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Michigan's Old Sugar Loaf Resort Isn't Including Skiing In Rebuilding Plans

Sugar-Loaf-Resort-Facebook-picture-this-winter-2020-Feb.-17 Sugar Loaf abandoned ski run from top of ski hill. (Facebook)

The derelict Sugar Loaf Resort near Traverse City, MI, once one of the top ski resorts in the Wolverine State, was sold in 2017 to Jeff Katofsky, President of J. D. Market Acquisitions. The once-popular resort was shuttered in 2000 after the ski season and has fallen into disarray.

Over the years a few suitors had sought to reopen the resort as a ski destination, but none came to fruition. Websites had sprung up since its closure trying to promote it as a skiing destination again even though it had been closed for 20 years. Hope never waned. It still has a Facebook page.

When the sale took place Katofsky said his intent was to turn it into a year-round luxury resort but declined to give details of what he envisioned other than saying it was going to take some time. The California based firm has now made an application with Leelanau County with a brownfield application to demolish the present structures to begin rebuilding.

However future plans according to the company's website indicate that downhill skiing is not included in those plans, which will be to the chagrin of many country residents as well as skiers throughout the state.

What's included in the plans on the website in addition to luxury accommodations are a full-service spa, fitness and wellness center, fine dining restaurants, and event space. Also included are year-round activities including equestrian, hiking, and cross-country ski trails and golf. The current timeline indicates renovations would begin in 2021 or 2022 with a reopening sometime in the spring of 2024.

At the time of the sale three years ago Mickey MacWilliams, executive director of the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association, said, “The location is great and it’s beautiful overlooking Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands. We’d all love to see Sugar Loaf come back as a ski resort because it was a really special place.”

That hoped-for outcome can now be laid to rest.


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