    Sunday – We had barbecue Sausages with Guisseppe at Cedar, a real nice Italian friend and his family is lovely..I had about 20 Polish Sausages….yes..I’m gaining weight…

    and then we drove to Toms house, a beautiful home we may buy once the deal closes…I’ve made him an offer, and he’s accepted pending the purchase of Sugar Loaf,..Sarah flew above it but he couldn’t hear her screaming from the plane..We stayed their overnight in the master suite overlooking the lake,..At 3am..The moon looked like the sun gleaming a reflection of the lake… ..It was like staying in a beautiful hotel suite, except you have your own pier and midnight access to Tom’s stash of wine bottles and beer in the cellar..(oops..sorry Tom).

    Monday- Listened to Blues at The Cove in Leeland, and then booked a suite at the Falling Waters Lodge nearby so we didn’t have to drive anywhere…great music, invited over some friends and drank a case of wine…the Fish Village is going to be my favorite hangout, I get the feeling already.

    The People..That’s what I love the most about LC, is the people that live here. They’ve made Sarah and I feel very welcome and I’m sure that even if I were not buying Sugar Loaf; we would love Leelanau County and the people that live here..I’ve said people three times but that’s what it comes down to in just about everything that we do; surround yourself with good people and life gets easier..I’ve been surrounded by sharks and hideous people in the past; and it takes a while to shirk them off..Positive people are like sunlight coming into a room; you can’t get enough of it..

    oops..Back to business.

    The Australian firm interested in the lease of the ski resort arrived on Tuesday of this week and especially since we plan to make things happen sooner than later, we had to get this preliminary meeting as a final meeting at the same time. The reason; the one condition of any agreement is: Sugar Loaf re-opens this year and that’s why it was such an important visit.

    The team toured TC, LC and the every town in between, they also were given a fly over by Dane Hydes son and then a “lift by lift “visit with Karl Kitchen so by the time they left..They had a full understanding of the intricacies of the mountain. The team Adam and Matt have built and developed housing in and around Hotham resort in Australia so they’ve seen it all from the ground up; the verdict was unanimously “yes”- we can do it,..Now we need to find out if it can be done. I spoke with Mark Coleman, of the governing authority and he is visiting next week to give us his assessment of what’s required to get certified. If what is certified, is what is able to get done..Then ladies and gentleman dust off your old skis and snowboards..It will be on for this winter.

    An interesting concept they have is a type of house called a Penchion (sp?), it houses 8 rooms, and a communal kitchen and can be built for $80 a squ. Ft. all day long. They hope to fill the unused areas with Penchions jumping our room count tremendously…the one snag, is getting the chair lifts open.

    So far, it seems we can recertify #2 and possibly #3,..I have a cable inspector coming in next week as well as Mark and by the end of next week; I can present to the Australians a PIP (product improvement plan) for the mountain; they’re expected to front all costs on top of the $100,000 per year lease but “we’ determine the layout and services scope..So it’s a win-win..We determine our own fate and as long as they make money, we have a deal. The final stage is next week when the results are sent over and then the deal is inked, and hopefully money changes hands which I believe it will. Brian Snabes sent over a terrain park bid…between what we know now and what we think we know, it is very likely, we have a complete mountain product plan to pursue.

    After a 16 hour day; we had to take the Aussies out that night; we did our own version of an Australian Pub Crawl starting a top the Grand Traverse Resort for Dinner (Excellent lamb) and then four other bars and then ending at a wayward hotel..I don’t know how these guys do it; luckily Sarah can keep up but I was toast at 4am as I get up at 7am regardless (see photo-. Sarah, Matt, Adam and some locals at an undisclosed location at an undisclosed time).


    KATE WICKSTROM: Still not signed; we’ve given up on the straightforward purchase. The bank is taking steps to get the property back by any means necessary so that we can buy the property from them without Kate’s consent..which amazingly she still has to give even though she was going to allow it to fall to the land bank just 2 months ago for $100,000. Sometimes in real estate, ..The golden goose isn’t golden until somebody makes an offer. And this is the problem in this case. Until she releases to the bank; we have to sit our funds on hold..which we can’t do for long because liquid bank accounts pay virtually no interest; we were going to purchase the bank note and foreclose her out but that’s not really my type of business dealings..I’d rather focus on building rather than imposing old agreements or taking property legally,..sometimes however, a deal gets so much bad “ju-ju” on it..that we have to walk away..we haven’t gotten there yet..but we’re a few weeks away from it for sure.

    GOLF COURSE – Suffering badly. I hope to open the hotel and push tee times,.its virtually all league play. My partners and I see the Sugar Loaf Course as an added amenity but we’re no longer keen on acquiring and carrying the asset.

    SERVICE COMPANY- We have the inalienable right to pursue our own sewer system; to the degree that we can get it done within six months, it is the route we’re headed. We’ve gotten the backing of our neighbors and the powers that be at the county and state level and we look forward to pursuing this vigorously once we close the deal. Toured the Sugar Loaf service company, old equipment, capacity issues and permit issues in the future make this a very unstable investment near term but very good possibilities long term; for the time being, short term is the only term that matters until I can have one successful winter at Sugar Loaf.

    Based on our previous update; Ed and Brian did us a favor by being unreasonable.

    STATUS OF THE ENTIRE DEAL- Kate Wickstorm holds the key to the kingdom..We’re going to wait on her for another week or two. However, I’m not going to wait any longer in Cedar, MI as the bank and Kate work out the issues. I spoke with her attorney yesterday, we’re hoping for a resolution.

    Sarah and I feel it’s perfect timing to head to the West Coast for her Birthday on June 8th (I also have a court date in Tahoe but since I don’t want to get divorced on my wife’s Birthday, Bill Cole is sitting in my place) ,,we’re on the way to Vegas. (I’m typing this email from Starbucks on the road). We’re going to be in Las Vegas all next week, checking out and staying at the new City Center project on the strip(otherwise called: I wonder what you can build when all you have to work with is $11 Billion dollars) and visiting with my son who lives in Las Vegas and is on summer break. Las Vegas is heating up; optimism is in the air and there may be an opportunity there that did not exist 2 years ago when I left for Florida in the midst of the worst crash I had ever seen, I lost 3 hotels that year…now…it seems time has come for a rebound and that rebound will last for a long time..The deeper you crash. The higher up you can climb- I am deeply, deeply, excited, and so are a couple of my partners. We will certainly try not to get our asses kicked this time :o)

    It is my sincere and God felt hope that all of this drama comes to an end so that Sugar Loaf can live..but I’ve done more than I have ever dreamed of for a project I have not yet purchased and it has tested my partnerships, my relationships and my mettle as an entrepreneur and I have learned much from this experience…I think some time away will give it the breathing room it needs to stand up.

    This is the most important project to the people of Northern Michigan in a decade and it would be my life’s work to bring it back to life.

    Speak to everyone next Friday: I’ll email from Las Vegas…or God willing..from Cedar, MI.



    PS: There has been some misconstruement of the facts regarding Red Ginger- Here are the facts:

    1. It was a successful event, “Jacob Wheeler is wrong in his assessment” 40 people showed up and we had a great time..The Sushi was sparse (California rolls-small) but the employees were splendid and the people there were happy to hear the plans and get involved..And as promised, every one of them will have a hand in Sugar Loaf if and when it closes escrow.
    2. It was not a money maker for me, just wanted to separate talkers from doers, done this before in Vegas; I had the credit cards charged directly to the restaurant, and they kept the cash and managed all the check ins; I virtually had no idea what was made at the door, the sign in showed 40 people approximately but neither Sarah and I were interested.
    3. After the first hour, I advised the female owner, that the sushi was miniscule and bad, and since we were 60 less than expected, let’s stop serving it anyway and let’s end the event early, for an abbreviated payment of $1,000 vs. $1,500. She agreed; we shook hands..she then immediately ran upstairs,.sent everyone home; .went to a backroom to count the cash and credit cards (without my presence) and then handed me exactly $350 in checks…I said “thanks” and went back to my guests who were having a lovely time.
    4. 2 hours later..she stormed up to me raging about another $500 holding a manual receipt; her logic- I was spending 10 million on resorts and since I had two lunches there that afternoon with the townhome association and Starbucks Corp (true- 2 lunches), that I was planning something big and if I was big time they should be entitled to their extra $500. ..ummmmmmmmmmmmmm…..okay……..I said “No” ..End of story.

    I don’t react will to threats, tirades or attempts at embarrassment for several reasons:

    a) I work for myself and have guaranteed myself lifetime employment and excellent benefits.
    b) A deal is a deal whether it’s $5 or $5 trillion dollars.
    c) People who use these methods are either corrupt or broke or both.

    Looking back; every person I’ve dealt with regarding Sugar Loaf has done the exact same thing..It’s an Omen as to why the area is struggling..Until people start sticking to their deals, they will suffer. I’ve been on both sides of this and have paid the price myself; I’m more enlightened now but no better or worse than those I’ve mentioned; as my life goes on..Every deal I’ve done in the last 2 years has been 100% solid and I promise to God that it will stay that way.

    End of story..Think what you want, but that is the truth. I of course, would not associate in business with the owners of Red Ginger ever again but if they have friends in the community, I’m sure they’re lovely people..Business is business, personal is personal..personally, I’m sure we would get along,..But never in business.

    See you soon –

  58. Max
    Max says:

    LOL, a wreck and bad taste where ever he goes… Way to go Liko, can you possibly alienate anyone else? Clown car anyone?

  59. Nolan
    Nolan says:

    This is so hilarious yet so un-nerving. Kate if this guy has any money, I would say he owes YOU. The leading on, grandiose musings from this guys mouth is now outrageous. Unfortunately there is a village somewhere missing its idiot!

  60. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:


    What happened to the Facebook terms of service when it relates to Liko? You put a direct link to his site where he “attacks and insults” other members of your community. According to Liko the owners of the Red Ginger are “corrupt or broke or both”. And then in the next paragraph he chastises the entire community because everyone else in the area are having trouble “sticking to their deals”. How ironic, a felon convicted of fraud tells the TC/Leelanau community they need to be more honest in their business dealings.
    Molly suggested in an earlier post that my thread was not constructive and I was throwing a good community member under the bus. I took her criticism to heart and have watched quietly over the past week. I still can’t figure out why you continue to support Liko? This is the same question I asked on Facebook. This isn’t an attack or an insult, it is a legitimate question. Why?

  61. lex
    lex says:

    He does talk about this blog & other articles….but the main links are record-eagle & For sure it’s mostly Liko links.

    This is a link, sure you have read it, by Jacob who is active on the Loaf facebook page. I hope he can interview Kate. Which is why I asked Kate, on here, for her side since all we have so far is one side. Jacob’s article opens up the saga of the red ginger event. These things opened my eyes to the fact that Liko admitted faults in the past & speaks of 2nd chances. Well he had his & in my opinion has failed.

    Are you no longer a friend on the Loaf site? I like 2nd chances, if you hadn’t figured that out, guess try & see if you can be a friend. Don’t think Liko is a friend, don’t see his name on there or his wife’s.

  62. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Rip – I posted links to Liko’s page so folks could read his updates and judge for themselves. That in itself is not a violation of Facebooks’s TOS as the information you refer to is linked from another site and not posted directly on Facebook. It appears that you are still insist on reading me incorrectly. If you choose to insist that I am following Liko like a lapdog, then you are most definitely barking up the wrong tree. Your interpretation of me has been way off the mark from the beginning and, judging by the assumptions you make in your post, continue to be so. I have been trying very hard to maintain neutrality on this deal, despite innuendo-based attacks and insults from people such as yourself. My primary allegiance is to the Loaf first and foremost. As I told you before – many people, both on this board and on the FOSL Facebook group (which I created several years before they co-opted the name) – who know me far better than you do know the truth about where I stand on this and their assessment differs greatly from yours.

  63. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    I recently read Sean’s (Liko) update on his “claim to fame” and need to express my thoughts and feelings:
    First of all, Sean’s deal expired last week because he could not deliver what he had promised. On May 7th he sat in my attorney’s office, on my dime, outlining the paperwork for the deal that was supposed to close on May 25th. When that didn’t happen, he requested an extension til June 1st. Come and gone. It is not about JUST signing a deed – there are numerous documents in a deal of this magnitude that are signed at a title company – NOT just a deed, which Sean puts tremendous emphasis on.
    Sean speaks of how this person or that group is going to be out at the Loaf doing one inspection after another on his behalf, but Sean is taking liberties he does not have. Such authorizations are called trespassing. The least he could have done is ask permission from the property owner. You don’t just walk into someones house and ….. It shows no regard or respect. Yes, he spoke to my attorney, but what he printed is not what my attorney had told him. Likewise, my attorney has advised me not to let anyone on the property at this time for any reason. I own the liability – not Sean and it is too risky if someone got hurt.
    Sean also speculates on what he thinks I was willing to do several months ago, let alone several years ago. He speaks of how “he does and doesn’t do business” – well sorry folks, but I believe his past business transactions speak for themselves.
    He spent alot of time in his posting attempting to drop names and announce he had been driving around the county after numerous stops at local bars with the Aussie’s. Geez – I hope his wife was the party pilot – would hate to see those bar owners charged with serving a minor (since Sarah is only 19)or those in the car, contributing to a minor. I know of one bar she was served based on Sean’s word, she was old enough. It is not right to take advantage of business owners based on your “I am” status in the community. The law is the law, and no one is above it.
    I also feel that if Sean intends to stay in this area, that he learns how to spell Leland; that he not take advantage of the good people of Cedar; and where the hell is Fish Village?????
    He has taken no steps in obtaining permission from the DEQ to put in his own sewer plant. Joe Quandt accomplished this for me 3 years ago! Mr. Quandt’s hard work won this priviledge.
    Sean thrives on others accomplishments to claim as his own. i.e. his wife Sarah formed “the friends of Sugar Loaf”? Come on folks – this group was around before I bought the place!
    Sean texted me tonight regarding yet another deal – lets stick to the original Sean. You may think you are dealing with a bunch of country bumpkins – but in actuality, Leelanau County is full of educated and intelligent individuals, who do not take lightly to being treated like fools. Smoozing doesn’t impress us – name dropping doesn’t enlighten us – threats don’t scare us. In the end, we stand together for what is right, ethical, moral and legal. We are not Vegas.
    If you want to live in this community and be a part of its success, you have to do it the right way or else you will fail. You have to give through actions not words, and those actions must come from the heart. Around here, you can not “fake it till you make it”. You will get a lot more support from the people if you are straight up honest with them. Don’t look for the all mighty dollar – greed doesn’t mix well. Success rewards those that accomplish through hard work and honest deeds – not through threats and fake promises. You have alot to learn about the people of Leelanau County. Yes, they want jobs. Yes, they want the economy to thrive. But Sean, they want it done honestly. They don’t want to be looking over their sholders and wondering if they made the right decision 2 years from now.
    The people of Leelanau County have been hurt enough surrounding Sugar Loaf. It is time they have the heart of the county returned to them, but only if it is done the right way. Kate

  64. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:


    Thank you for the update. I have never met any of parties involved in this deal. I am a downstater and a ski bum who skis northern Michigan on a regular basis and would love to ski The LOAF in the future. From the beginning I new that Liko was bad news and said so on the FOSL Facebook site. I realize that times are tough and you entertained an offer in the hopes of getting out from a difficult financial position. For that I would not fault you. You asked for honesty in your dealings with Liko and apparently he doesn’t have an honest bone in his body. I hope it works out for you in the future. I buy my “Sugar Loaf” Lotto ticket twice a week, hopefully this will be the week. If so I will need a partner and would hope you would be available. Good Luck.

  65. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:


    As usual you avoid the issue. Does Liko “attack and insult” the Red Ginger? Apparently the high moral ground of Facebook is a special haven? No attacking or insulting on Facebook but do it on another blog and I’ll direct you there.
    NEUTRALITY IS NOT A VIRTUE! The Swiss in WWII were neutral, nothing to brag about! Stop being neutral! Its great you have a close circle of friends that know your good intentions. The rest of us have been watching this entire thing play out in the media and the world wide web. Let us in your inner circle, make a judgement: Is Liko a honest person? Are you for him purchasing SL? Is he good for the community? Would you let your mother invest with Liko?
    Post after post from neighbors you know condemn Liko are they wrong? Karl??

