A Look at What’s Left of Michigan’s Sugar Loaf Ski Lodge
If you skied in Michigan, you've been to Sugar Loaf at least once in your life. Now, the ski lodge located near Traverse City, is just a crumbling resort.
A hot spot for skiers in the 1970's, Sugar Loaf offered a hotel, condos, ski school, and of course a fabulous ski lodge to enjoy socializing by the fire. Back in it's heyday, the lodge would see 3,000 to 4,000 skiers a day, and was once the largest employer in Leelanau County according to Powder.com.
Opened in 1947, the resort had one of the best ski schools to over enthusiasts, and hosted top events for skiing such as a FIS-sanctioned slalom. Things went quiet in March of 2000 and activity fell silent at the once busy ski resort. Rumor was it was due to heavy competition from nearby resorts. They property was sold and has stood vacant for the past 20 years.
Four years ago California lawyer and property owner Jeff Katofsky purchased the decaying property with hopes of developing it back to something big. Reports say his original plan was to salvage the resort building, but years of vandalism have damaged it beyond repair. Last year, the county believed he’d have the place up and running by 2021. It is now apparent from reports that it will not be the case.
Last year, the new owner talked of plans to demolish the old hotel on the property and plant about 10 acres of grapes for the new four-star resort's own house wine. As of now, Katofsky is not disclosing his plans for the property, but says he may relocate the main building.
What is clear is the fact that when Sugar Loaf Ski Lodge closed its doors it did so quickly. Pictures taken as recently as July show the lodge eeriely looking as if everyone left in the middle of the night. According to photographer Riley Fagan, the lodge is still filled with race bibs, scattered papers, paychecks for employees, even skis. Even some rooms look as if they are awaiting weekend guests to arrive. Creepy is an understatement.
Take a look....
Editor's Note: As Atlas Obscure reminds us in their exploration of Sugarloaf, respect the property rights of the owner and conduct any exploration of yours from public roads and land.