Michigan Boarder Exclusive: Liko Smith FAQ’s on Sugar Loaf

Dear Snowboarder,

Where do I start?..let’s see,..what to do- what do do- well,..let’s do this in a FAQ Format – hope you brought your coffee cuz this is a long one.


First of all, I’d like to thank the Glen Arbor Sun for their flattering portrayal of my latest venture, the takeover of the Manitou Music Festival originally created by world renown Cellist Crispin Campbell. Apparently, it’s quite the “To-Do”, so I’m excited about the possibilities- truly, however there were some issues in this feature that I’d like to clarify so nobody is in the dark on how I would improve this much heralded, respected and ordained festival in the heart of Leelanau County.
The Festival will get a New Name
I don’t care if Crispin is the worlds most famous Cellist or worlds best known “Jello-ist”, but the name Manitou Music Festival has the appeal of watching an Indian Burial Ritual in sign language (Rudy Youngblood and I are going to have fisticuffs “again” – when he reads this 🙂 – It would be changed to Electric Daisy Carnival at Sugar Loaf or The Rythmes Du Monde at Sugar Loaf in about 11 seconds. …one is here in Vegas in 30 days- the other is in Quebec, Canada in 2 months but BOTH are parties that make Genghis Khans 40th Birthday Bash look like Church Bingo,…picture 100,000 plus people who are so wasted, and the only Police buses there are “recovery buses (with complete amnesty :), you can take a selfie strung out on coke- smoking a redwood while bear hugging a cop and you’d be home in time for dinner. I know the owners of both Festivals- and I’ve spoken to Rythmes du Monde organizer Denis Brussard about inking a deal for 2015 –  Over 100,000 people in one spot is only way to go at Sugar Loaf. ..as for the Electric Daisy Carnival, it started in Detroit in 1994…and it’s outgrown it 100x over, Sugar Loaf would be an excellent return venue if somebody had the brains and balls to do it. .
Mistakes in The GAS Article
It’s awesome that it’s currently being held in area churches, sleeping Bear Dunes and backyard studios
sorry… I fell asleep while I was imagining the Epic fucking party that must be the epitome of this festival- some issues though:
    • I do not belong in any church- I’d rather be at my ex-wife’s house being grilled for the thousandth time on crimes that even a psychic elephant couldn’t remember…besides nobody can drink boiling holy water.
    • Backyards are for Beer, Broads and Barbecues- not Music..ever unless it’s coming from a boombox – As for what I would do at  “Sleeping Bear” dunes..well, It would be with an angel of a girl- and I wouldn’t be listening to music .use your imagination. ..minus the sleeping.
    • I would never clean an outhouse or anything else, ever- ,..thanks to my Saint of a mother,  I have never done a smidgen of housework my entire life. My idea of loading the dishwasher is getting one of my girlfriends drunk.
Truths in the GAS Article
  • Yes- I would bring a brunette and a blonde – no doubt and clothing would be the last thing they would need, scratch the sand…and yes – stripper poles for sure, just to set the tone for the night.
  • Yes, we would take a 12 mile Jog in the morning after rolling like mobsters until 9am – we’d race straight to the top of Sugar Loaf mountain just to see who could do it- and my sorry ass would be in the front tossing my cookies along the way- (ask my boot camp graduates- we loves to run)…this is 100% Liko.
  • Yes- I would scratch the folk music- Why? The men that listen to this delicious symphonic treat also wear unkempt beards, and resemble the shape of half filled waterbeds in sandals, the women normally, dance barefoot in a trance like manner, have dreadlocks and spend 90% of their time locked in their homes stroking their furry kitties (sorry Snowboarders, for once, I actually mean “cats”, hands back on the keyboards). Besides, My snowboarders would be tossing beer cans (empty of course) at me if I broke out with folk music on a 2 Trillion watt Sound system at Sugar Loaf.
But since I have a heart- I’d place the folk portion in a much more appropriate venue like Bakers Jazz Club on Livernois and 8 mile in Detroit- one of my favorite haunts- cant’ say the attendance is going to skyrocket on 8-Mile,  but at least you’ve got the right age group to work with and the fried chicken is to die for… (just have your taser handy).
I will make SUGAR LOAF ABUZZ year around.
The important thing to recognize is that SUGAR LOAF IS ALIVE- and therefore, it is MEANT FOR THE LIVING- I will make every human effort possible to make it the NUMBER 1 SPOT IN THE MIDWEST  for Concerts, Festivals, Parties, Events, Weddings, Halloween Horror Nights (Rob Zombie Style) and all levels of mega-gargantuan “ass kickery” to culminate in the best place in the midwest to be a Snowboarder. …Most importantly, the best place in the world to be alive…and in the Midwest of America.
