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October 4, 2013

Sugar Loaf Deal Lacking Investor?

Filed under: Leelanau,michigan,news,skiing,sugar loaf — Andrew McFarlane @ 8:34 am

Sugar Loaf for SaleJacob Wheeler at the Glen Arbor Sun has a new article that pokes some serious holes in Liko Smith's bid to purchase Sugar Loaf:

Oscar Peters — the British-born billionaire international banker who was helping Eneliko “Liko” Smith launch Las Vegas Airways (LV Air) before Smith turned his attention toward Sugar Loaf — has dropped out of the game. Peters’ exit might leave the West Coast hotelier with no viable way to acquire the long-shuttered Leelanau County ski resort.

Liko Smith had advertised Peters’ financial support on his Facebook page, “The Rok at Sugar Loaf” earlier this week, claiming that he was “partnering with Billionaire Financier Oscar Peters.” But those words have since been removed. In fact, Peters never even knew his name was being floated as an investor for Sugar Loaf.

Peters called the Glen Arbor Sun, via Skype from Sweden, Thursday afternoon to categorically deny that he had any interest in buying Sugar Loaf. Peters had never even heard of Sugar Loaf before Smith published a press release on Saturday via PRNewswire, announcing that he had acquired the ski resort, with Peters’ help.

“We are not involved with Sugar Loaf and we will never be,” Peters said. “You may have a beautiful state in Michigan, but I’m not interested in the resort. Mr. Smith went behind my back.”

Read on for more, including the back & forth letters between Smith & Peters and Smith's response where he claims (in part):

“My investor for Sugar Loaf is a real person that has walked to the top of Sugar Loaf with me and felt the moldy toilets. Not a paper trader from England that has never set foot in Michigan”. As to Jacob Wheeler, my hat is off to him for his investigative skills but I give him an F on objectivity. However, if he or anyone else wants to check my sources, you have my number if you’re interested in the truth” This is why people like me, stay away from reporters. Now let’s get back to doing the real work of opening this mountain” says Smith.

And can we just add that Jacob is at the top of the game in terms of journalism in the area right now? He's digging deeper and getting more on the stories he covers.

4 Comments »

  1. My only surprise is that this has unraveled faster than I thought it would....

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Comment by Yooper — October 4, 2013 @ 10:39 am

  2. Two comments:
    1. His motive to potentially flip Sugar Loaf has come out. I wish him the best and succeeds.but if he doesn't, I hope that he at least gets far enough that he gets the buildings up to code/ cleans up the land. That way, if it does sit for another thirteen years, it won't be an eyesore and won't collapse lol. It will also make it less expensive for me to get up and running when i win lotto and buy it from the banks once he abandons the project :)

    2. Sugar Loaf needs to be owned by trusting locals. With everyone on a bunch of forums and Facebook saying everyone should chip in and buy it, I'm surprised nobody has tried to organize something. Maybe we should.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Comment by Jazz — October 4, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

  3. Rehabilitating Sugarloaf is near impossible

    A faction of the County Board of Commissioners, and those they represent or are supported by do not want job creation in Leelanau County

    Sugarloaf would create too many jobs
    Therefore cannot be resurrected

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Comment by Skeptic — October 5, 2013 @ 8:27 am

  4. The hits just keep coming:
    http://michiganboarder.com/archives/580

    Sugar Loaf is a near fourteen-year abandoned ski resort that was once the jewel of Leelanau County near Traverse City. This is an old resort with a lot of heritage. Since its abandonment, potential buyers have come and gone. Deals have fallen through and in the wake the locals have little confidence in the recent alleged acquirement by an infamous hotelier named Liko Smith. The lack of confidence in Liko is especially strong since in 2010 he attempted to buy Sugar Loaf, but it fell through. A very deep fear is also present within the local community that if the deal does happen, what was once a very beautiful Swiss lodge style resort with all the natural surroundings you could want will turn into a techno rape circus or at very least a Midwest version of Burning Man all season long.

    Liko Smith is Don of what was the first snowboarder hotel “The Block” in Tahoe. The Block was known for its raging parties, industry brand themed rooms, stripper poles, drug use and all around debauchery. The Block closed officially in 2009 for unpaid taxes. Liko is no stranger to scandal. There is a barrage of claims and allegations of poor business dealings that follow Liko everywhere. He doesn’t hide it nor does he seem to be ashamed by it. He makes reference to a lot of these past dealings on his website http://www.theworldsmostextremeceo.com. Liko tries to portray himself as a young business man who isn’t afraid to take chances to get paid, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs” type of deal.

    Eggs broken.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Comment by Goin' Down Quickly — October 5, 2013 @ 10:10 am

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