  66. lex
    lex says:

    Thanks Kate, now it would be nice if this stuff could be printed in the enterprise & Glen Arbor Sun.

    Rip, give it up, nobody cares but you.

  67. Mark
    Mark says:

    I’ve been on the outside looking in over the past few weeks but it’s probably time I tossed in a few cents worth.

    Currently residing here in TC, I lived at Lake Tahoe for 22 years and know many of the players Liko has been involved with, plus I’ve kept in touch with Tahoe happenings since moving here a decade ago. Mostly because at one time or another every paper there carried or now carries my syndicated column on casino gambling. (Tahoe Bonanza, Tahoe World, Sierra Sun, Nevada Appeal and the Reno Gazette Journal). I know The Block, what truly happened there, and a whole host of shenanigans associated with Liko.

    Because, like the Enterprise (who now is only cutting and pasting from Liko’s web site and not including a writer byline), I’m in a position where I don’t want to cross the libel line, and, I have no desire to get into a pissing match with Liko (he loves to challenge you on the blogs), I have but one recommendation. By a pass at Crystal. You’re not going to be skiing at Sugar Loaf.

    Oh, an here’s a chuckle everyone seems to have overlooked about Liko. His claim he is an adjunct professor. My understanding is that an adjunct professor is a part-time professor who does not hold a permanent position at that particular academic institution. Not someone who owns a beat down motel giving advice to community college students.

    Liko, a former Adjunct Professor of Hotel and Motel Management (Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 99, 00 and Monterey Peninsula College,Monterey CA 01,02) sees the value in education for all Samoan Children. He wants them to learn as much as possible about their roots, history, and cultural heritage, and plans to take a personal interest in developing the book to meet the high standards of education in Samoa and abroad…

  68. Max
    Max says:


    There is no one in here or in the area that knows more about what is happening with this Liko drama than you. For all our ramblings here, I can not imagine the gut wrenching and perplexing things you have endured since that fish flopped on your door step. All the wannabe “players” that come forth from the bushes when something like this comes about (you must agree nothing like the SL, Liko/Poselli and your current involvement resembles anything normal!) yet no real intuitve or constructive input has come from the local sources you would normaly think would be there to indulge.

    Dealing with a guy that puportedly would go to the Cedar Tavern, sidle up to the bar and tell them how this county sucks, (then if he gets out in one peice) and after doing the same at Red Ginger; his endearment is about up around here to accomplish anything.

    Alas, you stand valiant in your effort to keep this nit wit from stealing away what you have left. You should be commended for your determination to see a positive conlusion. The rest of us spectators, and swillers at the loacal watering holes stand by for the next chapter in where the duck from Vegas will land. Hmm I think I just insulted ducks everywhere.

    Stand tough, good things come from doing so.

  69. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:


    Apparently I’m not the only one who cares, folks keep weighing in with more posts on the topic. So far its everyone opposed to Liko and one person neutral.

  70. Contrary to Liko
    Contrary to Liko says:

    Kris Wakeman posted this on Facebook FOSL

    Contrary to what Liko Smith posted on his website, The Old Course at Sugar Loaf is NOT suffering badly. As a matter of fact we have been improving our revenue and rounds every year for the past 3 years. This year thanks to the early opening, we were up 460 rounds for the month of April. With the strong finish to May and a great Memorial weekend we were up 214 rounds over last years May. So to date we are up 674 rounds already.

    And as anyone who has done business in Leelanau County knows, the influx of tourists does not happen until the later part of June and sometimes not until the July 4th weekend. So of course we have a lot league play, that is our bread and butter, that is what keeps us going until schools are out and graduation parties and such are over. We have a great following of locals that we depend on to carry us through the shoulder months.

    We continue to improve every year. Are we where we want to be at the moment? No. But we are much closer to the goal of becoming self sufficient in our operation.

    As someone who has spent 28 years with this property I have seen a lot of the struggles and triumphs with this resort. I wish nothing but the best for the ski hill, but do not think that we are here on a sinking ship; our doors have never closed on this course in 44 years thanks to all of you.

  71. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    @Max/Rip/whatever name you’re using right now – I have to admire the diligence and perseverance with which you have chosen to commit yourself to the misconception you have toward me. It’s a free country, after all, and you’re free to believe what you wish. I guess because I have more constructive, more productive, and more fulfilling things to do with my time and space on this board than to go your route (and harp and moan incessantly about Liko Smith) is all you need, isn’t it?

    So tell us, Max/Rip/whoever – just what does all this harping and moaning about Liko actually accomplish? Hmmmmm? Do you honestly think you are helping the situation?

    Let me spell it out for you (yet again) –
    There are plenty of people on this board (and people who run this board) and out in the real world (remember that?) who know me far better than you do and know the truth about how I feel about what’s been going on and where I stand on this whole situation.

  72. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    I do not know you nor have I ever met you. I am commenting on the facts as they have been written on your site and in this blog and in the news and straight from Liko’s mouth. There is no misconception. Any one can quickly check the history of this transaction by following your FOSL site and see that you have met and advised Liko on Sugar Loaf and its viability.

    Simple questions: Do you support Liko? Is Liko an honest person? If somehow he purchases SL should people do business with him? After he tricked you into trespassing on Kate’s property by telling you he had permission are you upset?

    You continually refer to your friends that know you, let the rest of us know you! You started this public site for folks interested in Sugar Loaf. You put yourself out there and then when someone questions you, you take em off the site.

    What could be more “productive, constructive or fulfilling” than warning the public of a criminal in their midst. I am one of many, of which most are from your community, who saw him for what he is and predicted this exact outcome.

    Where do you stand on Liko?

  73. Max
    Max says:

    Hey Karl, or who ever you are.. Leave me out of your trist with Rip, I think he’s doing just fine. As for the Likoness of all goings on, it’s just humorus to see everyone falling all over themselves about the cartoonish way he does things. Along with the psychotic verbage that arises from his manifesto’s.

  74. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Am I going through Kate (not Liko) for access to the property? Yes. I have already discussed this and many other Loaf-related things with Kate and she knows where I stand.

    The “Friends of Sugar Loaf” group on Facebook was created by me over three years ago. And Yes, I was put off by him co-opting the name for his fundraiser. As you can see on his site, he changed it.

    You want to question, me, that’s fine, but you chose to phrase your question in the form of an attack on my character based on little more than innuendo. Had you chosen to ask your question in a more civilized and forthright manner without trying to drag me into your little rant against Liko, then you might have been treated differently. Try being less confrontational with people and things will go smoother in your life.

    My take on Liko is very simple and straightforward: more power to him if he pulls it off, but God help him if he screws it up. Yeah, there is plenty in his past business dealings that raise questions and concerns. I would think he knows full well that the torches and pitchforks will come out if he botches this deal and it will likely be folks like me lighting the torches and sharpening the pitchforks.

    I told you already, so read it again: My allegiance, first and foremost, is to the Loaf.

    BTW: You support criminals every time you vote. Are you going on vote strike anytime soon?

  75. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Rip: Many other people in the local area other than myself have advised Liko on what the Loaf needs to be viable again. Some have contributed more than myself. Are we to understand that you will be going after them with the same zeal with which you are trying desperately to smear me? Just curious about how “fair and balanced” you are prepared to be about all this.

  76. Susan
    Susan says:

    Karl, please leave the political rancour and fox (Faux) news slant out of this. There is nothing fair and balanced about the liko guy. Rip is right on the money with his views. Most of us around here have not drank the kool-aide!

  77. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Rip assumed that I dipped a glass in the kool-aid barrel and chose to run with that assumption, so he got what he earned there. His “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” bent isn’t helping anyone or anything. I chose to channel my attitude toward the situation in a healthier direction than a rant on a message board.

  78. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:


    I have just a few moments today on my lunch period so I thought I would respond to your post #82. Karl, I don’t know anyone else in your community that have put themselves on the forefront of advancing Sugar Loaf with Liko in the picture. The only thing I have been desperate about, is finding out your position on Liko. The only reason we have even been able to continue to discuss the issue is because I was able to find this blog where my right to ask a legitimate question is not censored. Why do you consider the question I have posed to be an “attack” or a “smear”?

  79. Mark
    Mark says:

    Just curious, but has anybody seen any money out of Liko, like a down payment, consultation fees, springing for a restaurant tab, anything? Anybody met his money partners? Anybody seen anything resembling a business plan?

    Long windedly he tells us what he has for dinner every night, but shows us little on how can put this deal together financially.

  80. Mark
    Mark says:

    One other thing I would like to comment on was Liko’s description of the Red Ginger owners as “corrupt or broke or both.” My wife is a personal friend of Pam Marsh and I can tell you there is no way in a 1,000 years I’d believe his side of how events unfolded.

  81. Nolan
    Nolan says:

    The whiner wont be back soon. He’s hanging out with his make believe friends in Vegas. Lets hope

  82. obvious
    obvious says:


    Can’t imagine what you have been through. You are to commended for taking the high road and believe that the character of those whom you are dealing with has been exposed. If this is how they operate now, why would we expect anything different in the future? Is this what we really want in our community? It will continue to be a mess and will fall short of what everyone is really hoping for. If you have any option of continuing to hold the high ground, please do so if possible. There has to be something better out there. I believe everyone in the community is hoping there will be. Our community deserves something better and you deserve something better. I don’t think you have held on for this long just to have this be the end result. As Liko said, “Kate holds the keys to the kingdom.” Thank you for being the gate keeper and vision holder for the community. We owe you for holding on to the vision of restoring Sugar Loaf to something we will cherish long into the future. Thank you again Kate for enduring so much on our behalf.

  83. obvious
    obvious says:


    Thank you for your efforts on putting together the friends of sugar loaf facebook – long before Liko ever showed up. You have held tight to the vision as well and have been willing to work with any potential buyer. I think everyone hoped that Liko was more than just a good las vegas promotor. I am sure you had the same reservations about the deal but hoped that something might work finally. Something will eventually happen thanks to you keeping the mountain dear to everyone’s hearts. If it wasn’t for you, it wouldn’t have been so obvious to Liko the support in the community for Sugar Loaf. Unfortunately, he apparently and selfishly tapped into that for his own gain – expecting everyone volunteer their time and life for his benefit because he did not have the resources and apparently does not fully value it. It is amazing that he even received enough funds (if 20 people did pay – he says 40) to pay for a restaurant tab and thus did not value an establishment in the community. It is people like you that should be thanked for even trying to work with Liko at the beginning. While everyone may have had reservations at the beginning but held on to some hope, certainly no one had any idea of this man’s character which has been revealed. I guess we hoped that it wasn’t really that bad. Thank you for providing a venue for people to stay in touch with their fondness for Sugar Loaf. I know you have poured your heart into these efforts without any personal benefit. We are truly hoping for something better, even it means waiting a bit longer.

  84. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    Hey Karl,

    Wanted to respond to your post #81 and the email exchange we had yesterday. I think we are at the point where we understand each other’s position and we disagree about how to deal with a person like Liko.

    After hearing your story and also talking with a former employee of SL about you, I want you to know my assessment about you was correct from the very beginning. It is obvious to me that you are a long time resident, with a long time deserved reputation as hard worker and a passion for Sugar Loaf and the ski industry.

    Your position as head of FOSL and your reputation in the community is one of the reasons I was so upset that you did not condemn Liko. Splitting the threads to Progress and Criticism was not appropriate because Liko was the foundation of any Progress, how can you build on a rotten foundation. I think by not condemning Liko you tacitly support him.

    My goal was to scream FIRE! So people of TC/Leelanau did not get burned. No one should ever do business with him unless they get all the cash upfront. Your position “more power to him if he pulls it off” means that he gets the opportunity to burn the folks of Michigan. If he gets the chance, and when he does he will burn people, don’t bother getting out your pitchfork, he will be long gone. It would be like closing the barn door after the animals have gotten out.

    I think it is constructive to continually warn the public about Liko. Hopefully he is gone for ever. I hope that sometime in this next decade I will be able to ski the Loaf.

    And so that we still have something to debate about, I would love to hear how voting means that I support criminals. If you are able to make the case that someone I have voted for is a criminal, I’ll condemn them and won’t vote for them. I have never knowingly voted for someone who is a criminal.

    I will be in TC for the Cherry Festival maybe we will run into each other.

  85. Max
    Max says:

    Nice job mr/ms. “Obvious” Your backhanded compliment to Kate did not go un-noticed. You really like your Liko buddy so muchn why not be his spokes person. you and Karl can trumpet how much you’ve done, for something you never owned. Then all the folks he come across around here will have well written, spell-checked whiner doing the frothy words.

  86. LeelanauLocalFolk
    LeelanauLocalFolk says:

    Whoa…this keeps getting better and better.

    I have a feeling (that seems to be supported) that this Liko guy will probably walk away from this deal if he can’t get it on his own terms. I applaud the folks who have stood steadfast for what’s right and will likely send Liko packing.

    OK, but after Liko clears out…THEN what? Has the idea of another plan based right here in our area been discussed? Me, I’d feel a lot better about someone going in and taking over the property if they were FROM here. Such folks would have a far better understand of the local situation than Liko did in the few months he “graced us with his presence”. If someone were to step up and put something like that together, I’d like to see what they had in mind. Anything would be a step forward from the circus that we’ve been witnessing for the last couple of months. How ’bout it?

  87. Susan
    Susan says:

    So, where is the little creature from Ipanema, er ah bad water Liko? Has he returned from Vegas with all gusto and no show…again? What daring feats of cowardly words layahead for the star of his own show? Will he snear and point fingers at older persons of the community..again.. to try and move a hill his way with a mountain full of empty headedness?

    Stay tuned for the ongoing saga of: As the Loaf Turns

  88. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    Please be aware that Sean has been in touch with my attorney most of the morning. It has been explained very explicitedly what Sean needs to do to close a deal and that crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s legally is all part of this transaction; and, that simply signing a Quit Claim over to him, was not acceptable without the other documents signed and in place also. It was explained to him that maybe real estate transactions work that way in Vegas, but around here documents remain in escrow at a title company until everyone has signed and funds are received. Nothing is legal or leaves the title company until all is said and done, so what difference who signs first or last? My attorney also reminded Sean that he sat in his office on the weekend of May 7th, and told him that everyone in the deal had accepted the terms and now my attorney finds out that not a single party ever agreed to what Sean had told us.

    Sean will be attempting to make me out to be the bad guy over the next few days through the press and his blog. He will tell you how I have tried tricky antics in the past and double crossed Hanna, Remo, the bank and others. Well folks I beg to differ! Below are just some of the comments Sean has made:

    1. He will not deliver on anything until I sign a Quit Claim and HE OWNS the property.
    2. Sean has stated that, “when Kate loses her property and everything she owns, maybe he’ll be back to pick up the peices”.
    3. He sat with my Dad and I and called me stupid for involving my attorney.
    4. He will inform Hanna to foreclose and she will go after my father too, because she thinks I have transferred assets to him”.

    I have nothing to hide, so we will see what comes out in the wash. I regret that this bull has consumed the blogs. When asked why I never spoke up before over the past 5 years, my answer was simple. I didn’t want the people of the county having to go through anymore mud-slinging. They had already been through that. I drew the line though when attacks were being made on my Dad and he was being taken advantage of!

  89. Mark
    Mark says:

    As someone who has lived in N. Nevada for 22 years prior to here, there are some differences in how real estate is handled, like trust deeds vs. mortgages, swifter foreclosure proceedings, and using an escrow company versus a title to handle property transfer, but, just Quit Claiming the property and we’ll square up the deal later is new to me. Seems your attorney is giving you some sound advice.

  90. Andrew McFarlane
    Andrew McFarlane says:

    Glen Arbor Sun editor Jacob Wheeler writes:

    Sugar Loaf deal dead?

    Kate Wickstrom has broken her silence. And she has spoken with a vengeance.

