“People are speculating all over the place. Whenever we’re out eating or enjoying a glass of wine or walking on a trail … everybody wants to know what we’ve heard, and they want to tell us what they’ve heard.”– Brenda Barnes
Since its closing in 2000, Sugar Loaf in Cleveland Township, Michigan has sat abandoned. While its been the center of many spooky abandoned Youtube videos, locals could have described the past two decades by using one of its old trail names: Awful, Awful. After being abandoned for more than twenty years, a new ownership group demolished the hotel. Bridge Michigan reports that locals are trying to figure out what this new development group is planning to do with the land.
In 1947, the ski resort opened for the first time. Its peak was in the 1970s when it saw three thousand guests per day. According to Powder Magazine, the ski resort was known for its après scene, the top-notch ski school, and hotel. It was regarded as one of the most popular ski resorts in the Midwest. In its final season, various signs pointed toward Sugar Loaf’s closure. Worker’s checks bounced near the end of the season, and warm weather in March made the ski resort a mud field. Over the past twenty years, various owners have come through and planned changes, but nothing ever happened. In late 2021, SPV 45 LLC bought the property and rapidly demolished the decaying buildings.
With a large amount of construction going on at the base area, locals are trying to figure out what is going in. Ross Satterwhite, who represents the new ownership group, spoke to community members in a townhouse meeting. When asked about their plans for the land, Ross gave vague answers. Some ideas that locals would like to see happen include hiking/biking trails, cross-country ski trails, a wine tasting room, housing sites, or some other winter attraction. Some though are still holding out hope that lift-serviced skiing will return to Sugar Loaf, but the country’s present-day worker shortage, along with millions of needed investments in snowmaking and lifts, make this unlikely. I just we’ll just have to wait and see.