2016-11-03 / Front Page

Sugar Loaf bench trial postponed

By Eric Carlson
Of The Enterprise staff

The sale of Sugar Loaf has not occurred and a related trial for Construction Code violations has been postponed.

The much-heralded sale of Sugar Loaf Resort to a new owner did not occur last week as multiple sources had suggested — and hadn’t occurred this week either, as of this newspaper’s final deadline Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, Leelanau County officials said that the expected sale of the long-shuttered ski resort prompted the postponement of a bench trial slated for last Thursday, Oct. 27, in 86th District Court. The current owner of Sugar Loaf Resort is facing criminal misdemeanor charges for ongoing state Construction Code violations at the resort.

The head of the Leelanau County Construction Code Authority, building official Steve Haugen, said he heard both from the current owner of the resort, Remo Polselli, and the prospective owner, Jeff Katofsky, about the pending sale last week.

“I’m told they’re just waiting for a paperwork snafu to be cleared up so they can transfer the property,” Haugen said. “Apparently, there are some typos in the paperwork.”

Leelanau County Register of Deeds Dorothy Miller said Wednesday morning that she had received no paperwork and heard nothing more about the sale of Sugar Loaf Resort since last week. A 100-acre parcel in Centerville Township, formerly owned by the same Polselli-controlled corporate entity that owns Sugar Loaf, was sold to a California couple who own a summer home in Leland Township and hope to farm the land.

Sugar Loaf Resort itself is located in neighboring Cleveland Township. A six-month redemption period built into a mortgage foreclosure process on the resort expired last month, clearing title to the property and allowing its sale. The current owner is a corporate entity known as 4500 Investments, L.L.C., headed by Remo Polselli, a convicted felon for tax evasion who has had an ownership interest in Sugar Loaf since the mid 1990s.

Jeff Katofsky, a California real estate attorney and investor, acquired the right to purchase Sugar Loaf Resort and several other Polsellicontrolled properties earlier this year after prevailing in a lawsuit against Polselli over some of Polselli’s other properties.

Katofsky has said that if he does acquire Sugar Loaf Resort, it will likely take several years and tens of millions of dollars to bring it back to life. He has indicated that he hopes to turn it into an upscale four-season resort that will include winter skiing. Katofsky said he has never visited the resort but plans to do so soon.

As of earlier this week, there appeared to be no sign of activity or visitation whatsoever at Sugar Loaf Resort. Dead leaves and brush remained piled up at entrances to the resort.

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Let's hope Leelanau County

Let's hope Leelanau County officials are not being played for fools AGAIN!