    Wickstrom has effectively banned Eneliko Sean Smith from Sugar Loaf until he makes a legitimate, written offer to purchase the long-shuttered ski resort. Meanwhile, the mysterious West Coast boxer-turned-businessman is back in Las Vegas and may not return to northern Michigan unless a deal miraculously materalizes.

    Read the rest of this great article at the Glen Arbor Sun for Kate Wickstrom’s update on where things stand with the Loaf!

  91. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    Michigan is a Deed Trust state. If Kate is in default the bank has every right to pursue foreclosure, legally under the laws of the state of Michigan. Since Liko is not the bank he should shut his mouth about foreclosure. It is the tactic of a hoodlum.

    Why don’t they foreclose? I would speculate it has everything to do with TransCapital and Hana’s personal guarantee. Following Michigan law public notice must be made, 30 day process, sheriff sale next, 30 day process, then wait the 1 year redemption period. Probably as soon as the foreclosure process starts it would trigger Hana’s personal guarantee to be paid, $750,000. TransCapital and Hana are one and the same.

    I believe Kate paid 5.7 million in 2005, it can’t be worth much more that 2 million now. Real estate all over Michigan has plummeted. Golf courses that sold for 3.5 million in 2006 sell for $900,000 in 2010. TransCapital needs to suck it up and take their loss just like Kate has. Imagine being in Kate’s shoes, paid 5.7 million and as each year goes by its worth less and less and then to make matters worse the bank sends Liko down to inflict more misery on her.

    Kate could of salvaged the property, kept the money and let it go into foreclosure, she hasn’t done that. But, apparently she doesn’t have the same criminal mind that Liko has.

    Most banks would have entered into a short sale agreement or foreclosed. Looks like TransCapital sent Liko to accomplish an underhanded short sale.

  92. Giuseppe Del Giudice
    Giuseppe Del Giudice says:

    Boy! I can’t believe after all these years many people are reliving the resentment of past failed experiences. After putting all the resenment aside, what is the main question everyone should be asking? “What is the greatest good for the greatest number? and What can we do about it? This mountain has been dormant for many years now, but the resentment of everyone involved still lives.

    If we consider bringing back, the once great mountain, then we must put aside the feelings of resentment and move forward. Regardless who buys the mountain. The people who really suffer from all of this resentment is our kids, friends, family, co-workers, aquaintances, vendors, business owners, tourists, etc.

    The riving of the mountain would bring much joy in many ways, not just financially, but the use and pride of the mountain. Once again is everyone willing to put their resentment aside and search together for the right solution? If not, then the mountain is truly dead.

  93. lex
    lex says:

    Thanks Jacob for the article & Andrew for the link to it. Nice to hear the truth & thanks for not putting down what meals Kate had this last week.

    Giuseppe, I agree & disagree. I was suprised at the initial uproar about Liko, thought having the Loaf open was more important to the community. However, as many have said, he can’t be trusted…in essence Liko buying the Loaf could very well destroy any chance of the it ever reopening. Why? Very possible could be salvaged only for putting up condos/homes. The other would be a failed attempt, since he has no money & the Loaf could be tied up even more or use it to leverage his other so called investments.

    Many good things have come from this latest saga. The picture is a little clearer in that our community needs to be more pro-active(money, volunteering,etc), the Loaf needs it’s own water/sewer & the simple fact that people are at least talking about the Loaf. If the community has the most to gain, we should get involved & let the Loaf be a jewel for us again.

  94. Max
    Max says:

    Oh Giuseppe it’s just a hill! As Rip has written and Kate has informed, with much reserve (I am sure Kate would love to cut loose more , hell I would, but I understand); this is just the ripple in the water being left by a very weird and malevolent individual. Liko is doing the bidding of others in some warped Poselli-ism way. The methods have been laughable, yet the ones with bended ear and frothy hopefulness is also head turning. It’s jsut a hill, Chauncy, time to cut the guy (you-know what loose and fina another mountain to climb!

  95. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    It is unfortunate that we have to use the blogs and media to make ourselves known and to express our intents to the public. While they have certainly helped me express my side and have reported accurately, I can not help but feel sorry for the situation at hand. My intent has never been to stop any progress at Sugar Loaf nor, am I a greedy person as had been reported by some individuals. It has always been my intention, that had I been able to open Sugar Loaf, it would have been the community involved and profiting. It was never an “I” thing.
    Unfortunately, it did not turn out that way so far. If Sean backs out, I wish him much success in his future endeavors. Personally, in the meantime, my family, my attorney and I will continue to work towards other potential buyers who share the same visions for Sugar Loaf. I hope that the Poselli’s, the bank or whoever the powers to be are, that they see that it is time. Fighting, arguing, division and greed will never solve anything. If we cut our losses and move forward, in the end, it is the best for everyone. At least we are moving and not stuck in a constant battle. The same for all other parties involved -lets just move forward in a positive manner – who knows, it may result in some profit. Maybe not immediately, but somewhere down the road. Resolution is always better. If anything, at least it is better than the way it has been for the past 5 years.
    I will continue to keep you posted on what transpires – I can only pray that the next couple weeks prove to be positive and that the past few months, have proven to be a blessing in disguise.

  96. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    Wow Giuseppe, people like you scare the hell out of me. Please don’t quote Marx! “Greatest Good for the Greatest Number”.

    A great individual with a vision, in a country that covets private property created Sugar Loaf and the great times and jobs that people grew so fond of. Another individual like Kate, who through her productive work had the wherewithal to try and revive the Loaf is what we need. Even if the Loaf goes the way of a co-op it will need a leader with a clear vision.

  97. Max
    Max says:

    Time for a smooth Scotch Kate! Sit back, sip a little and let the nonsense of the little boy from Ipanema and all the knuckleheads that surrounded him drift away. Sometimes there is no amount attached to any offer from certain people that will make you get in bed with them. You’d be washing your hands till the earth freezes over just to feel clean. Stamping his feet like a little 3rd grader and hurling insults at you and others around the community shows one thing. That where ever in Nevada he’s holed up is a good place for him to stay.

  98. Giuseppe Del Giudice
    Giuseppe Del Giudice says:

    I can’t believe that just expressing an opinon that it would be attacked too! This just proves my point about the behavior on this subject or any subject. Since, the world is entirely built on opinions and the persons own point a view, no one is right or wrong based on this fact. Everyone who communicates either in writing or the spoken word is expressing their opinion. I’m remain neutral and would like to see progress eventually.

    Rip, by the way, I learned this quote from another source and it did not come from Marx. I don’t know why I scare you, you don’t even know me! Again, expressing an opinion not based on fact.

  99. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:


    It is not an attack, it is a refutation of your point. This country is based on individual rights and property rights not what is the “greatest good for the greatest number”. This is a blog, where people discuss and argue issues. Argument is not a bad thing.

    The reason I used the phrase “scare the hell out of me” is anytime someone suggest we should look to the masses against respecting individual or property rights, It scares me.
    Sugar Loaf needs an owner with the capital and a vision. What the masses need is not an issue.

  100. Susan
    Susan says:

    Max and Rip, I’m sure Kate has had a few good sips along the way of this nutty Liko experience. It’s amazing how the loudspeakers for an alien from Vega, er ah Nevada have left the landing pad as quickly as they came. Next thing that will happen is Giuseppe will start chanting!

  101. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    Seems to me that things started to go downhill (pardon the pun) with Sugarloaf when the Polsellis got their hands on it. I am a faithful reader of this blog but can’t remember why they got involved and, more importantly, why they won’t let go of it. Surely they can’t expect to recoup whatever investment they made in it considering the disrepair it is currently in – which must have started or accelerated when they were the owners. I had great hopes when Kate bought it but it seems that Mr. and Mrs. P. have erected insurmountable roadblocks to anyone’s success at the Loaf. Do they have a grudge against the residents of Leelanau County or those of us who have family roots there and love to visit? Does anyone know why this property seems so difficult to acquire and renovate?

  102. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:


    Good question. I have tried to learn a little history about Sugar Loaf and found out it has gone under 3 times. I read this in an old Record Eagle article. Schuss has struggled for years but is finally doing better. Boyne almost went under, but it was because a new generation of Kirchners were trying to expand all over the country. The Northern Michigan Boynes have always been profitable. Nubs is always profitable and is probably the best run. I don’t know much about Crystal but it seems to be doing very well.

    I looks like bad management has been a huge problem at Sugar Loaf. I’ve heard stories of poor maintenance habits and disgruntled employees. I would think that good snow, groomed properly, clean and friendly would be a winner for Sugar Loaf. The terrain is excellent.

    Skiers stay at Boyne and trek to Nubs for varied terrain. If SL was a day hill they could be an easy trek from Schuss and Crystal so skier’s could have some variety. A day hill is easier to manage. A day hill can more easily manged as co-op.

  103. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    The big problem with both Sills and Polselli during each of their tenures as owners is that they put very little into the property. The maintenance crews were given a shoestring budget to work with, so the best they could do was to nurse along the outdated technology in place on the hill. Very little, if anything at all, was put into updates and improvements unless it was made absolutely necessary by state inspectors (even then, the absolute minimum was done because that’s all they had the budget for). In terms of both lifts and snowmaking, serious technological updates are necessary for the resort to be operate efficiently.

    The resort still has a couple of LMC/DMC 3700-series groomers. While these machines have proven to be workhorses, they are horrifically expensive to maintain these days. The major reason for this is that Logan Manufacturing Company (LMC) went bankrupt and ceased operations over ten years ago and spare parts for LMC and DMC groomers are getting harder and harder to find.

    I’m sure Liko had a lot more support than some folks (especially several folks on this board) has hoped he would. Once his past and his business practices became more widely known, he saw his support walk away from him. If he were to come back now, he would likely not be happy with how few people would be willing to work with him now. Acquiring the property would be senseless for him now as he would have too many problems getting contractors or vendors to work on his terms.

  104. lex
    lex says:

    Disagree, we need night skiing as well. You can have limited operation with hours & number of nights. Stay open till 9, nights wed,thur,fri & saturday. Schuss & Crystal aren’t that close. If you have no night riding then kiss the midweek pass goodbye & many TC people during the midweek. I agree with the reasons you stated as why the Loaf had problems. Now days, you can make snow up to 38degree…that’s how S.Cali ski areas stay open.

    Nubs has done a great job, they put their money into the hill & most people in Michigan have it as their favorite hill. What they have done for success should for sure be noted as it pertains to the Loaf.

  105. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    The Loaf has always been the closest resort to TC (other than Holiday and Hickory). Night skiing was a mainstay for the Loaf during the week. We even had league racing every Monday night. On the average Saturday, about three-quarters of the folks who skied the hill on day tickets lived within 30 minutes of the hill. It was already a local hill for a lot of folks and as that is its best chance of success.

    The hotel portion still would prove important. There is a shortage of regular nightly-stay rooms in the county as it is. Folks looking for lodging less expensive that The Homestead or with more amenities than a B&B would generally have to go to Traverse City for rooms. If the rooms are priced in an affordable manner, having another option in the county would prove useful.

  106. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:


    When I said day lodge I meant no overnight lodging. Night skiing is a must for a local area. Boyne Highlands has five groomers and Nubs has four. I heard that Nubs buys a new groomer every other year and phases out the oldest one. The Boynes and Nubs regularly update their snowmaking and both have recenlty added new lifts. To steal the Bill Clinton phrase from his first campaign you would want to say it” ITS THE SNOW CONDITIONS STUPID!”

    You can’t make good snow at 38 degrees, but the North is rarely short of cold enough weather to make great snow. Build basic quality lifts, basic quality snow making and run it right and they will come. The locals will come and so will downstaters. Don’t put capital into rooms until and unless there is a demand.

  107. Mark
    Mark says:

    To compete, skiing today is a transportation and compressed air business, aka high speed quads and snowmaking. Doing it right, that has to be at least 10 mil for the Loaf.

  108. lex
    lex says:

    38 degrees is the highest temp you can make snow at, been around for awhile. It’s a different process since you need to add an additive to accomplish this. Water & Air only, then yes you are correct, 38 is too high of course.

  109. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:


    I hope Nubs management isn’t reading this blog, maybe they will just throw in the towel. Mt. Bohemia might want to call it a day too.

    When I go North I like to ski all of the areas for change of terrain. I don’t need a high speed lift. In fact, high speed lifts often have the longest lift lines. When heading north with the wife we only ski Nubs, she won’t ski anywhere else. On the weekend Nubs grooms day and night and every lift is always running, no lift lines.

    I think the Nubs model would be the best to follow. It would require the lowest capital outlay to get started which means a lower number of skier visits is required to support the investment. Do a few things and do them well.

  110. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    The biggest initial capital outlay in the lodge building interior would be for maintenance spaces, office space, common areas, and foodservice. Before any of that can happen, a new well and septic system would need to be put in place. There is more than enough to do throughout the county throughout the year that a centrally-located source of clean, comfortable, sensibly-priced lodging could pretty much sell itself.

    As far as the ski hill is concerned, a basic approach would work just fine. The hill layout would not need to be changed much at all. Rehabbing the current lift system would be the way to go for now – we can reevaluate the lift system as skier traffic warrants. The warming hut at the top is falling apart at this point, so that can come down to be replaced with a new building in a slightly different location (on the other side of the Devil’s Elbow entry where the old radio tower was). Clearing out a more open area at the unloading area for lifts 4 and 5 would go a long way toward relieving the congestion at the top area.

  111. Susan
    Susan says:

    Karl, give it a rest. You probably roo for the Lions too! Sugar Loaf (or what used to be Sugar Loaf) is a private entity. It is just a broken down place in the middle of no where (used to be somwewhere, but was no where before it became somewhere, once again no where).

    I am sure the same kidns of money eneded could be spent by an enterprising person or poutfit to purchase a hill somewhere and develop a whole new ski and rec area for paying customers!

    Did the EDC or Chamber ever work with Kate in investigating Rural Re-development Initiative Grants and Loans from the Department of Energy, State of Michigan Rural Empowerment Zone funding, or a Community In-need Enreterprise Zone? No didn’t think so. Cairns, Sills and then Poselli (sounds like a a law firm of Dewy, Cheat’em and How) used the local passion and work force to their advantage to do a mediocre job at best. So many factors were working against this place long before the clown from Nevada was set upon our area by his handlers.

    Time to move on. Hopefully Kate can survive the goings-on and come to a good conclusion; no matter what if given the opportunity.

  112. lex
    lex says:

    Your typing skills are awesome. Would it be cheaper to start fresh on a completely different hill? Yes, but there are no hills that compare to the Loaf for a full fledge ski area with good terrain.

    Why are you so mad all the time? You must be married to Max or something.

  113. Susan
    Susan says:

    Oh Lex, you really need to move on….. Sugar Loaf will become what it will become. The ‘owner” will determine it. Not you or the many of us on here.

  114. farlane
    farlane says:

    Speaking as someone who’s been watching this sad saga unravel, I have to say that the owners have decided for years that nothing will happen at Sugar Loaf.

    While I am a huge fan of private enterprise, I have to believe there is a role for our elected officials to make it an attractive investment and for all of us in applying pressure and thinking about how this vital cog in our economy can once again work for all of us.

    In my opinion, the concept of “private enterprise” doesn’t mean there’s no role for the public.

  115. Nolan
    Nolan says:

    LIko called Poselli (his handler) an obstructionist along with Kate and others for not selling to others over the last 10 years. She’s only owned it for 5 years… you putz!

    This guy put the intereview in his website and he doesn’t even know when he looks like a horses rear drippings!

    Liko, do you really know what a buy-sell agreement looks like? And you care so much for the people of Leelanau county.. LOL LMAO ROTFLMAO…What a clown.

  116. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    Farlane – you couldn’t be farther from the truth with your statement that “the owners of Sugar Loaf have decided that nothing willl happen with the Loaf”. Whether you know it or not, I have tried. Go back and read – what would you like to know? Sean talks about 5 previous buyers all coming to the table and that I wouldn’t sell. That is bull – does anyone know if these buyers were all legitimate and had the financial backing? Does anyone know how many put a purchase offer on the table? Does anyone know that it was me that killed the deal? These so called potential buyers were looking to buy adjoining property too – not just mine. Ask my attorney just how many deals he saw come across his desk and he’ll tell you the truth about them.

