Demolition has begun at a former ski resort in northern Michigan that stood vacant for over 20 years.
Sugar Loaf in Leelanau County, northwest of Traverse City, once attracted 3,000 skiers a day in winter back in its heyday in the 1970s. The ski resort attracted top-tier talent and was known as “the gem of the entire Midwest,” according to Powder, a skier’s magazine.
It once hosted a ski school, lodge, hotel, golf course and recreational room. After years of bad management, Sugar Loaf switched owners several times before shutting down, according to Powder. Since it closed in 2000, the ski resort reportedly resembles a ghost town, with wildlife running through the rooms and graffiti sprayed all over its walls.
Furniture in the rooms have been knocked over and torn apart for items of value, glass is shattered everywhere and moss has overtaken tables and ski racks, according to photos from Cars 108, a Michigan radio station.
Once the largest employer in the county, Sugar Loaf turned into a ghost resort overnight, its rusting infrastructure creating an eerie vibe as nature slowly overtook its buildings.
“The township is extremely happy that the buildings are coming down and will no longer be a health and safety hazard,” said Tim Stein, the Cleveland Township supervisor. “It’s just finally come to fruition. It’s been 20 years and a lot of hard work.”
Demolition crews using heavy equipment began taking big bites out of buildings last week, the Record-Eagle reports.
“My only comment is ‘yahoo,'” said Marilyn Bordeaux, who lives in a condominium on the property.
She described the former resort as a “horrendous eyesore.”
Sugar Loaf has been the target of many ambitious entrepreneurs and become a symbol of broken and failed dreams over the years.
Real estate developer Jeff Katofsky bought Sugar Loaf in 2016 with plans to invest $134 million into the property and turn it into a year-round high-end resort. Plans for Sugar Loaf also included destroying its hotel and replacing it with a massive vineyard to produce in-house wine, the Record-Eagle reports.
Those ambitions clearly have not been realized, and it’s yet to be seen what Sugar Loaf will look like in years to come.
The Associated Press contributed. You can reach the author @michelle_shen10 on Twitter.