Sugar Loaf, the place where I fell in love with snowboarding. The property is in the sights of Liko Smith again, and he has some huge ideas for the propagation and revival of the once grand Sugar Loaf Resort.
If you have been following the recent news and opinions on this deal, you may be finding that many people are skeptical of him and his involvement in this project. From the idea of having a snowboard only resort, to revamping the hotel into some sort of high class baller status hotel. Not to mention, all the shenanagins in 2009/2010. These are all indeed interesting ideas and we here at MiSkiReport.com are looking forward to watching where this project goes.
Following both his new Facebook Page and the Friends of Sugar Loaf discussions, there has been a lot of banter about his past to determine if he is for real about this deal. Seeing how the property was purchased on Friday September 27th, assembling any legitimate, factual news on the subject is not easy. Mr. Smith has had a colored past and these things are now coming back into the limelight for industry folks and northern Michigan community members.
Leelanau County is seen as one of the most beautiful places in America (thanks ABC) and no doub this gem boost the potential of the area. Given the economic challenges and those posed to the ski and snowboard industry, could this actually work to flow cash, bring in jobs to the are and the industry? Dating back beyond Everett Kircher and the development of Boyne Resorts, Michigan has such a long standing history in ski and snowboard culture, could this add to the history or will it fizzle out like 2010? Unfortunately we do not get a say in the matter.
So from reading his press release on the purchase of Sugar Loaf Mountain Resort and wanting to add The RoK, knowledge of what other resorts and areas have done in the past, I ask a few questions of Liko.
Mr. Smith, you seem to have a dialed in plan for the hotel, given this is your area of expertise what’s the status we’re not surprised. How about on-hill operations? Will this be under your watchful eye or is there potential of 3rd party involvement?
Sugar Loaf has some outstanding terrain that’s in a serious dilapidated state. We’re not going to say a 12-month turn and burn isn’t doable, but do you really believe it’s feasible to update all the equipment necessary to bring this to life in said timeframe?
Given your checkered past and asking individuals to look past that, who will be facilitating day-to-day operations and how do you see that rolling out? In addition, what’s the sustainability behind your model of a “snowboard mecca,” cutting out a large majority of the snowsports population?
All opinions aside, if the man behind the deal is Mr. Smith would you support the Loaf and the new direction, or is this a deal breaker for you and your family, crew, or cronies?
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