  117. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:


    Liko is so full of crap it is unbelievable! I previously spent a number of years working as a financial analyst for the 3rd largest mall owner in America, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills. After becoming a Billionaire he formed a investment company and he purchased and sold strip malls, apartments, office buildings and did condo conversions all right here in Michigan. Never once did buyers come to the closing without verified financials and money. Never once was the deed to property signed over with the paperwork to be completed later.

    All offers were put in writing and came with earnest deposits. Meaning, a qualified seller showed through a substantial deposit that they were serious. If the seller accepted the offer and the buyer didn’t follow through the buyer could lose his deposit. This all done through a title company that held the deed and money in escrow.

    After reading Liko’s con-blog and listening to his radio interview I want the folks following this to understand that he is lying! He is clearly trying to trick you out your deed and when that doesn’t work he switches to bullying tactics. Honest people put things in writing and do things upfront.

    Thank god you have a competent attorney! I just want people to understand that Liko is delusional!

  118. farlane
    farlane says:

    I’m sorry if this offended you, Kate.

    I have, however, watched the Loaf through the Polselli’s tenure and seen profound disinterest and inaction.

    While you may have been trying behind the scenes, in my opinion you failed to make a serious and credible effort to re-open the Loaf.

  119. Susan
    Susan says:

    Farlane, you have have also failed….to make a serious and credible effort for a web site that actually seems like a credible web developer has designed it! How’s that for critiquing ones works from afare?

    The heart of the issue is Liko has dragged everyone within ear shot in the area into his soap opera of a life. His radio interview was not hilarious but delirious! Realtors, lawyers and property owners are chuckling at the adolecent mind at work there. Time to change the channel!

  120. lex
    lex says:

    Susan, the whole community has failed to be blunt. If Liko never came into the picture, there wouldn’t be one article, post or even talk about the Loaf & for sure nothing from the elected officials. Farlane has been my only source for years regarding the Loaf & really about the only place to post a thought about the Loaf, until the Karl’s facebook site. He has reported the news, commented & does a lot with this site, we do have other things going on here, or Nowhere as you so nicely put it. Time to change the channel, agree, Liko is hopefully gone for good. Heard he didn’t pay his hotel bill either….what did he pay for?

  121. Mark
    Mark says:

    One more thing. I don’t want to be anti-Kate here, but for five years we heard nothing from her. Not a peep. Now she’s getting all this support. Just saying!

  122. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Sure, everyone seems to be burned out here after the Liko show, but if another prospective buyer steps up, they deserve a fair shot if they check out (higher credibility/better reputation/better track record).

  123. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    Farlane and Mark –

    I have re-read your posting and given it additional thought, looking at it from another’s point of view.

    Farlane – Yes, it would appear I have done nothing.

    I started writing this comment 45 minutes ago, outlining a brief synopsis of the past 5 years of what has been done. It was becoming too long and complicated, so I deleted it. I would be happy to sit down sometime though, and go over all the details of the past 5 years with you – I am sure it would be of interest to you.

    Mark states he has not heard a “peep” out of me. In part, I had chosen not to get into the mud-slinging over the sewer issues because I didn’t feel residents needed to witness that crap again. They had read enough with the Poselli’s story. When I was called by Eric Carlson, my comments were not reported accurately, if at all. We stopped commenting and Eric stopped calling. He would report front page news over the sewer company lawsuit, and then barely print a 2nd section paragraph when they lost the suit (twice). It was obvious his reporting was biased and therefore, only little peeps out of me here and there. The Record Eagle ran a few stories and I did comment on some of the blogs from time to time. I know, not enough and I apologize. Perhaps had I made more noise, residents would have come forward. Perhaps the county officials would have intervened, although some already knew.

    My speaking up now may be a day late and a dollar short, but at this point I believe that people should hear the truth.

    Sean was not the only individual with interest in the purchase of the reseort. There are others and we are actively pursuing them. We can only hope that the bank and Poselli’s are willing to work with us on these interests and let everyone move on.

  124. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    Went to the new SL resort blog – commented last night – it was never posted. Today, all has has been deleted and new blog written. Whats that all about?

  125. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    I don’t get some of the criticism of Kate?? Why would someone buy a property for 5.7 million and then do nothing?? or not enough?? It looks to me that financially, Kate has taken the biggest hit. It’s obvious that she has been sued and won twice. As far as I can see she has faced a lot of difficulties trying to restart the mountain and meanwhile Michigan went from a recession to a depression.

    Maybe if she were an extreme entrepreneur things would have been different????

  126. Max
    Max says:

    Hopefully Kate may be rid of the Island hopper. An interesting show that blew into town and then went as quickly as it came. Dirties up the place a little. But the clean up is just to move on and chuckle at the absurdity of it all.

    What did we learn? That local avenues for business while existing on paper really don’t exist. Things even as large as Sugar Loaf are on their own to muddle through the maze of doing something community based yet it’s private enterprise that will really get it done. (ie: find the money and tools yourself,the county has none.

    And that property, while owned by an individual or corporation or some concoction of the like, is only really purveyed to another entity..WITH A REAL PURCHASE OFFER!!!!! AND REAL MONEY!!!!

  127. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    I think the problem Kate ran into were from the surrounding property owners she had to deal with to actually use the property. Among others, she had to deal with the folks who ran the service company who provided the hotel with fresh water and waste treatment. All I know of the deal was that it became an artificially convoluted mess in a big hurry and each time a solution presented itself, another problem would be created to take its place. Over the course of the last five years, Kate hit roadblock after roadblock – because of these roadblocks, Kate never really got a fair chance to get anywhere. People got stung in dealings with previous owners and were likely going after Kate to recoup losses the previous ownership cost them. If not for the legal snakepit that got thrown together by people who got screwed by the previous owners, the Loaf would probably be up and running today.

  128. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:

    What is the Sugar Loaf Mountain Resort info site all about?? This blog as well as Karl’s facebook site provides anyone all the opportunity needed to comment. What’s the need for another site? Who is this Tom guy?

    Karl, are you ever going to let me back on the FOSL?

  129. Mark
    Mark says:

    Possibly Kate was just way over her head for the get go. My 22 years experience in the gaming/skiing/hospitality business in Lake Tahoe thinks so.

  130. Rip Johnson
    Rip Johnson says:


    That could be the case. A lot of times wealthy people buy businesses that feeds their passion for their extra curricular activities. Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans bought the Cleveland Cavs but he is a billionaire and can fix any problems with limitless capital. The Fischers bought Nubs in the late 70’s and they had all the capital necessary to do whatever was needed. Unfortunately for Kate she doesn’t have unlimited resources.

  131. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Rip – your issue with FOSL is solved.

    I have a feeling that the site is a heavily-moderated pro-Liko site. I looked up Tom Brownell and he owns the house on M22 just south of Suttons Bay that Liko expressed an interest in purchasing for himself. I sure hope Tom got paid for his work on that website.

  132. Gayle
    Gayle says:

    I’ve been occasionally following the blog regarding Sugarloaf and have refrained from making a comment until now. Susan’s comment about “a law firm of Dewy, Cheat’em and How” is really funny. I’m pretty sure I hired these guys once myself. Thanks for the smiles Susan.

  133. Susan
    Susan says:

    The Hillarity of Sugar Loasf is only outdone by the bizareness of the alien like force that landed in our sleepy midsts. We have always been a Wink’n, Blink’n and Nod kind of place with D,C & H operating near by. But throw in the boy from Vegas and wow, head snap laughing all around!

  134. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    I find it odd, when reading the recent article in the Leelanau Enterprise, that Sean would drive across the country to present, yet another new proposal. Why not e-mail it, or call, but neither myself or my attorney have had any correspondence with Sean in 2 weeks. I hope he doesn’t think Mr. Quandt is going to give up another weekend. If in fact Sean does show up and if infact he has something to present, he will need to make an appointment and pay for the services in advance. I will not pay for him wasting my attorney’s time.
    As my attorney said in an interview with the Record Eagle, we have other very interested and reputable parties coming to the table. Seans original deal from May 9th expired on June 1st, when none of what he claimed he would do, happened. He is qouted in the Enterprise as saying, “I know what I have to do now”. Duh??!!? I have to move forward and put my attention on the positives that are out there.

  135. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    It’s still your property, Kate, so it’s your call what happens next. Let’s hope things pan out in a positive direction.

  136. Mark
    Mark says:

    Curious as to how/when Kate responds to Liko’s latest post.

    The bank has made Kate a very good offer again but this time in the proper format, this time directly to her attorney Joe Quandt. The terms are extremely simple;
    1. Kate to sign over the deed to the bank
    2. The bank will give her a full release of all liability
    3. The bank hands her a check for $20,000
    4. I then buy Sugar Loaf directly from the bank.

    The offer was made on Wednesday, her attorney said give them until Monday or Tuesday to respond; In all my years of owning hotels, I have never known of a person to get paid $20,000 to get out of bankruptcy and foreclosure so this has to be a good deal, but remember, this deal has been on the table now for 3 weeks, the third time should be a charm. $20,000 in this economy is similar to $50,000 three years ago. I wish her the best with it

  137. Max
    Max says:

    So offers to buy property (Kates’s) come through the odd ducks web site? All-knowing Mark. (if you are really a Mark), that is certainly an odd way of doing a real estate by sell offer. Stay tuned for more looney toones from the Vamp from Vegas.

  138. lex
    lex says:

    wonder if liko will have a fundraiser to raise the $20k.

    Mark, Liko has had the same offer the whole time on his blog, but he hasn’t actually done anything according to Kate, she has a number of posts, also read her article in Glen Arbor Sun. She’s waited for something in writing & then he slams her. Liko has invested nothing, if anything Kate’s lawyer bills greatly surpass anything liko has spent on food, he’s done nothing but caused people to lose money. Anyways, Remo is pulling the strings here, liko is just a puppet

  139. Mark
    Mark says:

    I’m with you on “in writing,” but, in the end, being it looks like it is going to be a short sale, the seller gets left out. A sellers concern is to get off the liability hook.

  140. Mark
    Mark says:

    By the way, there is the nuclear option not yet discussed. Kate declares bankruptcy and that would really delay transfer of property to anyone.

  141. Mark
    Mark says:

    I just noticed that Sarah commented on the SL Facebook page that it is legal to drink in Nevada if you are under 21 and with your husband. WRONG!

    I would advise here to check out NRS 202.020, and for Liko to check out NRS 202.055 which discusses furnishing alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21 years of age.

    I lived in Nevada and worked in gaming for two decades and I know this law cold.

  142. Susan
    Susan says:

    Now Liko’s wife er, ah, underage girl friend, er ah, exchange student is waying in on drinking ages. LOL this gets funnier and stranger all the time.

  143. Mark
    Mark says:

    On Mary in the Morning today Liko stated he offered Kate 200K to walk away. No response from Kate, so he says.

  144. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    Actually he didn’t offer me anything – the deal at the title company expired because he couldn’t deliver what he had promised and as of this date, we have still not received any written offer from Sean.

  145. Mark
    Mark says:

    Mary just let’s him ramble, say what he wants, and challenges nothing. He’s getting to be a regular on her show.

  146. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    Seems to be the same thing over and over from what I have heard. Not exactly what is really going on either. As my attorney said this past week in the Enterprise, “do not know what Sean is insisting on being as he has not presented any written documentation…”

  147. Susan
    Susan says:

    I also thought is was to be a Liko free day!
    Mouthing off on a lcoal radio show (again) all the way from Vegas. A real man (5th grader to be exact). Mary in the Morning isn’t exactly a robust news source. Liko you’re wasting valuable cell phone airwaves that someone else could use to phone in a ufo report. Oh, that’s what you were doin!

  148. LeelanauLocalFolk
    LeelanauLocalFolk says:

    Susan…are you the same “Susan” that mentioned Liko on a completely unrelated board on this site? If so, here’s a surefire way to have yourself a blissful Liko-free day: stop mentioning him. It’s become apparent that he has finally left with no real intent to return, so let it go and stop obsessing. It’s a given that all the attention that the Loaf got over the last few months has pushed other (more reputable) parties into taking another look at the property. Let Liko go and let’s look forward instead of back, shall we?

  149. Susan
    Susan says:

    I’ll stop talking about far away rats and silliness at the Loaf; when you drop your sub-surface support of a guy that has done nothing. Except creat divisivness in every footstep taken here, and sling his style of childish bullying when he didn’t get his amateur way. Don’t think for one minute reputable parties coming forth are the result of any Likoism. It’s due to Kate keeping lines of communication open with real potential do-ers.

  150. LeelanauLocalFolk
    LeelanauLocalFolk says:

    Care to explain how wanting to forget about Liko and moving on now that he’s gone qualifies as “sub-surface support”? Or are you upset over the fact that many of us just aren’t as obsessed as yourself? Like it or not, Folks like you will miss Liko more than folks like me.

  151. Max
    Max says:

    Liko will NOT be greatly missed or even missed in the slightest of ways. Localleelanaufolk you and others have kept that nit-wit in the mainstream thought porocess way to long. I agree a little bit with your comment to Susan. But you have to admit, she hit a nerve and now I am sure all of us are on to more local rants, raves and quereies about other things.

    As far as Kate and her toiling over the sugared Loaf; all you can do is wish her the best of luck and better dealings with real business and money oriented people. The big question is, will Mary in the Morning be able to handle doing real faux news? that’s the burning question.

  152. LeelanauLocalFolk
    LeelanauLocalFolk says:

    My basic point is simple – Liko is gone, so let him be gone. He will get only the attention we give him. Mary in the Morning really should find other local stories to chase and leave the Sugar Loaf story alone until another buyer makes themselves known. Liko doesn’t need or deserve any more free publicity.

  153. Susan
    Susan says:

    Agreed, It’s only a matter of time before the Homestead maneuvers into position (hopefully). That would be a good mix. Tear down the Loaf lodge and hotel. Put a real classic lodge with dining and entertainment there. cottage type offerings.
    Could be a more public-esqe venue for the Kuras group since they have the golf course on the back side. It would no doubt be a class act in keeping with what they have developed at Manituo Passage.

  154. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    I’d go along with that. I have worked for Bob Kuras in the past and knew him to be a decent person and smart businessman. Not sure how he’d feel about the necessary expense of updating the hill systems, though.

  155. lex
    lex says:

    I would like the Homestead to get involoved….but they won’t. This is too much cost for them, basically they couldn’t financially do it & this is not something they want to pursue.

  156. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Bob sank a lot into getting the golf course that became Manitou Passage…not too sure if he would want to take on such a project as the ski area and hotel just yet.

  157. lex
    lex says:

    They have time & time again, expressed they do not want to buy the Loaf. Fill free to ask them Susan, you’ll get a quick answer. If somebody wanted to pay them to run the place…if that was the first question, then I don’t know that answer. I think the place would be beautiful if they did.

  158. Augustav
    Augustav says:

    I am amazed at how much some know about this property that have spent very little time on it. And now the Manitou Passage also? Enough already!

  159. Augustav
    Augustav says:

    They hill systems need updating? I thought it all was just a spit shine away from being ready to operate, just like those fine groomers in the barn.

  160. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Augustav, I worked at Sugar Loaf for a number of years and I do know the systems on that hill. ALL of the lifts would need to be disassembled, cleaned, inspected, tested, reassembled, tested again, and certified, before they could carry passengers again (provided the haulropes pass inspection and do not have to be replaced). The snowmaking system would need to be completely redone from the ground up. The technology that the snowmaking system is based in dates from the mid- to late-80’s and has been thoroughly surpassed since then in terms of both results and efficiency. I’m told the old LMC groomers the resort currently do indeed run and are sufficient to properly maintain the hill surface, but they would be horrifically expensive to maintain. LMC went bankrupt over ten years ago and some parts for LMC equipment are extremely hard to find.

    So yeah, folks know more about what the place needs than you think…and some of us base that assessment on actual first-hand knowledge. Think before you judge.

