New Hope for Sugar Loaf Mountain

In Sugar Loaf deal reached in the Leelanau Enterprise, Eric Carlson reports that Omena resident Brad Lutz has signed an option to purchase Sugar Loaf Resort from Kate Wickstrom.I am a Sugar Loafer

The resort has been closed for skiing since March 2000. Lutz offered no timetable for reopening the resort, but made it clear that he expects the return of skiing at Sugar Loaf to be “a central focus” of his efforts. The condition of ski lifts and other facilities at Sugar Loaf Resort is such that no skiing will be possible there this ski season.

“Of course, we want skiing to return,” Lutz said. “Sugar Loaf has some of the best runs anywhere in the Midwest.”

But, Lutz added, he is “going into this deal with some fear and trepidation” and is well aware that he may be facing many obstacles.

“I’ve heard people in Leelanau County say they’ll believe it when they see it when it comes to Sugar Loaf,” Lutz said. “Actually, that’s just about the right attitude to have in this case. I’m enthusiastic, I’m local, and I believe in Leelanau County – but I have no illusions. This will not be simple or easy.”

I have no illusions either, but I am excited to see some new life in a place that was once the winter heartbeat of Leelanau – here’s hoping that we’ll all be Sugar Loafers once again!

13 replies
  1. Mark Pilarski
    Mark Pilarski says:

    I’m not sure how anybody can get giddy yet since it was only “an option to buy” and Mr. Lutz further states “that even if the purchase agreement he signed with Sugar Loaf owner Kate Wickstrom is consummated — and he puts those odds at only “one-in-three, at best” — bringing the resort back to life is still a long shot.” I think I’ll stay a skeptic.

  2. lex
    lex says:

    I’m going the optimistic skeptic route….if that exists. It’s a huge task at hand, but still when I saw that article title I got a nice grin.

  3. Mark Pilarski
    Mark Pilarski says:

    By the way, my comments above were in no way meant to be derogatory toward Mr. Lutz. Anyone who’s willing to tackle Sugar Loaf gets my support and best wishes. It’s Wickstrom I’m worried about.

  4. Andrew McFarlane
    Andrew McFarlane says:

    I don’t think it’s giddyness necessarily. Just a little bit of hope that the Loaf can be pulled out of its decade-long mire. Although I guess I did say “Yee-Hah!”

    Today’s Record Eagle adds:

    Brad Lutz said his biggest fear in buying long-shuttered Sugar Loaf Resort isn’t its dormant equipment or aging facilities.

    He’s more worried about disappointing scores of area residents and recreational enthusiasts who’ve seen their hopes of a revived Leelanau County resort dashed time and again.


    Behind you all the way Brad.
    If there is anything thatWild Cherry Resort/Spinniken Orchards can do to help just give us a call..

    Its really nice to see that LOGO again I still have a patch that i bought way back in high school.
    All of us locals all lived most weekends there and have many stories to tell.
    Glad someone has there **** together hehe GO RAD BRAD

  6. Karl Kitchen
    Karl Kitchen says:

    I had some old Sugar Loaf stickers with the resort name written in blue Bavarian-style script on a white background (that looked a lot like the lettering on the brick wall out front). I only had two left and put them on my ski helmet. If anyone has any more of these stickers, please let me know – maybe we can start printing them again! kkitchen63(at)

  7. Linda Lockwood
    Linda Lockwood says:

    Thank you Brad Lutz for considering this.
    Huge undertaking.
    Locals as well as those that are no longer local but grew up there and remember it fondly and completely support the concept, must stay positive. Good things happen to good people and places. Sugar Loaf can be a shining star in Leelanau again, with the right combination of people, leadership and cooperation.

  8. Missy Agnello
    Missy Agnello says:

    I am so excited for any improvement to the Resort. My children and I spend only the summers at the townhouses because we live in Florida but I have great memories of
    Sugarloaf because I grew up in Grand Rapids. My girls have a great affection for the resort and I would love to bring them up during the winter so they can love both the summers and the winters there. The area holds a special place in our hearts and I know my children will always cherish there time in the wonderful area of Leelanau. I feel privaleged that I have been able to expose my children to this lovely area filled with wonderful people.

    Missy Agnello-Palm Beach, FL

  9. Bill Endres
    Bill Endres says:

    Best of luck Brad – Perhaps I can help in some way. Each and every helper will add up and with enough help you can be successful!

    Bill Endres
    Action Electric & Telecommunications Inc.
    Traverse City, MI

  10. Joel Diotte
    Joel Diotte says:

    Great news about the Loaf. I can see Sugar Loaf from my house and would really like to see something happen there. I am a builder with Frontier Group LLC and my wife works int the restaurant business so we are interested in the possibilities of any development. Brad, please let us know if we can help in any way. Joel Diotte 231-620-3534

  11. chantelle-north carolina
    chantelle-north carolina says:

    I miss Sugarloaf. I have so many good memories growing up there. I hope to be able to visit in the near future.

  12. Gerry
    Gerry says:

    What happened to Surgarloaf. I skiied there alot years ago and bragged to my friends about how great this place was. I just got back into skiing after about 20 years away from. I was trying to find some information on this place and couldn’t. Now I know why. Its too bad this place is closed I realy liked it.

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