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The South Ridge base area (2007)
Sunday River
Newry, Maine
Status: Open
First Season:1959-60
Vertical Drop:2340 feet
Standing Lifts:1 chondola, 4 high speed quads, 5 quads, 3 triples, 1 double, surface lifts
Past Lifts:2 triples, 3 doubles, surface lifts
Left: The South Ridge base area (2007)
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
9/22/2016: Sunday River Postpones Spruce Peak Lift...
9/18/2016: Lift Construction Yet to Begin at Sunday...
8/18/2016: Sunday River to Install New Triple Chair...
7/12/2016: Sunday River Chairlift Collapses
Located just east of the northern White Mountains, Sunday River is one of New England's largest and most popular ski areas.

Local Beginnings

In the spring of 1958, the Bethel Area Development Corp., led by President Howard Cole, announced plans to develop a ski area on the northeast slope of Bald (Barker) Mountain. Soon thereafter, the Sunday River Skiway Corporation was formed and work was commenced.

Initial plans called for a 1958-59 opening with one lift and trails designed by Sel Hannah. The company likely ran into issues with funds and a lack of time, resulting in a one season postponement.

Activity began to accelerate in the summer of 1959, as funds were released to cut trails and install a T-Bar. A firm deadline was set for December.

Sunday River Skiway Opens

Sunday River in the mid 1960s
Sunday River in the mid 1960s

The $90,000 Sunday River Skiway opened on December 19, 1959 as a modest, surface lift served ski area. A 3,200 foot long T-Bar served two intermediate slopes, while a rope tow was constructed on a smaller novice slope.

For its third season, Sunday River expanded to the top of the ridge as it opened the Locke Mountain area. A 2,200 foot long T-Bar was added, serving an extended stretches of the Cascades and Sunday Punch trails. Overall, the ski area's vertical drop improved to 1,400 feet.

The novice rope tow was replaced with a new T-Bar for the 1963-64 season. Known as the Mixing Bowl, the expanded slope would be the site of Sunday River's first snowmaking installation in 1970-71.

Big Changes

Sunday River finally took the plunge into the world of chairlifts for the 1971-72 season, when it installed a 5,100 foot long Pullman-Berry double chairlift to its new Barker Mountain area. The following year, the ski area was taken over by Killington's parent company and, in 1973, Les Otten was named General Manager.

Under the new ownership, the ski area saw numerous under the hood changes, such as improved snowmaking and base facilities.

Otten Takes Over

Les Otten purchased the ski area in 1980 and quickly turned dreams into reality while growing skier visits exponentially.

For 1981-82, Otten pushed through an aggressive expansion program, including the addition of the South Ridge double chairlift, 20 more acres of snowmaking, and 4 new trails.

Sunday River's first triple chairlift, the Locke Triple, was installed for the 1984-85 season. Along with Pleasant Mountain's summit lift, the Locke chairlift was the first triple in Maine. Expansions had only just begun.

New Peaks

The Jordan Bowl circa its debut in 1994-95
The Jordan Bowl circa its debut in 1994-95

Sunday River's growth quickly accelerated as the mid 1980s arrived. For the 1985-86 season, North Peak was added. For 1986-87, the Spruce Peak was added on the then western end of the resort.

For 1987-88, the first phase of Whitecap debuted with the Little Whitecap trail pod. 1987-88 also saw the installation of the Sunday River Express, Maine's first high speed detachable quad chairlift. The upper portion of Whitecap was added for the 1988-89 season.

Sunday River had started the decade as a minor player in the industry and finished the decade as one of the largest in the East. Despite this, the investments did not halt in the new decade. For 1991-92, Aurora Peak was added, followed by the Jordan Bowl in 1994 and Oz in 1995.

Mergers and Acquisitions

The Sunday River Express in 2007
The Sunday River Express in 2007

Meanwhile, Les Otten formed LBO Resort Enterprises in 1994 and started to compete with former boss Pres Smith's S-K-I Ltd.. In rapid fashion, LBO purchased Attitash, NH and Sugarbush, VT that year, followed by Cranmore, NH in 1995.

The following year, LBO Resort Enterprises and S-K-I Ltd. merged to form American Skiing Company, bringing Sunday River and rival Sugarloaf under the same ownership.