  161. Augustav
    Augustav says:

    Those groomers wouldnt last a week on that hill, and of course they will tell you the run, they want to sell them and the place. And run and work on that hill are two different things. You better have at least one dependable NEW groomer to be able to give the skiers what they want. Its no fun trying to get one of those things off the hill after a track has come off believe me. You have both those machines down and kiss your business goodbye. And that snowmaking system was based on technology alot earlier then that Karl. Good luck disassembling the lifts, cleaning and inspecting them. Ever pull one of those bull gears out Karl? Lift 1,3 and 5 all had the teeth recut and new pinions made already and they still vibrated like crazy. (They were trucked to Missouri by the way). The foudations on lift 1 and 6 that the terminals were bolted to, had to have additional bolts drilled and reinforced..why? Because the bolts were rusting and comming off in the mechanics hands. That would be wasting a ton of money trying to bring those things back. A person with REAL money and the proper vision would just replace them and not deal with that junk. Those haul ropes are junk after sitting without lube for this long, sheeves will have flat spots, wiring will be rodent chewed, etc…etc. The chairs were having metal fatigue cracks showing up left and right…why would you keep trying to fix up all that junk? It was costing so much money to maintain. Its like they say, it comes to a point when you are putting so much money into something old that you are better off replacing it, or it nickles and dimes you to death…and death is what we have. Someone who is serious, and has the money, can make that place great again. Actual first hand knowledge Karl? You have know idea, but have all the answers.

  162. Max
    Max says:

    Thank you Augustav. The best thing that could happen to the Loaf’s buildings and equipment is.. yea you know. Tear it down. Make the airport longer to fit more aircraft. Build some cottages and a nice day lodge with the Manitou’s motife. Bring in new equipment for 3 lifts and call it a day. Now all you need is someone with about 8 to 12 million soggy bucks to throw around. Better yet.. we all move on to other things, but hey, this is entertainment folks!

    p.s. It’s not “our” Loaf, it “is” just real estate.

  163. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    You can slam me all you want, Augustav, but virtually everything you are trying to nail me to the wall for are things that anyone worth their salt (including myself, despite your unwillingness to admit it) knows full well will have to be dealt with. I’m not as naive or ignorant as your post suggests you hope I am. If the lifts prove to be beyond repair, then they will have to be replaced as needed. I had already put forth the idea to replace the groomer (I had, at one point, checked into what was available at Tracks, Inc and other companies). If parts need to be replaced, then they will need to be replaced. If the concrete footings under the towers are beyond usability, then they will have to be cut out and new ones poured with new hardware. I’ve seen tracks roll off groomers with less than a hundred hours on them and I’ve seen old workhorses run circles around them. You are assuming that you’re talking to a bunch of idiots – sorry to disappoint you. I have already been in contact with DELEG inspector about coming out to the property once it changes hands to assess the current condition of the lifts and haulropes to see what can be repaired and put back into service and what will have to be replaced.

    Again, think before you judge. You are beginning to sound like you have a vested interest in the Loaf staying closed. If a potential new owner steps up and is not scared off by the staggering amount of rehab work the property will require, then we’ll be in fine shape. A new coat of paint is not going to get the Loaf running again. Like it or not, folks who know more about the place than you do are way ahead of you.

  164. Augustav
    Augustav says:

    Not trying to slam you Karl, but I am sure the people that spent many, many more years at the Loaf then what you did have a much better knowledge of what is there then what you do. I know you have some knowledge that is apparant, but the problem I have is with someone who has done it all, has all the answers, and makes sure everyone knows it. And “think before you judge”? How about when someone is in a conversation, and a question is directed between two people, other then yourself, let THEM answer. Dont try to push yourself into the conversation until a question is posed to you. Some people prefer to make actions speak lounder then words, because for some, they just like to hear themselves talk.

  165. lex
    lex says:

    The lifts just need some WD-40 & they are good to go..ha! Basically what Max said would be great. The Loaf has it’s hands tied & then there is many directions from mega resort to a 1 ift hill, Karl is just seeing what option in between. For us non lift experts, seems simple…if the lifts sucked when they were open then 10 years of additional neglect seals the deal.

  166. Mark
    Mark says:

    There is no way I’m jumping on a greased-up lift from yesteryear, especially if Liko is running the place.

  167. Del Nolan
    Del Nolan says:

    I’d much rather ride full speed down the face of sugar Loaf in a clown car than ride up it on any refurbished piece of ancient equipment that Karl thinks is in maybe ok shape.

    Karl, you need to move to Colorado and put your verbose self to work at some ski resort there. Tell them how to run the place an I am sure they will welcome you with open arms. (insert snickering here). In the meantime, I have to agree with others on here; the best thing that can happen now at SL is to tear it down and let the ground under the old hotel breath a bit. It is not our hill, it is real estate. This whole story goes back to Classens, Sills and then Poselli as the gang of nitwits that ran it into the ground. It’s been a long train a’com’n of fixers and know it alls. Let Kate sell it for what she can get out of it and Let it go!

  168. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    If a potential new owner has the wherewithall to completely refit the place with new lifts and a state-of-the-art snowmaking system, that would be great. It all depends on what the resort truly needs and what the new owners would be willing to spend. I’m not against the idea of knocking everything down and starting fresh if the resources are there to do it. Not my call, so…

    There are plenty of resorts, however, that still use those old Hall lifts. A lot of East Coast and Midwest resorts use them and there a quite a few that are even older that the Loaf’s lifts that are still in service today. There are several companies that specialize in rehabbing Hall lifts. You may rather see the place torched and divided up into homesites that will sit unsold for years, Del, but that’s just you.

  169. lex
    lex says:

    I’ll ride whatever gets me up the hill, it’s not like your going up the alps…it’s only a few hundred feet. Kate wants to see it open, so should u.

  170. Mark
    Mark says:

    Kate’s had it for five and hasn’t paid the mortgage or taxes in for years. I’m not sure how open she wants it.

  171. lex
    lex says:

    Yup, this has been a financial nightmare for her & mess for the county, however she does want it open, seems she would prefer to get it off her back. This whole thing has stunk to high heaven for years. It’s not my money, it doesn’t mean a job for me, I just want the hill open at whatever level. Having it sitting there rotting is better than having it turn into a neighborhood of unbuilt homes. Guess if they put a nice road to the top…that could be nice for shuttle runs. I would be happy if it just became a public park & you had to earn your turns.

  172. Susan
    Susan says:

    Karl and Lex would wet their pants for $7.50 an hour to work there..again! Boggles the mind. You both probably thought Sills was a genius too! Actually Kaaaaaarrrrrlll, those homesites would do just fine in a rising market, like we have now.. If you haven’t noticed, there is an uptick in not jjust vacation/second home purchasing, but building too.

    Centrally located, with an expandable air strip, and two golf courses with an observation/viewshed hill….you bet it would be a good investment captialized the right way. Re-doing what is there? Wast of serious money. Dell, love your clown car notion!

  173. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    Hey, all this tech talk, and talk about what the hill could be or should be….. has taken all the focus off of the “clown who left town.” Thank God for that. A wise man in Leelanau County in the know told me over and over, “Get the crooks out of Sugar Loaf, then the hill can be what the hill should be”…Amen

  174. Trick
    Trick says:

    June 30th 2010

    To All,

    My partner Chuck was in TC and Leelanau County visiting the site for the first time.

    He visited with Wally, toured the hotel, toured the lifts, and visited with some of the friends we have in Cedar and TC. I want to extend a sincere thank you to Ed Budd for loaning Chuck one of his horses when touring the lifts, Guisseppe, Tom and Rick for making Chuck feel very welcome and giving him all of the information that he required to understand the investment and the County.

    Chuck is as passionate a skier as you’ll ever meet; he’s also from Michigan, spent 12 years in the Army and plans to spend the rest of his life in Michigan working to develop Sugar Loaf along with me. The #1 priority is to get the ski lifts open this winter…by whatever means necessary

    Well, we made Kate another offer. We placed the offer into a purchase and sale agreement and we’ve offered her the $200,000 that she’s requested, this offer has been sent to her attorney. (I have attached a copy below).

    At this point- we have done everything humanly possible to acquire the site. We understand the investment better than any of the five buyers before us and we’re ready to make a deal on Sugar Loaf. The investors we have on this project have more than enough funds to do whatever we require, however, it is our job to make sure that every penny counts and that at the same time, the major expenses are handled immediately so we can focus on the development of skiing at Sugar Loaf..Such is the life of managing a resort. Chuck and I will make a splendid team.

    We plan to close this transaction very soon; and then I will be a permanent resident of Leelanau County.

    I cannot wait to see my friends again and I look forward to working closely with those that have helped us to understand the benefits of opening the resort while at the same time making sure our enemies stay as far away from us as possible :o)

    Life in sunny Las Vegas is getting better and better…making an offer on a Tavern in Las Vegas today; nothing like owning your own bar and restaurant, it’s right across from the dog park so looks like Bella (our pit-bull) is going to be getting a ton of playtime this summer.

    Talk to everyone soon,


  175. lex
    lex says:

    Susan or whomever the name you currently go under. There are plenty of empty developments here with great views. Karl is helping with every option, that’s all. Just relax, it won’t hurt.

    Hope Chucks pulls a liko on liko & finds somebody else to work with. It’s Chuck’s money & he knew the area before liko did. His partnership is premature, the agent suggested he talk to him. So, what is this round 10? Once again, I hope something finally good happens.

  176. Del Nolan
    Del Nolan says:

    Please say it isn’t so! Kate, please do not unleash this mess maker on our environs! Hmmm Hey looking a that “offer” sheet, some things seem a lihgt.. Like initials and a real money transaction. Still, think hard it it is true, please! Odd way to make a purchase offer.

  177. Mark
    Mark says:

    Yep, no signatue, no down payment, full price of the loan, and about twenty additional words in the contract. Huh? Hey, but Liko is buying a bar so his pit bull can run and play.

  178. lex
    lex says:

    Wonder what Chuck says about all of this? Probably not too happy to see it posted this way I would think.

  179. Trick
    Trick says:

    The writing on the WALL could not be any clearer (pardon the pun) 😉 This all boils down and goes directly back to the Ex-Convicted Felon. End of story.

  180. Augustav
    Augustav says:

    Hmmmm… is this a typo? Today is Wednesday the 30th right?

    Oh, this must be in some other time warp?

    Possession. Seller shall tender to Buyer possession of the Premises upon completion of the closing, subject to all existing leases and rights of
    tenants in possession. Other:

    The closing shall take place on Monday June 29, 2010

  181. Trick
    Trick says:

    It sure was fun “listening” to this Orchestra the past few months, I say with heavy sarcasm because it’s just another tragedy in the name of greed. Everything, up to this point, has gone exactly as “They” have intended.

    Breaks down like this:

    1. Send loud flashy showboat with obvious signs of any professional business sense into town.

    2. Sit back and watch the good people get worked-up over what this loud flashy showboat is bringing to the table.

    3. Listen very carefully to what the good people are saying and demanding.

    4. Give the good people what they want- Someone with money making a real offer.

    5. Chuck is simply collateral.

    6. Chuck will make money because he has money.

    5. Kate will have to accept the offer, or face foreclosure.

    6. Nobody wants a foreclosure. Time is money.

    7. There will be skiing this winter if Kate accepts the offer, otherwise they will foreclose on her and ride out the next year+ with that process. Again…this has all been thought out.

    8. Liko will run the place and continue to act like his business sense is why the resort is open, again all of this was and is intentional, a plan in the making over the past number of years.

    9. Liko will bring revenue to the table, his forte is the young people, especially the people who like to have fun (party)…

    10. Jobs will be created, business will begin to pick up in Leelanau County.

    11. Time goes by and all the good people forget about the Orchestra of 2010. Times are better, money is back. The cycle of life continues.

    12. Meanwhile…the ex-con and his wife will continue to make money on SL. (seems clear where the “NEW” mortgage will be written) Their bank.

    Thats the 12 Step program of Greed in a nutshell. Now its the End of Story.

  182. lex
    lex says:

    Guess we’ll see what happens. One problem Trick, Liko’s forte is not making money, unless it’s for himself.He can get a motel painted however, next step is a full scale resort…haha. Remo or Chuck should probably have him neutered…too much $ at stake to let liko mess up. Would be nice to fast forward a year & see what happened. If the Loaf opens, then i’m sure most will forgive & forget. Pretty sure if I’m up riding, I’m not going to be thinking too much about the clowns.

  183. Trick
    Trick says:

    Indeed. But he has proven he can’t make money for himself. He is simply a pawn. He will be paid a salary or commission most likely. I’m sure he sells himself well in knowing plenty of young people with cash he’ll get in the door from all parts of the world…True…why would “They” hire someone like him to play the part? That does require more thought.

  184. Susan
    Susan says:

    this deal (if that’s what it is called) isn’t happening. I am sure by now Kate’s attorney and Kate have sent it back saying: when you grow up and know how submit a proper offer, meet the price and structure and show the money in sequentially numbered bills and/or a letter of credit from a bank saying they guy has the authority to enter into such a transaction with their money, and the money has been in the bank for 3 days and not withdrawn!.. then and only then would it be believable. However, this isn’t happening. Another Likoism.

    Trick, does he do this everywhere he goes? What towns have thrown him out? Or what ones has he left in the middle of the night?

  185. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    While I understand and share in the excitement of Sugar Loaf coming alive again, I am bound by confidentiality and can not discuss the offers on the table out of fairness to both parties. There is a first offer on the table and all necessary steps are being taken to follow through on that offer.
    Sean and Chuck have chosen to identify themselves and make their business public. That is their choice. The first offer has chosen to remain private about their business at this time, and that should be respected.
    For what it is worth, the sale of Sugar Loaf on my part is in no way about greed. It is about fulfilling that original dream that I had in regard to the property and being optimistic that this will finally happen in the near future.

  186. Trick
    Trick says:

    In NO way was I implying greed was anywhere near Ms. Kate. It seems apparent her intentions and motives have been for the benefit of good people of Leelanau County and SL from the time she purchased the property. As Kate has stated in the past: “As I stated, I had no documentation (and still don’t) that Hanna was a co-signer. Did the bank assign the mortgage back to her – I have nothing to back that. When we found out a year ago that there was a co-signer, and asked who? – the bank told us they did not have to divulge that.”

    That is the greed. That is the “set-up”, knowing Kate will face road blocks too big and too expensive to overcome. Letting a decade+ pass while the good people have lost time, investments, businesses and the way of life that was denied of a growing community.

    Granted this is private property and this is still the United States of America and Capitalism is our foundation. But when this much time has impacted so many people for the all mighty dollar, it is clearly greed.

    violating moral principles; not conforming to the patterns of conduct usually accepted or established as consistent with principles of personal and social ethics.

  187. Del Nolan
    Del Nolan says:

    Who is Chuck? Is it another name Liko uses? does the “Chuck” still have any money since brushing up against Liko, Sean, P-diddy or what ever he calls himself??

  188. lex
    lex says:

    From my understanding, Chuck exists, apparently has money & was looking at the Loaf before liko came into the picture. I don’t know if it’s true that they will be partners, think liko jumped the gun. Can’t imagine why you wouldn’t find somebody else if you are a legit purchaser. Liko was suggested to him. Nothing in the enterprise today, guess nothing really to report.

  189. Mark
    Mark says:

    You would think Chuck would at least google Liko, talk to a few of his former partners, besides Poselli, or just read Hey, but it’s his money. He can piss it away any way he wants. But I’m betting dollars to donuts Liko isn’t coming to the table with any, just suspect management skills, and taking the loan off Kates hands.

  190. Andrew McFarlane
    Andrew McFarlane says:

    Here’s a photo 2 guys on a Tandem Downhill taken by NutsyFagan.

    When people ask me why I think that Sugar Loaf is more than just a piece of property to be shuffled around like a game piece on a board, I think of photos like this.

  191. Max
    Max says:

    Your pining for “someone” to do “something” for the Loaf and not Liko.. (wretching) is more like “jumping the shark”. It’s all down hill from there. And there was a Nutsy Fagen involved many episodes before. there are better things to watch in situational comedy land of ours.

