Lutz won't pursue option on Sugar Loaf

(still) waiting for sugar loaf by Andy McFarlaneThe Record-Eagle (and today’s Enterprise) report that Brad Lutz, who signed a purchase agreement for the resort in February, announced Tuesday he won’t close because he hasn’t finished his review of the deal.

“We’re still very interested in Sugar Loaf. We’ve done a lot of work out there and we still have a good plan for the property,” Lutz said. “But we couldn’t accomplish in 90 days what others haven’t been able to accomplish in eight years.”

…Lutz declined to discuss his plans in detail, but said he wanted to make the resort more of a four-season attraction in Leelanau County. He said he also needed more time to work on details like county and township approvals for renovating the property, tying down building demolition costs and reaching and resolving sewer issues as the resort’s sewer system is not part of Wickstrom’s holdings.

Read Purchaser pulls back on Sugar Loaf deal in the Traverse City Record-Eagle and also see Offers for Sugar Loaf shot down from the Leelanau Enterprise.

The photo is (still) waiting for Sugar Loaf by Andy McFarlane (who is still (still) waiting for Sugar Loaf).



4 replies
  1. lex
    lex says:

    I guess we’ll be waiting till Glen’s Landfill is tall enough to put chairlifts on it. Gets more snow over there anyways & you don’t have to worry about littering. From the sound of things Lutz is probably better off starting from scratch & building his own mtn…I’ll bring my shovel & my wheelbarrel.

  2. Bryanp
    Bryanp says:

    No one is surprised that Brad is not ready to move forward after 90 days. Even with the pressures from the “unnamed backer” of Kate’s mortgage, Brad will need TIME to work this out.

    What is interesting is what Brad’s process is revealing. Kate is a figurehead. Brad is dealing with the Florida bank and the unnamed mortgage backer (UMB). It is beginning to be more apparent the ex-convict Remo Poselli continues to attempt to retain control of the facility. FYI: The bank in Florida is owned by individuals associated and related to Poselli, his wife, and his attorney. They are not going to allow the property to go under. It isn’t that Kate paid too much – it’s that Poselli paid too much and, now, through this intricate structure, is attempting to preserve some of his capital that he has tied up in the dormant resort.

    I have been associated with the Leelanau Ski Club for several years now. Nearly 10 years ago the club assessed the possibility of acquiring the resort. At that time, they estimated its value at less than $3 million. 10 YEARS AGO! The resort is in much worse shape today. It will take substantial sums just to bring it up to a viable state. I have heard estimates of as much as $20 million. Poselli paid John Sills too much. That’s his problem. And, now it is all of Cleveland Township’s and Leelanau County’s problem.

    This began when the courses were split from the resort. So, first one in line for blame is Sills. Somehow, to be a 4-season resort, the courses need to be reunited with the lodge and its meeting facilities. But, let’s move past blame. Action is now required. I believe it is now incumbent upon township, county, and state leadership to force the hand of the unnamed owners of Sugar Loaf holding it hostage. Condemn the property. Make it a health hazard. It was broken into again in the last week. MAKE IT A PUBLIC ISSUE. GET POSELLI OUT OF THIS ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!

    This is greatly affecting the tax base of the county and limiting the taxes that would be paid by a working facility. Sugar Loaf needs help; not just due diligence. Leadership is required – now more than ever.

  3. MarcH
    MarcH says:

    Bryan your comments are well stated. Has anyone started a petition to condemn the place. I have traveled to Sugar Loaf since the mid 60’s as child and enjoyed skiing there many times. I drive through the property every trip I make to Leelanau whether I am camping at D-H Day, the Plate, or lodging in Traverse City or Leland, just to see if anything has progressed. Every time I drive through the grounds, it stinks more and more of sewage. I hate to think of that incredible mountain decaying the way it is. I love to golf and have played both courses, but the property and surroundngs ahve deteriorate so badly that its hardly bearable. I would like to think that the Township and County Commisions no longer have ties to Poselli, and that his influence will no longer have any pull on the board members. Won’t some local resident stand up and ask for a motion to comdemn the property the next meet? I know that the county rakes in enough taxes from the water front properties to pay for a demolition crew to level the place. Just do it and get it over with. Then maybe a major hotel chain like Marriot or Hyatt, or hell even the Hilton’s might consider a major investment. Marriot converted a resort in Tahoe right beside the Heavenly ski lift, and this property fits the profile perfectly.

  4. lex
    lex says:

    Leelanau county has some interesting rules, I believe one rule is to keep franchise or chain businesses out of the county. So, I’m not sure if a Marriot could build a hotel here anyways.

    I know they have tried to condemn the main lodge & list it as unfit to inhabit, but this isn’t enough. Not sure if anything really even came of this. Not one thing about this resort makes sense; Not a realistic sale price, No upkeep what-so-ever which would lead me to believe maybe they are not really trying to sell it, true owner is in the shadows, true owner has gone to great length to keep this secret & there has never seem to be any intention of doing 1 thing to revamp the Loaf. For me personally, I give props to Brad for at least being honest & trying his best…not really a whole lot he can do. However as noted before, looks like it’s up to us.

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