For the following season, the Perfect Turn Express detachable quad was installed. With the American Skiing Company quickly sliding into, this would be the last new lift at Sunday River for over a decade.

On August 8, 2007, American Skiing Company sold Sunday River and Sugarloaf for $77 million to Boyne USA Resorts, which immediately sold the assets to CNL Properties Inc. while procuring a lease agreement to operate the areas.

For the 2008-09 season, the new ownership made quite a splash by installing New England's first chondola (a combined gondola and chair lift), while also adding night skiing. In addition, Sunday River has continued to see heavy investment in snowmaking, resulting in it having October opening days more often than not.

NewEnglandSkiConditions.com Reports
Recent Conditions Reports
Mar. 30, 2016 by rocket21
Spring Snow, Spring Snow
Dec. 23, 2015 by kilomeader
Wet Powder, Variable Conditions
Dec. 13, 2015 by berthtwins
Frozen Granular, Bare Spots
Dec. 9, 2015 by kilomeader
Variable Conditions, Bare Spots
Sunday River on NewEnglandSkiConditions.com

NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News
Recent Articles
Sunday River Postpones Spruce Peak Lift Installation - Sep. 22, 2016
Lift Construction Yet to Begin at Sunday River - Sep. 18, 2016
Sunday River to Install New Triple Chairlift on Spruce Peak - Aug. 18, 2016
Sunday River Chairlift Collapses - Jul. 12, 2016
Skiing Expected in Three States Tomorrow - Nov. 17, 2015
Ski Season Resumes in New England - Nov. 15, 2015
No Saturday Skiing in New England Again - Nov. 13, 2015
Sunday River to Offering Only Weekend Skiing in New England - Oct. 30, 2015
Killington Discontinues Ticket Sales - Oct. 23, 2015
Killington First Ski Area Open in North America - Oct. 18, 2015
Sunday River NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News Page

Expansion History
Project
Season
Locke Mountain
Open
1961-62
Barker Mountain
Open
1971-72
North Peak
Open
1985-86
Spruce Peak
Open
1986-87
Whitecap
Open
1987-88
Aurora Peak
Open
1991-92
Jordan Bowl
Open
1994-95
Oz
Open
1995-96

Image Gallery
1962-63 Eastern Ski Map1964-65 Eastern Ski Map1965-66 Eastern Ski Map1966-67 Eastern Ski Map1967-68 Eastern Ski Map1970-71 Eastern Ski Map
View All Images in Sunday River Image Gallery


Lifts
Click on lift name for information and photos
Standing Lifts
Installed
The Aurora Quad bottom terminal in 2007Aurora Peak Quad
Yan
Chairlift - Quad - Fixed
1991-92
The bottom terminal (2016)Barker Mountain Express
Yan-Poma
Chairlift - Quad - Detachable
1987-88
The Chondola bottom terminal in 2011Chondola
Doppelmayr-CTEC
Chondola - Sixpack - 8 Person
2008-09
The Jordan Bowl Express Quad bottom terminal in 2007Jordan Bowl Express
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Quad - Detachable
1994-95
The Jordan Mountain Double east terminal in 2007Jordan Mountain Double
Garaventa CTEC-Hall
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1994-95
The Little White Cap Quad base terminal in 2007Little White Cap Quad
Yan
Chairlift - Quad - Fixed
1987-88
The Locke Mountain Triple midstation in 2007Locke Mountain Triple
Borvig
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
1984-85
The Perfect Turn Express bottom terminal in 2007North Peak Express
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Quad - Detachable
1997-98
The bottom terminal (2016)Oz Quad
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Quad - Fixed
1995-96
The Quantum Leap Triple in 2007Quantum Leap Triple
Hall-Borvig
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
1992-93
The South Ridge Express bottom terminal in 2004South Ridge Express
Poma
Chairlift - Quad - Detachable
1992-93
The bottom terminal (2016)White Cap Quad
Yan
Chairlift - Quad - Fixed
1988-89
The White Heat Quad in 2007White Heat Quad
Yan
Chairlift - Quad - Fixed
1988-89

Past Lifts
Seasons
Barker Mountain Double
Pullman-Berry
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1971-72
-
1986-87
Cascades T-Bar