Some people have never woken up shitfaced, thrown up their guts, drank another 6 pack of beer and gone to work, or randomly talk to “any” girl you think is beautiful because you don’t know if you or she will be alive tomorrow – the beauty of it – the “fuckemiftheycan’ttakeajoke” way of living that is in each of us that we never fully embrace because we’re too busy being good little boys and girls- let me tell you something, it’s 1 to a Box- live your life on your terms every day.
Laugh at the article- print it out – and then watch how quickly this is going to take shape…soon you will see the potential buried inside Sugar Loaf.
Remo and John Peppler, are scouring offers. The press from last year and the raise in price (my press, my idea) was originally meant to protect my position. Figure in the bank, a few well intentioned but “full of shit” buyers such as the guy that once tried to build a Factory and a group of other speculators and the Bank, Remo and John think they’ll actually get that price. They might – but the project would fail, the land would be half used or in worse condition as a result and never, ever, recover regardless of how many peace poles you stick at the top.
Well…it was just 5 days ago when I spoke to Remo Polselli – It seems, none of those interested parties in any way seem to think that Sugar Loaf can work as a Ski Resort (the fucking balls on these guys) – it’s everything but that- from what I understand, the soon to be “Stalking Horse” (The bid that takes first place in front of all other bids) is actually a “Rehab” company that will make Sugar Loaf an amazing center of Rehabilitation that will wipe out the ski resort, send 0.00  customers to the golf course and end the use of the landing strip..(unless they’re targeting the lucky sperm club type of rehab center)..but regardless, this would be a disaster for Sugar Loaf.  Also, consider the Rehab center controls the water to the townhomes who have been taking care of that well for over 10 years and will need renumeration, and the Golf Course controls the sewer to the Sugar Loaf Resort which owes them over $750,000 in unpaid fees- how will they untangle these interests?  A Gordian knot all fucking over again.
Why are there no hotel operators, ski resorts, or tourist destination companies interested in Sugar Loaf. Simple- it’s over priced!! . . 6 Million is almost impossible in this economy… I found out the hard way –  I attempted to work out a deal at that level of price with six different banks using 4 different programs including SBA and the 6 million value made it most impossible to finance without “global resources” ..in other words “What other shit do you own that we can use as collateral or suck the cash from??” Banks only finance cash businesses,..or secured reserves…. I have a meeting Monday with equity partners and we’ll see what happens. At 8.2 Million, it’s impossible to buy UNLESS you make it a very long term play like new construction or a Rehab Center because they are long plays with built in losses and ramp up periods.It rewards developers who get paid on the build, but it screws everyone else like the county if it closes down again, or if it fails to open.
Now here’s the funny part- it’s overpriced..but at the same time, i’ts undervalued! I can hear you saying – stop playing Games Liko – get to the point. Okay- what it means if that if Remo were to let a Snow Resort Operator in with a low entry point, and allow them a few years to develop the winter and summer business, the value of his land would be 10x that of a Rehab Center because of three critical issues:
    1. Tourism Alignment – Sugar Loaf would feed and be fed all of the tourism business from the surrounding areas developing in 3 years as a critical component to tourism in LC that would be intractible, irrefutable, and irreplaceable, I would imagine the value being close to 25 Million plus if Sugar Loaf were properly leveraged given it’s allowable uses and the surrounding partnerships it would lock in.
    2. Moral Authority – Even though they talk more shit about me than a broken Sewer Pipe- the Friends of Sugar Loaf, the pals of the Sugar Cane, the Sugar Lovers of LC or the committee to make Sugar Loaf sugary again or whatever name you want to call it would revel and applaud any development efforts that restore Sugar Loaf to it’s rightful place as a tourism staple of Leelanau County. Everything from horse riding stables, to paint ball villages. to boot camps, tough mudder obstacles, marathons, film festivals, and of course the infamous RoK resort may not be for everyone all the time, but it will please everyone some of the time and it’s within these golden moments that Sugar Loaf was so conceived as part of the community. It is the developers responsibility to make it so and this moral authority is the most important part of taking on any project…give a community a “Why” and they can deal with almost any “How”. Why was Sugar Loaf created by the community? The answer to that question is the moral action to take.
    3. Real Estate Value- The value of real estate is directly commensurate with the “Variety” of uses for monetary purpose that are executable on the property. Sugar Loaf is the Alpha and Omega of a developers dream. From Single Family residence, to corporate retreats, RV Parks, Golf Courses, Condominiums, Gaming, Farming, etc. etc. no other piece of land in Michigan is as Dynamic, Compelling and simply as “Beautiful” as Sugar Loaf. Don’t believe me; stand atop Sugar Loaf on a snowy or sunny day- nuff said. Every effort will be made to maximize the value of the property but in doing so, align it with the tourist economy of Leelanau County. It is simple to maximize value when you have alignment, moral authority and a common sense approach to making money- all the traits that will see Sugar Loaf open in a shorter time period than you could ever expect.