  192. Andrew McFarlane
    Andrew McFarlane says:

    I’m not pining for “someone” to do “something” for the Loaf, Max.

    I’m asking elected officials take a hard look at this sordid saga, step in, and use their powers to help make the property attractive to a credible buyer.

    Brownfield, tax free redevelopment zone, these are a couple of the words I’d like to hear in association with Sugar Loaf.

    You talk about other things to pay attention to. Care to list them?

  193. Max
    Max says:

    I seem to recall mentioning the same things quite a ways back in this stream of unconsciousness that some of the economic county heads seem to be in. Noooooowwwwww they think it’s a good idea to be looking into such things. A community Re-development or Empowerment Zone would be the ideal tool for this siuation. However the natural chain of command here (EDC) will have to actually formulate a plan, submit it to the State EDC and the like.

    The Brownfield Authority and it’s spear head person (T.G.) works extemely well with what they ahve to work with. However, Kate could have put forth a redevelopment plan, captured those dollars and be well on her way and/or positioning it to sell to someone with that in place. Very marketable then.

    However, under the current circumstances of As the Poselli Turns, and the clown-capades of Liko lurking around our county, the brownfield redevelopment authority wouldn’t touch that with a 5 mile pole!

  194. lex
    lex says:

    Liko is not the buyer anymore, at the most one of the buyers might use him to run the hotel, from what I gather. There are 2 different parties that are trying to but the Loaf, I assume they would be looking into BDA. I actually think liko’s involvement will be a min or nothing at all. Or at least I hope.

  195. JTHoagland
    JTHoagland says:

    Andy: I would suggest some Q&A with candidates for elected office on this topic

    “Max” : feel free to present ideas to the EDC.
    You can direct messages straight to my personal email :, please reference Sugarloaf in the subject line.

    Please note that our Leelanau County EDC is all volunteer, with a limited budget, and that we outsource for staff support to TBEDC.

    Rest assured that this is “on our radar”, but also that you have outlined reasons for caution.

  196. Susan
    Susan says:

    EDC Radar needs tuning! There are so many good worthwhile projects and good community job creating and revenue creating busiensses and plans all over the county that could use EDC input, infusion and incubation. John, I would suggest your group stop relying in the Traverse City EDC (that has not funded one real going business concern in Leelanau), and concentrate on getting your state funding in order. Stop turning away good folks with great plans, that end up leaving the county because no one knows wher to begin or how. A little incentive and getting on board of locals here goes a long way.

  197. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    I hope everyone had a great holiday. Susan, I’m on pins and needles, what do you know?

  198. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    These things take time Mark. It’s not like going in buying a burger. Things are progressing though. I will keep everyone posted.

  199. Max
    Max says:

    Kate you don’t owe anyone an explanation. Keep looking ahead and do your thing. No liko is a good day!

  200. Susan
    Susan says:

    Oh the Glen Arbor Like that’s areal news source. lol.. I’d put more stock in the drunken swill we get here before the old newsy sun.

  201. Andrew McFarlane
    Andrew McFarlane says:

    Hey Susan, what exactly is your problem with the Sun’s coverage? In my opinion they have brought a level of journalism to this story that’s been sadly lacking from most other coverage.

  202. Mark
    Mark says:

    Since Liko came to town, I believe the Glen Arbor Sun has cover the story better than the Record-Eagle or the Enterprise.

  203. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    It is my understanding from a good source that the other buyer group is legit. They have the funds that are needed. Not just to mop ‘n’ glow the existing building and open up a couple of existing lifts. Kate can’t say that she favors these guys (over Chuck, Liko, or whoever) like the Sun reported but we all know that she wants whats best for Sugarloaf.

  204. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    You are correct Downstater. I never said I favored any particular buyer. That wouldn’t be fair to anyone.

  205. Max
    Max says:

    Kate keep moving ahead. Don’t worry about what is said here or anywhere else. Hopefully there will be no more Vegas clown car activity. Thanks for un-liko-ising the Loaf and the county. I know it has been a huge strain dealing with the gritty undercurrent that blew into town. But that too eventually flows away. Hang in there, your tenacity will pay off.

  206. steve "kc flat lander"
    steve "kc flat lander" says:

    Just saw this blog. Why doesnt the ownership group at
    the Homestead acquire Sugar Loaf. Its a quick drive
    from there to the Loaf?

    Since Sugar Loaf has been vacant for so many years
    I guess it doesnt fit in with their development plans.

    Does Kuras still own the Homestead?

  207. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    We all agree that the buy-sell agreement shown on Liko’s website lacked alot of substance. It basically only showed the sellers asking price. Hmmmm…..what impact would this have on the legitimate second buyer?

  208. Max
    Max says:

    No implication at all. Just a dumb nit wit doing dumb things as teh owner you describe of that website.

  209. jimi genius
    jimi genius says:

    You’re all dreaming.

    Ain’t no buyer now.

    Worthless money sucking hole with a bunch of local cry-babies, that would give nothing but trouble to any real plan but will jump on the party-train with a guy who puts pole-dancing as a room rental strategy. You have no local charity with nearly enough money to lose every calendar year. Hasn’t made a net-penny for anyone since 75.

    Bill Gates and Warren Buffet could care less about Cedar.

    And it’s a worthless undevelopile piece of dirt with an outdated, economically obsolescent improvement that is worth exactly, nothing.

    Brown field is another word for sh**hole.

    Townhouse rental yields are negative.

    Association fees are fantastical and as for praise of property maintenance (what property maintenance?) he’s so full of **it no wonder he thinks the lagoon system was just fine and dandy like cotton candy. As for those who slathered $100 on his going-away-party, you got what you paid for – Scammed by an out of town shill looking to quick-buck a bunch of locals.

    I’d rather see Andy McFarlane running the Wall-Lift and have more faith in his opinion than any out of town a-hole with a dance-pole.

    But opinion’s (including my own) are like belly buttons, everyone has one and spouting them off doesn’t get real estate deals done. MONEY get’s real estate deals done.

    So sing and moan all you want, till their is some MONEY, Sugar Loaf Resort aint’ goin’ nowhere.

    Golf course is nice, I like it, well kept and the rates are fair but I’m pretty certain it loses money too.

    Ain’t no fool with a couple billion ready to eat sh**pie.

    Nobody wants it.

    Keep dreamin’.

  210. Susan
    Susan says:

    Eloquent local read. Nothing, nada! Like many have said before…”another day without Liko and other shills here is a day that someone somewherelse is getting screwed and tattooed for another 10 minutes. Untill they see the brass pole boy for what he is…” Nope, best thing that could happen at the “Loaf” is run a bulldozer through the lodge from one end to the other.

    The value of the surrounding homes and condos would increase from the restive open space. Poselli, you really toyed with this one didn’t ya!?!

  211. Trick
    Trick says:

    Indeed, jimi, everything in life, regardless of the locale on the blue marble, will always…again ALWAYS…boil down to MONEY…Money does buy Happiness 😉

  212. Mark
    Mark says:

    At, the “about Sugarloaf” link where he posts his egotistical rants, and where he updates us on what he had for breakfast, and which bar he’s buying, is no longer working. Huh?

  213. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    A moratorium on Liko? Just wish we had confirmation he was gone for good. I believe he is.

  214. Roy
    Roy says:

    5 years ago, my wife, who was born and raised in MI, suggested that we take a weeks break in the Homestead. As a non-American, unaware of the delights of the Leelanau Penisula, $2500 rental for a week in a location somewhere ‘remote’ seemed expensive. However, off we went and 4 days into the vacation, I bought, for my wife and young family, a cottage on/ by the side of Sugarloaf. Those of you who know the area will know where I mean. A bargain compared to the ‘lake’ homes around and near this part of the world. The fact is that this is rural America. Tell your Townsfolk to buy the land, demolish the awful contructions they call a hotel and outbuildings (go and have look for yourselve – it is pathetic to see the old calnders hanging on the walls in the booking office) and walk up the ‘mountain’ to enjoy breathtaking views and place as one of the most beautiful places in the entire USA. Ski Resort? Forget it…for a few months of the year, great, the rest, an eyesore. I am sure that the good folk of Leelanau can drum up the USD 3 million that would be needed to buy the place and get rid of the machinery / buildings. The airport will thrive; other opportunites would evolve but the skiing is just a relic of the past. No apologies to all who enjoyed the past, it was great, but is gone – forever. We ski all around the Area when we visit. Great for kids but with cheap flights and Mountains in easy reach by an hour or two by airplane, a relic, a grand relic and pride though, but to the past. So come on you locals, buy the place and let in rest in peace in it’s old life; give it back to Nature, just how you have done, so very well, with Fish Town, Manitou and the preservation areas. The resolution lies in your hearts and in your love of the finest part of America.

  215. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    As it sits now, it is pretty much back to Nature, albiet blighted by the buildings,etc. It can’t be had for 3 million. The seller/bank are asking for 5.7 although the property isn’t worth that in this market. Too much politics and baggage involved for the Conservancy to consider I would think. Something is going to happen soon with the prospective buyers. We’ll see….

  216. Susan
    Susan says:

    No Loaf in 6 months.. We can only hope. That it becomes soemthing more genial and resplendent of the homes and tranquil golf courses arounds it.

    Maybe it just becomes a great place to golf, take a lisurely stroll and possibly fly in and park at your door step…Someplace that just has a big hill to see the country side from atop. Greened up and no left over gouges of the manipulators from the past.

  217. LeelanauLocalFolk
    LeelanauLocalFolk says:

    “Vegas boy”? Who’s that? Don’t know about you, but I’ve left him from my mind and moved on. Let’s hope the new prospective buyers have better luck.

  218. eagle pride
    eagle pride says:

    What is going on? Have not heard from Kate for a while or our Vegas friend? Is there “new” potential buyers or is the Loaf going to be what it is currently now (a mess). We built near the slopes a few years ago hoping the Loaf would become resurrected from the dead? I want to stay optimistic that my kids will be able to ski down Sugar loaf someday.

  219. Susan
    Susan says:

    Eagle pride, get a grip, you invested your money that way thinking the Loaf wouldm resurect itself? LOL I have some Cedar swamp land that wants to be DisneyLand if you’re interested.

  220. LeelanauLocalFolk
    LeelanauLocalFolk says:

    I’m starting to guess that Susan is one of those who wants to keep those pesky skiers off the mountain. It would take some convincing to prove me wrong, it seems. Why do you hate the idea of Sugar Loaf reopening as a ski area so much, Susan? It’s pretty much a foregone that your favorite obsession (the kid from Vegas) is out of the picture now. Will you come forth with the same vitriol toward the next person who proposes to revive skiing at the Loaf if/when a new owner comes forward? Inquiring minds want to know.

  221. Susan
    Susan says:

    I’d love to see the Loaf open and doing well. Recent ownership and track records show that no-one has been able to conquer the “mountain” (hill). It is a wonderful naturaly beautiful place, minus the rickety fire-trap of a hotel and lodge. If something new and enduring goes in its place; wonderful. If people come with trucks full of money and airships full of passion,.. fantastic! It’s just that the Loaf as is does no one any good. And opening it on a shoe string jsut so some local whiners can say they ski there and schleppers can work there instead digging out from their caves and getting a real job, is moronic at best.

  222. eagle pride
    eagle pride says:

    Wow! Just asking a question. I built there not because of Sugar Loaf. We built there because Leelanau County is one of the most beautiful places in the country and my family loves the diversity of doing something different everyday. We feel blessed to have property in Leelanau county and proud to call it our second home. If the Loaf opens than it is icing on the cake for us. The views from up top are priceless and skiing down the hills would be sweet.

  223. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Interesting…but what does it really mean? Sounds like the interest and infrastructure are in place to redevelop the property. Now all that seems to be needed is someone to pick up the ball and put it in play rather that to just run out the clock. It would be in the best interest of all concerned to stop yakking and actually get some real work going. All are essentially in agreement that work needs to be done, so if the means exist to get the work going, them the work needs to get going…less talk, more action. Whatever the future of the Loaf will be is (still) anyone’s guess at this point.

    As far as the mortgage transfer mentioned at the end of the piece, I’m not sure what to make of that. Did Hanna refinance her stake in the mortgage through First Fidelity or did she sign away her control to them? Hmmmm…

  224. Max
    Max says:

    Karl, come on, nothing is in place to do anything at the Loaf. As many have stated here It Is A Wreck! Obviously you have never been involved in development, purchse or running a venture that requires and sucks hundreds of thousands let alone millions of dollars to make it run…and profitably!. You and some of your lilly leaf followers think this place just magically gets going with the help of some money-elf that throws buckets of pixie dusted money around. You even thought the midget minded one from vegas and his weekend-brass-pole stay-cation plan was ok! Sheeesh! What planet do you live on? Have you ever negotiated or put your own surmounting wealth on the line so others can play?……….ok I’ll take that silence as a no!

    Kate almost did, and what she did do almost wrecked her. Thankfully she has the tenacity to not let the thing eat her whole eventially. A little realism folks would go a long way in this endless, entertaining, at times hilarious, nonsensical stream of wishing.

  225. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Kee-ripes, Max…who crapped in your corn flakes? Is all that you just posted part of your “I don’t care, so nobody else should or else” schtick? Or are you part of that cabal that wants the Loaf to fail regardless so you can buy it up cheap, rip everything down, and turn in into yet another tract of overpriced homesites that sit unsold for years on end? Gee, THAT is just what the county needs right now, huh?

    If someone is willing to take the risk on the property and run with it while folks like yourself make like howler monkeys and throw fistfuls of poo from the sidelines, more power to ’em. Liko tried and failed and has gone by the wayside (I guess we could call it economic darwinism). If someone else steps up and takes their shot, they deserve a fair shake (which is more than folks like yourself appear to be willing to give them). There are two other interested parties who are currently in active negotiations concerning the property. Are you going to be the one to tell them to just give up and walk away because you think it would be too difficult? If everyone thought as you do, nothing would get done anywhere. Big rewards require big risks.

    Feel free to make yet another attempt to flame me if you like. You know you wanna. I could use another good laugh today anyway – thanks in advance for that.

  226. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    My biggest hope, DD, is that whoever does it does it right. We’ve been patient for ten years, so a little more time won’t hurt.

  227. farlane
    farlane says:

    What are you talking about? I haven’t deleted anything. The only time I delete things are when they are spam or personal attacks. -Andy

    Oh, I see. That comment by Max has a low rating. The rating thing isn’t censorship. It’s a way to allow people who use the forum recommend or dis-recommend things. Besides, you can always click to see it.

  228. Del Nolan
    Del Nolan says:

    Max, Thanks for telling it like it is. Some local yocals just can’t handle it since they have never had serious “skin in the game” for what ever it is they whine and cheese about. You hit the nail on the head. It’s about committment of capital to something that has sucked a lot of it no matter who has owned it. Without waterfrontage available Sugar Loaf has always been a hit and miss. Skiing doesn’t pay the bills unless you are a Boyne or Nubs or Crystal, and then it’s iffy at best. The only way the others ahve “made it” is by having top rated golf and destination facilites. The amount of monmey it takes to do that right from the get-go is enormous. You are absolutely correct along with Susan and Trick, a buldozer through the lode and hotel and the complete outster of Poselli in any deal. This is a nutty thing to invest in unless you come with money to fill a wheel barrow the size of France and a very long term plan. The break up value of the entire property is worth about even or a little more.!

  229. lex
    lex says:

    We can talk all we want, the reality is that the land is not free, it is owned & nothing has happened. No conservatory, no county effort happening at all. If it goes to bank sale…still not sure if anything will happen. Our county/townships haven’t stepped up to the plate…they’ve done a few things but really they have not helped & don’t seem to sincere in doing much at all. Breaking up the land will do nothing…well it might get the lodge/lifts torn down…but nobody will be building there anytime soon. Only building going on now is simple modifications to an existing homes.