T-Bar
1959-60
-
Fall Line Double
Borvig
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1985-86
-
2007-08
The top terminal circa the 1960sLocke Mountain T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
1961-62
-
1983-84
The Mixing Bowl T-Bar circa the mid to late 1970sMixing Bowl T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
1963-64
-
North Peak Triple
Borvig
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
1985-86
-
1996-97
South Ridge Double
Hall
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1981-82
-
1991-92
The South Ridge Triple in 2004South Ridge Triple
Borvig
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
1986-87
-
2007-08
The bottom terminal (2016)Spruce Peak Triple
Borvig
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
1986-87
-
2016-17
Sunday Punch Poma

Platter
1978-79
-
1980s

Maps
1962-63 Sunday River Skiway Trail Map1963-64 Sunday River Skiway Trail Map1964-65 Sunday River Skiway Trail Map1967-68 Sunday River Skiway Trail Map1968-69 Sunday River Trail Map1969-70 Sunday River trail map
View All Sunday River Trail Maps

Year by Year History
Adult Weekend Full Day Lift Ticket; Adult Full Price Unlimited Season Pass
2010s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2016-17$99.002016-17 Ticket Price Graph2016-17 Season Pass Price Graph2016-17 Skier Visit Graph
2015-16$89.002015-16 Ticket Price Graph$1245.002015-16 Season Pass Price Graph14.0 daysOctober 19May 12015-16 Skier Visit Graph
2014-15$89.002014-15 Ticket Price Graph$1245.002014-15 Season Pass Price Graph14.0 daysNovember 3May 22014-15 Skier Visit Graph
2013-14$87.002013-14 Ticket Price Graph$1210.002013-14 Season Pass Price Graph13.9 daysOctober 26April 212013-14 Skier Visit Graph
2012-13$85.002012-13 Ticket Price Graph$1175.002012-13 Season Pass Price Graph13.8 daysNovember 6April 212012-13 Skier Visit Graph
2011-12$80.002011-12 Ticket Price Graph$1149.002011-12 Season Pass Price Graph14.4 daysOctober 29April 152011-12 Skier Visit Graph
2010-11$79.002010-11 Ticket Price Graph$1079.002010-11 Season Pass Price Graph13.7 daysOctober 22April 242010-11 Skier Visit Graph
2009-10$77.002009-10 Ticket Price Graph$1049.002009-10 Season Pass Price Graph13.6 daysOctober 14April 192009-10 Skier Visit Graph
2000s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2008-09$77.002008-09 Ticket Price Graph$1049.002008-09 Season Pass Price Graph13.6 daysOctober 31April 262008-09 Skier Visit Graph
2007-08$72.002007-08 Ticket Price Graph$999.002007-08 Season Pass Price Graph13.9 daysOctober 31April 272007-08 Skier Visit Graph
2006-07$67.002006-07 Ticket Price Graph$1400.002006-07 Season Pass Price Graph20.9 daysNovember 212006-07 Skier Visit Graph
2005-06$59.002005-06 Ticket Price Graph$1300.002005-06 Season Pass Price Graph22.0 daysNovember 17473,0002005-06 Skier Visit Graph
2004-05$59.002004-05 Ticket Price Graph$1100.002004-05 Season Pass Price Graph18.6 daysNovember 10525,0002004-05 Skier Visit Graph
2003-04$56.002003-04 Ticket Price Graph$1249.002003-04 Season Pass Price Graph22.3 daysNovember 10523,0002003-04 Skier Visit Graph
2002-03$53.002002-03 Ticket Price Graph$1249.002002-03 Season Pass Price Graph23.6 days501,0002002-03 Skier Visit Graph
2001-02$52.002001-02 Ticket Price Graph$1245.002001-02 Season Pass Price Graph23.9 daysMay 1521,0002001-02 Skier Visit Graph
2000-01$51.002000-01 Ticket Price Graph2000-01 Season Pass Price Graph547,0002000-01 Skier Visit Graph
1999-00$49.001999-00 Ticket Price Graph1999-00 Season Pass Price Graph513,0001999-00 Skier Visit Graph
1990s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1998-99$49.001998-99 Ticket Price Graph1998-99 Season Pass Price Graph526,0001998-99 Skier Visit Graph
1997-98$47.001997-98 Ticket Price Graph1997-98 Season Pass Price Graph552,0001997-98 Skier Visit Graph
1995-961995-96 Ticket Price Graph1995-96 Season Pass Price GraphOctober 301995-96 Skier Visit Graph