Please find attached Exhibit A – This was created November of 2013 for the banks – it’s was our first run and far from complete but you can see our original intention.
The RoK has two faces:
Winter- We will OWN this motherfucker- no other venue in the Midwest will get close to the number of Snowboarders or the Winter madness that will be The RoK.
Summer- We will make this the most amazing venue in the Midwest and Great Lakes for tourists, festival goers, concert attendees, locals, marathoners, adventure seekers, romancers, diners, horseback riders and nightlife seekers- ( nearly 70% of our revenues are projected to come from the summer).
How will we finance it long term? and create a Snowboarders “Village” out of Sugar Loaf?
The Visa EB5 Porgram. We’ve already begun talks with an EB5 Conduit from Venezuela that have financed 3 hotel projects in Florida. The key factors 1. Will each investment of $500,000 create 10 or more jobs? 2. Is the area under the national average in employment making it a “targeted employment area”? 3. Is there or can there be an EB5 Visa Regional center nearby that can manage the investment.The answer to all 3 questions are YES. Also, money is trying to get out of Venezuela for obvious reasons, many EB5’s choose China and that is like watching pond water, it does not move fast due to Visa restrictions…Venezuelan money moves like lightning once approved but you have to know the right people. As a gaming executive, I based my negotiations with other countries on Visa restrictions, the same applies to EB5.
The funds are handled by the Regional Center, given to the bank, the bank loans it to the investor (as a secured instrument) and pays fixed interest to the Foreign Nationals with an exit date of 5 years (through a refinance) and everybody wins. I plan to raise 25M this way once the initial resort plans have been completed for about 3M. The former will take 2 years to finalize, the latter by Winter 2015.
I’ve already submitted the Sugar Loaf  project for EB5 Consideration to the Venezuelan conduit attorneys, all points to a go. I just have to take unfettered possession of the property.
This nonsense about other buyers to die down. ..and the sheckels personally to plop down the initial deposit- about 60 days I figure which I will take from other initiatives in my life. Hey dude – in case you haven’t noticed, banks aren’t lining up to loan on vacant, unused, closed down, nearly condemned land…so it has to be 100% risk money at the offset.
Now you know the Short, Mid and Long term game at Sugar Loaf.
I have offered Remo $500,000 Down, 6 month development period, 3 year lease at $20,000 a month and an exit price at the end of the 3 year lease of 5 Million. Also, 10% ownership in the RoK at Sugar Loaf that he can sell or we will buy back after 3 years. His take, $500,000 down plus $720,000 in lease payment plus 5 million equals $6,220,000 in 3 years, and then 10% of the overall resort he can sell in 3 years after that- so if he made another 2.5 Million based on our approximation, he makes 8.720 M give or take. I hope he accepts. If he does – we can finally get going.
  • a) Rudy will start his documentary filming.
  • b) We will start shooting the webisodes and planning the Boot Camp.
  • c) Renovation will begin nearly immediately…starting with the exterior grounds.
  • e) Network green lights the reality show.
The RoK, Snowboarders Mecca is my greatest real estate idea. It is the newest concept in Resort Development that cannot fail. I will open it worldwide…GUARANTEED.
It’s time for everyone who wants to see Sugar Loaf re-open to put aside their petty differences and remember, that this baby cannot be cut in half- it can only be given to the person who cares for it most and I am that person. Just because it’s been closed for 14 years, doesn’t mean it’s supposed to be that way – it needs to be opened as The RoK…the FIRST one in the World.
I am knee deep in the biggest year of my life- putting together an international airline is like herding cats. The structural part has taken over 3 years, and forced me to discard all but the most important of projects. The RoK at Sugar Loaf is going to happen – the brand will be a Billion Dollar Behemoth within 3 years, and Cedar, MI will become a Snowboarders Village one day…and today is another step forward to the first, and hardest step- the final purchase agreement.
Life this year has been amazing. I’m buying new businesses, developing a new friendships and getting past what has been the hardest four years of my life. I have never encountered as many challenges in the history of my existence.  Don’t ever waste your pity for me- even my worst weeks I thank God for an amazing life.
Just last week, I was discussing healthy airline menu options with Wolfgang Puck at Spagos- Then stopped in to visit the only man to take the title from Muhammad Ali in the ring, Leon Spinks before heading to watch my old US teammate Floyd Mayweather Box his ass off- . I thank God for every second of every day that I”m above ground.
I will be coming to Sugar Loaf.
For Snowboarders,

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