The latest reports out of Traverse City suggest that after years of struggles and setbacks, Sugar Loaf Resort may finally re-open under ownership of Liko Smith.
Smith, an entrepreneur probably best-known for his involvement with The Block Hotel chain, subsequent legal troubles and reality TV series (all centered round the failed hotel chain), has been trying to acquire the ‘Loaf since at least 2009 when we reported his ambition to open the resort for the 2010/2011 winter season.
Based on the same snowboarder-centric theme that launched The Block hotels, Smith and his partners plans to develop the 560-acre resort which has been vacant for about a decade, in to a “snowboarder’s mecca” called The RoK at Sugar Loaf, with a target re-opening date of November 27, 2014 — just in time for next season. A website devoted to the project promises groundbreaking amazingness; the world’s “greatest park” and “best snowboarding”.
The Rock at Sugar Loaf will set a new standard in park layout, design and features. The entire mountain will be focused on the needs of the modern snowboarders. From hotel, to restaurant, to bar, to nightlife, to music, art and even aviation. No stone will be left unturned at the Rock. Everything else is beneath us.
And Smith’s own website describes The RoK as
[T]he grandest vision of a snow resort in the history of The United States 100% focused on the sport of Snowboarding.
While the specifics are not laid out yet, Smith’s previous plans for the resort included a biergarten featuring local Leelenau County brews, a wine and espresso bar showcasing Leelenau County’s local vinyards, a new exterior, four-season courtyard with fire pits for après, and 150 rooms including a dormitory option for lodging. No word yet whether the RoK will have these amenities or will be geared more towards the beer & bongwater crowd.
The property was recently listed for $5.7 million, describes the property as:
An opportunity for a developer/hotelier(144rms) to rebuild one of Northern Michigan’s premier 4 seasons resorts. Opportunities: ski area, hotel, restaurant, condo development, conventions, weddings, lifestyle & more. Includes a 3,500 ft paved airplane landing strip. Assets incl: hotel bldg, 2 large storage bldgs, 4 tennis courts, ski lifts, assorted ski area operation equip., hotel/restaurant furniture and fixtures, and an on slope warming hut.
Right now there’s not a whole lot of information to share but I’ll be sure to keep you updated as details unfold.