Abandoned Leelanau County Resort May See New Life Under New Ownership

A once popular Northern Michigan resort, that has sat empty for 16 years, may soon be under new ownership.

Sugar Loaf Resort in Leelanau County closed back in 2000.

The ski lodge and resort in Cleveland Township was once a destination.

In June, the Leelanau County Construction Code inspector issued a misdemeanor citation against the current owners, 4500 Investments, LLC.

This week the company was able to get its title cleared, allowing a sale of the resort, and a potential buyer has come forward.

9&10’s Caroline Powers continues our coverage on Sugar Loaf, and what many hope will make it an attraction once again.

At one point, Sugar Loaf Resort was a huge destination for Leelanau County, but for the past 16 years the property has sat empty with the roof coming apart, and doors and windows boarded up.

But county leaders are hopeful new life for the property is on the horizon.

“It’s been tough on the whole community and everybody suffered from it being closed.”

Kris Wakeman has worked at the Sugar Loaf Golf Course across from the Sugar Loaf Resort for more than 30 years.

He’s felt the impact of the resort’s thriving years and tough times.

“To go from what it was to this now is a sad thing,” Wakeman says. “So to have it back into shape and things looking good, it would just mean a lot to the area.”

The rundown buildings and empty chairlifts could soon get a new life.

“We’ve had a prospect that was looking at purchasing the property and is moving forward at this time, I believe, to solidify that purchase,” says Steve Haugen, Leelanau County Construction Code inspector.

Jeff Katofsky, an attorney and property developer from Southern California, has expressed interest in the property.

“It’s the most promising thing we’ve had for news over the last three years,” Haugen says.

The current owners, 4500 Investments, LLC, are facing a misdemeanor citation for 28 building violations.

But if Katofsky purchases the property from them, their charges will be dismissed.

“I think that having that property a viable entity again would really help the county a lot,” Haugen says.

The Construction Code office says that they’re hoping to see a sale of the property as soon as the end of the week.

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