1994-95$43.001994-95 Ticket Price Graph1994-95 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 10546,0001994-95 Skier Visit Graph
1993-941993-94 Ticket Price Graph1993-94 Season Pass Price GraphOctober 11525,0001993-94 Skier Visit Graph
1992-93$39.001992-93 Ticket Price Graph1992-93 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 1525,0001992-93 Skier Visit Graph
1991-921991-92 Ticket Price Graph1991-92 Season Pass Price GraphMay 17502,5071991-92 Skier Visit Graph
1990-91$36.001990-91 Ticket Price Graph1990-91 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 9439,0001990-91 Skier Visit Graph
1989-90$33.001989-90 Ticket Price Graph1989-90 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 1May 24396,0001989-90 Skier Visit Graph
1980s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1988-89$30.001988-89 Ticket Price Graph1988-89 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 131988-89 Skier Visit Graph
1987-88$27.001987-88 Ticket Price Graph1987-88 Season Pass Price Graph1987-88 Skier Visit Graph
1986-87$24.001986-87 Ticket Price Graph1986-87 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 121986-87 Skier Visit Graph
1985-86$22.001985-86 Ticket Price Graph1985-86 Season Pass Price Graph1985-86 Skier Visit Graph
1984-85$20.001984-85 Ticket Price Graph1984-85 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 211984-85 Skier Visit Graph
1983-84$18.001983-84 Ticket Price Graph1983-84 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 15110,0001983-84 Skier Visit Graph
1982-83$16.001982-83 Ticket Price Graph1982-83 Season Pass Price Graph1982-83 Skier Visit Graph
1981-82$15.001981-82 Ticket Price Graph1981-82 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 241981-82 Skier Visit Graph
1980-81$13.001980-81 Ticket Price Graph1980-81 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 151980-81 Skier Visit Graph
1979-801979-80 Ticket Price Graph1979-80 Season Pass Price Graph40,0001979-80 Skier Visit Graph
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1978-791978-79 Ticket Price Graph1978-79 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 161978-79 Skier Visit Graph
1977-78$9.751977-78 Ticket Price Graph1977-78 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 191977-78 Skier Visit Graph
1976-77$9.251976-77 Ticket Price Graph1976-77 Season Pass Price Graph1976-77 Skier Visit Graph
1975-76$8.001975-76 Ticket Price Graph1975-76 Season Pass Price Graph1975-76 Skier Visit Graph
1973-74$7.001973-74 Ticket Price Graph1973-74 Season Pass Price Graph1973-74 Skier Visit Graph
1971-72$7.001971-72 Ticket Price Graph1971-72 Season Pass Price Graph1971-72 Skier Visit Graph
1970-71$6.001970-71 Ticket Price Graph$90.001970-71 Season Pass Price Graph15.0 days1970-71 Skier Visit Graph
1969-70$6.001969-70 Ticket Price Graph1969-70 Season Pass Price Graph1969-70 Skier Visit Graph
1960s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1968-69$4.501968-69 Ticket Price Graph$60.001968-69 Season Pass Price Graph13.3 days1968-69 Skier Visit Graph
1967-68$4.501967-68 Ticket Price Graph1967-68 Season Pass Price Graph1967-68 Skier Visit Graph
1964-65$4.001964-65 Ticket Price Graph1964-65 Season Pass Price Graph1964-65 Skier Visit Graph
1963-64$4.001963-64 Ticket Price Graph1963-64 Season Pass Price Graph1963-64 Skier Visit Graph
1962-63$4.001962-63 Ticket Price Graph1962-63 Season Pass Price Graph1962-63 Skier Visit Graph
1961-621961-62 Ticket Price Graph1961-62 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 10April 81961-62 Skier Visit Graph
1959-601959-60 Ticket Price Graph1959-60 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 191959-60 Skier Visit Graph

Visitor Memories
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External Links
  • Sunday River - official site
  • Sunday River - Wikipedia
  • Last updated: October 17, 2015

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