    Whomever puts a real effort into opening the loaf has to have as Del put it,money to fill a wheel barrel the size of france & probably won’t have a return or profit in years if ever. Not impossible to make a ski area profitable…but the reality is that it probably won’t be. Comes down to somebody(s) with tons of loot who just wants the ski/ride there…whether it’s a simple area or something huge. The place is a complete wreck, there isn’t water/sewer since the facility itself is about as functional as the lifts.

    We all, well most of us, have our wishes or thoughts for the place. My #1 is simple, 500 vertical feet of riding 10mins from my house. That’s all.

  230. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    It seems the Old Sugar Loaf Estates subdivision crowd has been busy of late, huh? I guess they want to make sure those homesites that surround them sit unsold so those pesky working-class folks will have to move to TC.

  231. LeelanauLocalFolk
    LeelanauLocalFolk says:

    Sooooo, Del…should we expect that you will heap derision on virtually anyone who speaks favorably of the Loaf? If the property changes hands and the new owner(s) decide to reboot the ski area and hotel, are you and Max and Susan going to march yourselves right over there and tell them their venture is a complete and total waste of time and money? And you will say what if they get the place up and running again? Will the three of you camp out on teh side of the road somewhere and throw eggs and tomatoes at every car with skis in the roofrack that heads out that way?

    Other than the cost involved (which would be incurred by someone other than yourselves), why do you hate the idea of the Loaf reopening so much? Do you like the idea of a few hundred orchard workers sitting around drawing unemployment during the winter months? Do you dislike the idea of a forward bump in winter tourism in Cedar, Maple City, and Glen Arbor? Do you all live in one of those subdivisions off Townline Road and are afraid of the excess traffic noise (which you normally can’t hear from your house to begin with)?

    Not meaning to cast aspersions – we’re just trying to make sense of why you hate people who don’t hate the Loaf as much as you do.

  232. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    You are right Del and Lex. It will take a wheel barrow full of loot to make this thing happen. Obviously, the cost of the property is the very least of costs to be incurred. The County and Brownfield are there to assist for a legitimate buyer. There is a buyer at the table who sees the big picture which goes way beyond the resort and hill plot as it is now. Lets wait and see what happens.

  233. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    Andy, this has gotta be the longest thread of all time! God bless you, you do good work.

  234. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Hear, hear…well done, Andy.

    DD, imagine how long this thread would be if there were more than a dozen or so doing all the posting here. Maybe too many folks live in fear of the “like/dislike” feature.

  235. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Like it or not, the project will most likely be a private venture and nobody on this board will ever likely have any real influence over what happens to the property. What happens is completely up to whomever the new owners may be once the property changes hands. If they decide to pick up the ball and refurbish the hotel and ski area facilities, then who are we to tell them not to? Certainly not me and certainly not anyone else in here. There seems to be a group who is hoping that their criticism of any such project will send the new owners packing, but that’s their business.

  236. Augustav
    Augustav says:

    Those that I worked close with at the Loaf for many years know the wheel barrels full of money that went OUT of that place. The difference between the Loaf and all the other resorts is that THEY put the money back into the business and kept progressing. Put in the BEST snowmaking, 4 new lifts, good grooming equipment and tear down the rest, it will work. A modest ski center with slope view parking housing your tickets, rental, and a cafeteria, right next to a new modern hotel. That would give everyone a reason to want to be back at the Loaf. Trying to resurect that aged infrastructure would be a huge waste. Pattern it after Nubs and put your money back into the business for a change. Sure, alot more is involved, but you can’t tell me that the person with the right plan, vision and of course cash, won’t be successful. Don’t be so short sighted with it, do it right and it will pay back in the long run.

  237. Max
    Max says:

    Since when has Leelanau County come forward for anything business like, let alone the Loaf. They could have had EDC and brownfield dollars helping Kate a long time ago..
    Blind leading the blind.

    Alos, I have no intention of discouaging any fool that throws just enough money at the the Loaf to get it running, then to see it need more money and close again. Have it!

    Also, why should businsses exist purely to put seasonal loafing individuals to work just so they can collect a check? That treasoning is flawed. A busienss doesn’t go into business to supply jobs. The jobs are a direct result of the type of product provided for consumption be it service or consumer goods. And it’s inhernet value of contiuing to be a desireable product. Then and only then are jobs “avaialbe”, not provided. Get out from uncder your rock and stop schlepping for lazy minds.

  238. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Augustav: Your idea makes the most sense out of any that have come along in recent months. The current infrastructure on the property may very well be too far gone to salvage at this point, so the smart way to go would be to start fresh with new gear. Granted, the outlay in terms of time/hours/resources/funds/etc. would be massive, but the payoff would be huge (but certainly not immediate). It would take someone (be that “someone” an individual or a group) with a lot of available working capital and a lot of patience in order to pull it off. Anyone who goes in expecting to just spitshine the place and flip a switch and expects immediate return is in for a very rude awakening.

    Max: you STILL sound like you would want ANY effort to revitalize the Loaf to fail regardless of who tries it. Do you already have your homesite picked out on the hillside? BTW: If memory serves, the county EDC and the Brownfield program are both fairly recent entities and I don’t think they had much pull in 2005 (when Kate bought the property) to be of much use or influence. Kate got stonewalled by artificial roadblock after artificial roadblock from day one. Were it not for all the folks sandbagging her efforts, she could have done better. The big problem was all the hands that wanted to break into the cookie jar without earning their cookies.

  239. Del Nolan
    Del Nolan says:

    KarlK the business advisor, lol,lmro.
    Karl you really have a simpleton approach to business don’t you? Granted it’s not really that complicated, but you need to either run one or stay far away from deal making.

    Also, Leelanau county in 2005 was somewhat new to Economic Development (go figure; the dark Gill years). However that’s 5 years ago. And with refering everything to Traverse city EDC, you would think they would gain insight knowlege and a funding stream to associate with (State Community Block grants, State and Federal Underserved Enterprise zones. In-need Re-development Zone…etc. Nope it’s just donuts twice a month.

  240. Joey Ross
    Joey Ross says:

    “..the dark Gill years..” did more to keep Leelanau from moving ahead then anything. That guy even annointed himself as chief building inspector so his rubbing shoulders buddy Yono could try and keep his development going. Well that certainly backfired. And will most likely cost the County and Gill lots of money in the days and weeks ahead for such incompetence.

    The reason I mention that in this “Loaf” stream, is it has the same good old boy/and girls plot as the meandering road the county takes to business, if any at all. sugar Loaf would ahve never been left to its devastating nautre in Grand Traverse or any other local county. They would have jumped on it, gathered a team to help right or foster something. This little pitence of commissioners coming forward and their flapping lips is funny. Also, Max, Del and others that mentioned the EDC before, and really the lack of one is just a benchmark for how serious anyone at the county level is in faustering business. they don;t even ahve a computer system that can talk to each department! The county government shouldn’t be the largest employer in the area!

    This one (sugar loaf) will take serious private money and actually boot-strap itself in a county that just punches its time card day in and day out.

  241. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Joey – I tried to say something to that effect to the Del/Max/Susan cadre, but they apparently chose not to read it before Del tried to flame me. If the EDC were of any real consequence, something substantive would have been done about all this long ago.

  242. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Seems that the Loaf-haters have been busy repeatedly disliking my posts off the board. Should I be cowering in a corner sobbing my eyes out or something? Guess I didn’t get that particular memo.

  243. Susan
    Susan says:

    Karl, you’re just come across as a whine and cheese, someone spend money so I can work there and ski there free local fence post. Stuck in nowhere with everywhere around to go.

  244. Andrew McFarlane
    Andrew McFarlane says:

    It is pretty funny Karl. The comment that said “Andy, this has gotta be the longest thread of all time! God bless you, you do good work.” was disliked too.

    Am I doing bad work? Should God not bless me? What?

    I did bump the numbers up a little so that a couple people can’t dislike something into a corner. I do still like the comment rating idea though.

  245. Observer
    Observer says:

    Keep up the good work.

    I’m quite frankly stunned at the number of anti-county comments and comments about county agencies from parties that, to my knowledge have never contributed ideas.

    With the level of rancor, is it any surprise that entities like the EDC have not “led the charge” ?

  246. Del Nolan
    Del Nolan says:

    Obviously some “god” did not bless Andy’s ability to design comprehendable web pages! Nor grant the wisdom of county agencies to lead where they need to lead. Or give Karl the ability to have a resume other than ski rat at Sugar Loaf!

  247. lex
    lex says:

    Hi Del, feel free to go bug other people. You can bring your little bunch (Susan,Max,etc) with you if you want. Since you are all the same person anyways.

  248. Susan
    Susan says:

    Excuse me? I don’t know Del, however what he said hit a tone, eh Lexi? The loaf has brought about some fun and thought provoking banter. P.s., I do think Max and Trick and Del and sometimes you, have some good things to muse about.

  249. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Aaaaaand the lame flame attempts just keep on comin’, don’t they? Thanks again for the laughs, kiddies.

    Andy, keep us the good work. As the plaque on my dad’s wall said: “Illigitimi non carborundum” (Don’t let the bastards wear you down). Seems that some folks just aren’t happy unless they can find (or invent) something – anything – to whine about.

  250. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Susan – just an honest question that deserves an honest response: do you or any of your little friends have ANYTHING positive or constructive to contribute to this discussion? Your lameflames aren’t helping anyone, least of all yourselves. People might actually laugh at you less if you can make your point without the desperate insults.

  251. lex
    lex says:

    Susan, it’s Lexy cause i’m a plus sized male stripper in the middle of nowhereville. Also, I have a lot more than the occassional posting to muse about. Soon you guys will be gone, Karl will keep hoping/trying as will I & Andrew will continue this site that I personally like a lot & so do others. It’s just a site to show the ongoings of our area & a nice place to post some thoughts.

    Sad thing, is these little insults back/forth is why the thread is so active. If you guys did actually leave it would be just Karl & I talking to ourselves…leaving only Andrew to hit the dislike tab.

  252. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    The second anyone says anything positive about the Loaf, they descend like vultures. What is that actually accomplishing? Perhaps they all have homesites picked out on the hill already.

  253. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    Although I don’t like the negativity, Susan and Max had Vegas boy pegged right away before some of us, including myself, figured out he was nothing but alot of hot air.

  254. Max
    Max says:

    OK, time to come out and be straight
    I’m really Liko, and to proof it, I will contiue to use baad spelling and gramer

    My goal on this bored is to drive down the price of this property so that we (Remo and me) can grab it back, re-fi and keep snookering the locals.

    BTW : I also sign on as Susan, and sometimes Del

  255. Max
    Max says:

    Since my name has been co-opted by a person of no standing, It is funny how such a nit wit just can’t handle reading what I or anyone else of like mined interests have to say.

    The hall monitor knows who’s who, so how can a name be copied and used illigitamatly? Alas, the Loaf continues to bring out the KarlK give me a “job so I can ski fence posts”, eh?

  256. Nutsy Faygen
    Nutsy Faygen says:

    Nitwits abound, Karl you listening? I rather like the real Ssuan, Max and actually know of Del kNolan. All pretty intelligent folks from what I can see. The “poser” that recently posted as them needs to stop being so childish.
    Actually think Susan is pretty funny. Sugar Loaf should be so lucky to be yacked about!

  257. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Yes, Nutsy, I know there are plenty of nitwits around. Some seem to be desperate to lump me in with them, but that’s their problem. I have no real problem with the Del/Max/Susan bunch as long as they actually have something of substance to contribute. Hurling lame insults at people who disagree with them makes them look weak.

  258. Joey Ross
    Joey Ross says:

    Hurray!! Tonnebeger gone! One of many at county level that had no clue or held back business development in the county; including doing anything for Sugar Loaf. She also was one that helped the hospital at Northport get the boot by Munson.. Bye Mary!

  259. Max
    Max says:

    Since we all have beat this to a pulp, is there any semblence of Sugar Loaf news or soemthing like it out there? We live each and every day for it. lol… Kate actually is getting amusement from this since she hasn’t been the focus for some time. And that’s good measure, not hearing from or seeing th “L” word guy is actually refreshing for some time! And yes, rejoice Tonnenberger is out.

  260. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Best word so far is that “talks are ongoing”. What that might actually mean is anyone’s guess. Last I heard, there were two interested parties.

  261. lex
    lex says:

    To be fair, it’s good that somebody practices due diligence beforehand, the Loaf doesn’t need an ill prepared buyer. I would think there shouldn’t be too many suprises for a potential buyer. Hope to hear/read something soon.

  262. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    Makes sense, lex. I would hope that any potential buyer would have done their research on the property, especially in reference to the current state of things (which we all know ain’t pretty). The good ones are those who are not scared off by what the place will need to be viable again.

  263. Susan
    Susan says:

    Skiing at Sl is highly unlikely, Homes and fly-in’s is. However, the FAA is about to sanction the airport for its poor condition and no one accountable. They may just move to close it. So Flying-in may be a remote gimmick. Housing and pasteral land (as a county park)looms in the distance. Hoping someone with truck loads, even country sized bags of money can come and deal with the place. Not our concern though, we don’t own it!

  264. Max
    Max says:

    Wack job Liko is not back. He wants to be, but will never grace our airspace or ground space again (pleae no!). Writes a alagory of the world here according to him LOL. Ok everybody calm down, the nit wit is just popping up like a bad gopher. It will soon be gone again. I am sure Mary in the Morning is all over it! lol….

  265. lex
    lex says:

    wish he had a comment section on his site.

    Susan, where or when did you hear about the FAA. Somebody posted about the runway earlier. So, nobody watches or fixes the runway? Insured? I could see why the FAA might want to do something about it.

  266. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    I’m really disappointed in Likos last posting. There was not enough detail in his four scene play. I wasn’t able to find, in any of the scenes, where he dined, who bought him drinks, what resorts he stayed at, and what he ate for breakfast.

  267. LeelanauLocalFolk
    LeelanauLocalFolk says:

    Read the update…can’t make head nor tail of it and I’m really not seeing anything new here. He’s still blaming others for his shortcomings and he’s still not getting the deal done. He had his shot and blew it. Time for others to step up. The one smart thing he says in there: Sugar Loaf without skiing is like NASA without Cape Canaveral.

  268. Mark
    Mark says:

    Come on now, Downstater, he did tell us about his pool party haze of booze, Jacuzzis, and pool side sofa beds.

  269. Susan
    Susan says:

    Liko forgot to mention how he may have bilked more people for feeding his hungry notions of hollow intentions.

    This guy has more delusions of grndeur than Vegas has brass poles!

  270. Joey Ross
    Joey Ross says:

    Hope Vegas gas bag is deflated now. A little mindless-musing now an then from its lips, due to its inability to accept being run out of town (county) on the opion and reality rail. Also, just plain not wanted after the shinannigans it weaved in such a short time on so many.

    Yet the county gassious minds still twitter their fingers in wonder of how to get started on somehting business like. A cunnundrum it is.

  271. Trick
    Trick says:

    August 14 2010

    I have not heard from Remo, I have not heard from the investors in Indianapolis, I have not heard from anyone. It’s my guess that it’s summertime, there is no need to rush things, the kids are swimming and since Kate has run out of lies, or innuendos or please of innocence or claims of ghost buyers, there are no more words from her either. I would imagine that the easiest course is no course at all for everyone involved at this point.

    Inaction is a decision within itself, the path of least resistance, and when you’re dealing in an economy where sellers have no resistance at all to new buyers, why would any buyer touch a deal as hairy as Sugar Loaf when every other deal is like swimming through pudding. However, that’s the WRONG ATTITUDE. Taking action is the only way to bring back and believe it or not, we’re very close.

    Michelangelo once said that he never “sculpted” anything. He simply saw the potential of the rock he was sculpting and brought it forth. Sugar Loaf is the same thing, it has a ton of potential, a stable infrastructure, a mix of tourism uses, a stable tourism base, community support of its resurgence and now finally, a municipality that is willing to work towards opening the hill with the existing owners. All of the elements are in place. Yet nothing. It’s as if those that have lost millions are waiting for the secret element. That secret element is bank participation, that has to be brought to bear very soon, I have sent several email scenarios to Remo/Hanna to review because there are some serious partners ready to move forward as soon as the resort owner says “go”.

