One Year Later, Sugar Loaf is Still Waiting

Click the “more” link for a photo of Sugar Loaf, a look back and discussion of the future of this Leelanau County institution.

One Year Later, Sugar Loaf is Still Waiting

A little over a year ago, breathlessly wrote:
Sugar Loaf Has a New Owner
Last Friday (Mar 25), Kate Wickstrom closed on the purchase of Sugar Loaf Resort. She is planning a public meeting/celebration that will also be used to to begin the formation of a council to plan the future of the Resort.
Followed the next week by…
More on the Sugar Loaf Purchase
The Traverse City Record-Eagle & the Leelanau Enterprise report that business owners and community members are hailing the purchase of the long-dormant Sugar Loaf resort by Kate Wickstrom. Wickstron plans renovations and hopes to have skiing open by winter 2007. Read Sugar Loaf has new owner in the Enterprise and Deal for defunct ski resort closed in the Record-Eagle.
A year later, the resort sits idle with little to show for a year of ownership other than nearly $100,000 of unpaid sewer bills. Well? What do you think county residents and/or government officials can do to move this whole process along? Post your comment below.



17 replies
  1. amex
    amex says:

    All I can think of is, would I ski at SL if or when it opened again. I look at other area venues and say no. SL is a gold
    mine. I would like to see the county purchase it, do something with it and then sell it.

  2. Herballamb
    Herballamb says:

    I have heard talk of selling the land to a developer and using it for houses. Although the views would be great, I think this would be a pretty sad route for sugar loaf and the community. I think it’s time for an update from Kate Wickstrom.

  3. goski
    goski says:

    Check out this site to see what Kate Wickstrom was doing last year to expand her
    existing rehab facility: Note that she
    says that her company is always looking for properties to develop into rehab
    centers. Sugar Loaf, hm-mm.

  4. UP_Skier
    UP_Skier says:

    In addition to Kate trying to expand in Petosky, she successfully expanded in Albion after purchasing a defunct hospital in Sept ’05. Sugar Loaf has what she needs for her facilities (quiet location, many rooms). She said herself early on in the deal that she was unsure if it would ever work as a ski resort again. With what I’ve read about the Narconon program, it sounds as though it wouldn’t be too hard to make a profit doing that rather than running a ski resort ($20,000+ per person that enters the program). I guess only Kate knows the answers to her true intentions, and unfortunately I don’t think we’ll ever get to hear them. Being in the UP, I’ve seen a few ski resorts near the brink of extinction that have been turned around by the right owners. Sad to say, I don’t think this is the case with Sugar Loaf.

  5. UP_Skier
    UP_Skier says:

    I’m not sure if anybody is even checking these comments anymore, since this is an older blog, but I figured I would post again anyway. Out of curiousity I checked out the online business look-up on, just to see if Kate had incorporated the resort and if so who her partners may be. All of the old llc’s and partnerships pertaining to Sugar Loaf come up, including the new llc’s formed by Sculthorp for the golf course. A new llc, by the name of Sugar Loaf 160, LLC was organized on November 8, 2005 in the state of Florida (ID#B9135R). The manager of the llc, Ronald F LeGrand, is located in Jacksonville, FL. The question arrises, is this an llc associated with the management of the golf courses, OR is this a new entity taking over the ski hill/resort ownership or operations? Or, is it completely unrelated to anything in Cedar, MI and just happens to have Sugar Loaf in its name?

  6. UP_Skier
    UP_Skier says:

    It appears there may be some validity to the rumor in comment #2. The business purpose of the Sugar Loaf 160 LLC is listed as Real Estate Investment and Developement. I thought the manager’s name sounded familiar for some reason. He is a real estate “guru” that hocks his books and cd’s on late night infomercials about buying property with “no money down,” and “making $100,000/yr. working 20 hrs. a week.” He is also the manager of another llc in Florida called the Financial Freedom Network (same agent, same address, same manager).
    It should be interesting to see what happens, but if I were a betting man, I’d bet he isn’t interested in reviving a failed resort. However, like I said in my earlier post, this could be completely unrelated to anything regarding the ski hill.

  7. Dean
    Dean says:

    Good News! the Sugar Loaf Resort which was closed in 2000 will hopefully be revived. The resort which was in mess due to lack of interest of the present owner Kate Wickstrom, who bought the resort in 2005, will come back to life. We really hope that an agreement, which has been reached between Wickstrom and Brad Lutz, would be new owner of the resort, gets materialized.

  8. Kate Wickstrom
    Kate Wickstrom says:

    For whatever it is worth, I am still trying to make something happen. If people would get out of my way, it just might be something that can happen. I am sick and tired, fed up and pissed off with being sued and slandered by those that want something for nothing. I am tired of being stroked by potential wanna be buyers and made a joke of by those that only have a personal interest to make money at the cost of the community. I am currently being sued because the townhouse association feels I owe them for electricty – have any of you seen lights on? They have been taking water from the resort for the past 7 years – have they paid for that? NO. There is some entity that has been stopping this from the beginning and all these games over the past several years have been at my expense – the entity is the “Leelanau Cartel”. I am at a point in my life where I have nothing more to lose and if they want to bring it on, then lets go to court and make it a public affair. Let the people of the county decide. I no longer can afford the legal fees associated with fighting this BS –
    The people of Leelanau County need to know that I have not stopped the resort from opening, but there are people out there that have put their effort, time, energy and money into keeping that from happening, for whatever reason.

  9. Ned
    Ned says:

    Kate you would be wise to research your current interested party very thoroughly. He has a shaky past and the people of Ithaca and Gratiot County are not his fans. Do some research before trusting this guy. The “nondisclosure” agreements and all the legal mumbo jumbo is only written to protect him, not you or the people of Leelanau County. Be careful.

  10. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    It might also serve well, Ned, to look into the real motivations behind the actions of the handful of people who go to places like this board and tirelessly spit and fume in the hopes of shutting down virtually anyone who has anything positive to say about the Loaf’s future potential.

  11. lex
    lex says:

    Big OOPS! My previous comment was not for Kate. Not sure how that happened, that comment wasn’t there when I posted mine. Sorry Kate if you thought my comment was aimed at you. It was aimed at Susan.

  12. KarlK
    KarlK says:

    We’ve seen your side, Ned. What I wonder about are folks who swoop in at the slightest hint of optimism for the sole purpose of squashing it. They know who they and I’m sure you can spot them as easily as the rest of us can. Their stuff isn’t helping anyone (other than, perhaps, the people giving them their marching orders).

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