    For Example:

    1. United States Tennis Association: Interested in converting the Sugar Barn back into a Tennis Haven, I have several local business owners that also are willing to run the tournaments for the Barn, the brother of the owner of Cherry Republic, and some other tennis heads. A no brainer.

    2. I have found a major designer for the restaurants bars out of Chicago, a Mr. Dion Antic will try his hand at designing our eating establishments (check out his newest gig in Chicago, the Shady Lady this guy is sharp, once designed a bar concept for Tommy Lee) and I have also found the right management company to take these restaurants, bars, cafes to the next level.

    3. TimBukTu Cafe in Auburn Hills is willing to locate the very first “Chillax” lounge at the Hotel. All XBOX 360 interactive, community gaming and movies. For any kid that has XBOX Live, this will take it to the next level of play, and be part of the guest experience of the hotel.

    4. I have two hotel brands that will occupy the hotel at the same time. One upscale, and one very cool, edgy and upscale with a twist (special events), these two brands working in tandem will create a customer base that is diverse, affluent, and regional/locally relevant.

    5. I have found two possible tenants for the Hilltop Restaurant, both very skilled, very successful in the Michigan market.

    6. AB investments has signed their LOI to lease the ski hill at a base rate of $100,000 per year plus 10% of any/all improvements to the mountain by the resort. A 50 plus 50 year lease if we can get the mountain started and open by next years. These guys have deep pockets, very keen on mountain development basically building Hotham Mountain in Australia from scratch. They also bring a new flavor to the area.

    7. I’ve got a call into a major Michigan celebrity to grant licensing rights for a portion of the resort… more to follow. He keeps spraying his support for Michigan…okay…we’ll see bro.


    But no fear…I found a way to break through this.

    Remo and Hanna have their interest in the property, nothing will change there, and they have to be paid no matter what. Kate has not paid in three years; she will be circumvented by every future buyer from now till the end of time regardless of what Joe Quan says. really, logically, it comes down to Remo and the buyer…in the past that buyer was me, with guns blazing for a 2010 opening, now it’s a matter of waiting for attorneys to do what attorneys basically do; lengthen transactions, complicate matters and recommend a no action stance…however, the primary fact that nobody is at the helm of ownership for the resort makes this a very tricky matter. Remo/Hanna own it because they own the mortgage but have not foreclosed on the asset, Kate owns it because her name is on title but since she has not made payments in 3 years it is by name only, Remo/Hanna can foreclose and even if it takes a year, they will eventually own the property. So any buyer that does a deal with Kate has to get bank approval and no deal that would benefit Kate will be approved by the bank, at the same time, no deal equitable to the bank will be approved by Kate as she has to stay on the hook until the bank gets what they’re owed, and nobody will pay what is owed. It makes no financial sense to do so at this point, Especially since Kate’s antics have delayed a deal that should’ve closed in April so long that it is nearly impossible to open the resort this winter…and since the resort won’t open until next winter,it loses money for 12 months instead of 4 months as we planned.

    The stumbling block is that Remo and Hanna will never get what they’re owed unless Sugar Loaf re-opens (Including John Sills, the original owner who now owns the mortgage on the Sugar Loaf Service Company that is also in foreclosure), Sugar Loaf will never reopen unless the new buyer “focuses on the ski hill” not only because it’s the right thing to do; but there is no way in the world that the deal has any legs unless the ski operation is reinitiated, as a land bank, condo development, timeshare, hotel Michigan sucks. Yes, as a ski operation, it has a chance. Therefore, there will never be a true buyer for Sugar Loaf until Remo and Hanna are willing to cooperate with a buyer that is focused on opening the ski operations…it will require a JV of some sort as the values have plunged over the last decade so the appraisals will not justify any price close to what’s owed to make a sale of any sort feasible when compared to what else is available in all other 49 states. Also, Michigan is not on the top list of recovery states when things go well so you can’t even preform a recovery or refinance in the next five years. The key to all of this. A cash buyer willing to work with Remo and Hanna to re-open Sugar Loaf and then leveraging out their amount owed through a combination of JV payouts and refinancing to meet a pre-agreed amount… Everyone is going to have to work together to reopen Sugar Loaf…like it or not, that’s where we stand…the best news in all this is that Sugar Loaf can still be reopened.

    I have interested partners in Indianapolis. The other owners of the surrounding parcels (Ed and Brian) are interested in developing public/private ideas to garner investors with the city (though without Remo and Hanna, it’s just pissin in the wind). Remo who has been mentioned in every paper since 2005 as “The Ex Felon” in the county and TC probably isn’t in the best mood to help out or can’t be bothered as he owns14 other properties…nobody wants to invest where they’re not wanted…what to do?

    I have asked Remo to explore several scenarios with me, in writing. The partners in Indianapolis want to be at the helm but they have no credibility in the matter, they need to put up “proof of closing funds'” to get Remo to talk, I have a better chance at striking a deal than they do so I will try and work out a deal and then transfer it to the partners after we’ve worked out details.

    Remo is well within his right to sell the property to anybody that can buy it, they have to be patient enough to let Kate be pushed out of the way and the new investors have to be focused on the ski hill in order for the whole thing to come together while Remo has faith that once open, he will get his funds one way or the other but not necessarily at the offset. I am working on finalizing how this can work over the next week and then see if we can make it happen.

    The alternative is a very beautiful memory of what once was. The only problem I have with that is four reasons.

    1. The community will benefit from the reopening of the Ski Hill; this will place the town of Cedar back on the map.
    2. Unemployment in Leelanau County is a disgrace, with a tourism base as strong as it has in the summer, this can be reversed with the opening of Sugar Loaf and add a 2nd season of tourism in the community. The resort will bring back 400 jobs immediately, not to mention all of the ancillary benefits reaching the surrounding towns.
    3. Property Value is down tremendously; the opening of the Ski Hill will stabilize and place property values on an upward trend.
    4. The MOST Important Reason. KIDS NEED TO SKI!!! The mountain is a destination that needs to be shared, not photographed, not remembered, and not talked about. Simply shared.

    Every person that is reading this update and sitting in his office, kitchen, lobby or hotel and living in or near Leelanau County should rise up in arms and do everything possible to help get this resort open. I don’t understand it..? How the F%$& is the status quo acceptable?

    I will chat with Remo either over the weekend or next week and I will see what we can come up to save this mountain from slipping into the abyss. Nobody is going to walk away unharmed in order to re-open Sugar Loaf, at the same time, nobody will be forgotten when it does open. As we’d say in the Army, it’s a big “Sh&%$” sandwich and we all have to take a bite. I’ve got my hanky on and my fork and knife in hand.

    IT’S THE SKI HILL STUPID…Simple Simon strategy.

    Now. To some fun stuff.

    Question: How many entrepreneurs does it take to turn a light bulb?

    Answer: 100 …one to turn the light bulb and 99 to say “I could’ve done that”.

    Every person that has a skill that is marketable should not be sitting behind a desk punching a clock, and waiting every two weeks for a paycheck. Unless…they’re learning. In that case, whether they’re making $500k a year of $25k a year or even working for free, it’s worth the money. Once you learn, you can’t unlearn, and then when you learn, get out there and get going on becoming an entrepreneur, even better yet. ..An extreme entrepreneur.

    My entrepreneur emails start the first week of September.

    Please do the following:

    1. Send my website address to anybody that you know in action sports that want to start a business. Even if they’re in High School, This is simple stuff and if followed, a pregnant Yak could be an extreme entrepreneur (after the birth of course).

    2. Do this in the morning, or in the evening, but spend 5 minutes visualizing what you see being an extreme entrepreneur can do for your family that’s not happening now. For example, a bigger house, a college fund, more travel, more opportunities. I read a story about a father who ran behind his quadriplegic sons wheelchair in marathons for 20 years, (They even competed in 6 ironman’s) because of one statement his son made when he was thinking of the ridiculousness of pushing a wheelchair 26.2 miles…”when I’m running dad, I don’t feel handicapped anymore”. That did it for him. Do or die. In the military I saw visions of my young siblings sleeping in bed safely, and some shitbird may want to hurt them. Well, I had some ideas for the enemy that did not include interrogation and I was an unforgiving squad leader. Sleeping safely is the business soldiers are in…Very simple why. That allows us to deal with any what, who or when.

    3. Positive self-expectancy. Start to practice this today. I will touch on this later in the emails. What it means is always expect the most favorable outcome for you in any situation. I can say without a doubt that it is the most important facet of an entrepreneur’s personality. Develop it now. It takes practice man. As an Olympic boxer, I always knew 110% I would win no matter who I was fighting. So much, it was ridiculous to think otherwise, and I never lost in my 190 bouts. I was simply behind when time ran out. Make this one change between now and September and you’ll see amazing results. From now on; always expect to win. You’re a winner. ..Remember that. Never contemplate the negative result. It may still happen but you’ll be damned if you help.

    Okay. Talk to everyone next week; I’m listening to Sarah sing…back to wine.



  272. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    Since Sean and I have not corresponded in months, it would behoove him to watch the slander he presents in his blogs. His comments are based on speculation and not fact. Why he continues, is beyond me but based on the fact that he has no clue as to what is actually taking place regarding the sale, he would be better off keeping his mouth shut. Why do you do this Sean? What do you think is in it for you? Or is that what your blog is all about – you are looking for what you think you can get out of it? I am legally making a statement right now – do not slander me anymore or you will find yourself facing yet another lawsuit. I am trying to do what is right for the county and the people. Please step back – the locals have made it clear as to your involvement in this matter. Stop interferring and let go. Do your thing out west and leave the good people of the county alone – let me work a deal with those that are already at the table.

  273. Max
    Max says:

    Excellent post Kate! If the little Vegas troll doesn’t get it, it never will. Cetainly more delusions of his own ineptitude in the latest “update”. Holy cow, here we are speaking of the wart from the west again… sheeesh. Is therir an ointment or something to make it go away?

  274. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    Hope the hot air doesn’t spontaniously combust out there in that 107 degree Vegas heat.

  275. Smack
    Smack says:

    LoL….gonna pay your lawyer to file a law suit against Sean for slander? Where are you going to find the money to do that? And what money do you think you’ll get outta Sean in court for his “speculations”? Get a grip…….Foreclosure is inevitable

  276. Mark
    Mark says:

    Coming at it with some legal background, I can’t see the slander. Possibly if Kate was paying taxes and the mortgage over the past three years, still, I agree with Smack, she’ll spend a fortune to get zilch.

  277. Smack
    Smack says:

    And considering Kate admitted that the ex-felons wife is a co-signer on the mortgage, it doesn’t matter who’s at your table..unless of course they are willing to pay WAY over current market value just for fun…as you did. Trick is correct. And regardless of what everyone thinks of Sean, he isn’t too far off with his “speculations”

  278. Smack
    Smack says:

    Correct in the fact that this was all planned out, at the time Kate made the original purchase. The unfortunate pawn. It is a shame, true. Greed is the state of our world economy.

  279. Susan
    Susan says:

    Obviously Liko is trolling for words here. HI veieled attempt to act like concerened Loaf locals is funny. The little troll (I liked that description from and his cross-wired brain have baked a while in the desert.

  280. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    Smack you are spot on. I don’t know about the statement you made in entry 329 (It sounds plausable). Entry 328 is where we are at right now. I believe that Kate, with whatever power she still has, is truly trying to steer a sale to the right buyer, however, unfortunately the morgators and cosigners still hold all the cards. As for Sean, he has no money. He was brought in to stir things up… and he has done his job well.

  281. Smack
    Smack says:

    I suppose “all planned out” is a bit strong. But considering Kate says is post#58 “but believe I have been set up from the beginning.” and “Shortly after my purchase though, stops were put on my lines by others”

    Seems clear to me. Stating Greed is the state of our world economy, well, that’s mind boggling to me if people don’t agree.

  282. Smack
    Smack says:

    To further clarify- I am a current property owner in the Chalets and too, like many others, have lost money in investments in the area. I was very excited when Kate made the purchase and a few of us gathered at the Sugerfoot Saloon. I must be misunderstood when the word greed and Kate are in the same post. I, like many others, DO believe that Kate had and still has positive motives and intentions for the future of Sugar Loaf. The greed and the set-up were all the road blocks she encountered shortly after she purchased. The “others” she refers to. People in it for themselves and themselves only. If “they” would have just worked WITH her, like a productive society should and can, everyone would have made their money and the good people in the community, Leelanau County and state wide and beyond, would be enjoying the superb benefits that is Sugar Loaf.

  283. someone else
    someone else says:

    Despite interviewing Liko

    “But sometimes a really good disc jockey isn’t enough to keep a local program on the radio. Last week, “Mary in the Morning” ceased operations on YOU-FM (a station also owned by Ferguson’s parent company) after 3 ½ years on air. Host Mary Rogers says she had a strong following, but couldn’t get enough revenue to keep the show going.”
    TC Biz News

  284. Del Nolan
    Del Nolan says:

    A fitting end. Brass pole cradle robber drives away more people! However Mary in the Morning, while deluding herself that she was Rachel Maddow ( I’m still laughing at that comment…lol) she barely made it past inklings of Clarence the Clown. No direction and always stumbling over her big wannabe newsy feet. Case in point was puting a Vegas nit-wit on the air.
    Most of anyone that may have listend to her show went, Hugh?

  285. sillyboy
    sillyboy says:

    The little boy from Vegas just couldn’t stand being told no one likes his antics… whaaaaaaaa. So he uses moronic writings to try and sway opinion? That is amusing and so juvinenile. Wonder how many bar tabs he ran up out there? Kate, keep on track the nats will go away soon.

  286. Observer
    Observer says:

    Just to keep up:
    Today’s (well, tomorrow’s to be accurate) post

    August 22 2010
    To All,

    Unfortunately, at some point it is not healthy to puruse a deal.

    Sugar Loaf is no longer able to be opened this season.

    Upon arriving to Traverse City, the promise of what was Travere City and Leelanau County drove my efforts for the last six months. Plans were to move to the county and spend the next five to ten years developing the resort.

    At this time, thanks to Kate Wickstrom with her stalling tactics, misrepresentations and greed along with her nearly bipolar appraoch to business… Sugar Loaf will once again stay closed for another ski season. She has refused to cooperate with my investors, the banks that own the resort and even new investors that have approached to buy the site or portions thereof as collaberators with me. Her goal is to take it to the grave with her.

    Unless Kate Wickstrom gives up possession, Sugar Loaf will stay closed forever.


    PS: Stay tuned for the new website design and the 12 lessons for extreme entrepreneurs. I am buying a hotel and restaurant in Las Vegas, this may help some of you start your own extreme businesses over the next few months. Happy hunting from sunny Las Vegas/

  287. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    Wow, Kate wouldn’t give Mr. Vegas a quit claim deed (which would have given the Polselli’s complete control of the resort). But she is the “bad guy” for holding up progress? Give me a break. Hang in there Kate, we know you are trying your hardest to steer things in the right direction.

  288. LeelanauLocalFolk
    LeelanauLocalFolk says:

    Would someone please make sure the door hits him hard on his way out? Can’t say anyone is all that sad to see him go. Now maybe we can move on to more reputable interested parties. Let’s hope they fare better.

  289. dumb downstater
    dumb downstater says:

    Lesson 1 to be an extreme entremanure. First of all, use your charm to convince the good people of whatever town or county you are in to believe in your pipe dream.

    Lesson 2: Convince them that they will be instrumental in this pipe dream. By doing this, they will be compelled to buy you dinner and drinks. If you do this well, they will offer more hospitality and invite you to stay with them. Then you can perform late night raids on their wine cellars or take advantage of their well stocked fridges.

    Lesson 3: Continue to use your charm and offer very ambitious ideas. Use words like partnerships, high profile investors,etc. to help you conceal that you really have no money.

    Lesson 4: Try to work lesson 1 to perfection before the good people catch on to your game.

  290. Max
    Max says:

    As noted the “Joke” is officially gone! thank goodness the “extreme entremanure” is finally throwing in the towel. The towel was probably taken from a hotel in TC. Local brass pole salesmen are sad.

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