NewEnglandSkiHistory.com
NewEnglandSkiHistory.com: Connecticut Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire Rhode Island Vermont
Sunday River
Newry, Maine
The South Ridge base area (2007)
The South Ridge base area (2007)
Sunday River Details
Status:Open
First Year of Operation:1959
Vertical Drop:2,340 feet
Lifts in Operation:1 chondola, 4 high speed quads, 5 quads, 3 triples, 1 double, surface lifts
Lifts Removed/Non Operational:2 triples, 3 doubles, surface lifts
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
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.

One of the T-Bars (early 1960s)
One of the T-Bars (early 1960s)
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.

The Sunday River Express (2007)
The Sunday River Express (2007)
For the 1985-86 season, North Peak was added. For 1986-87, Spruce Peak. For 1987-88, the first phase of Whitecap. 1987-88 also saw the installation of the Sunday River Express, Maine's first high speed detachable quad chairlift. 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.

Even with all of the additions of the 1980s, 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 Aquisitions
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 some of the earliest openings in New England in recent years.


NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News
  • REPORT: CNL Lifestyle Properties Looking to Sell Ski Holdings - March 14, 2015
  • Three Areas to Operate This Weekend - November 7, 2014
  • Sunday River and Killington Open - November 3, 2014
  • Killington Announces November 3 Opening - November 1, 2014
  • Sunday River Announces November 3 Opening - October 31, 2014
  • Sunday River Donates $5,000 to Save Lost Valley Fundraiser - September 26, 2014
  • Sunday River, Sugarloaf, and Bretton Woods Fire Up Snowguns - September 19, 2014
  • Sunday River to Upgrade Spruce Triple, Expand Snowmaking - August 11, 2014

  • Expansion History
    Expansion History
    Project NameSeasonStatus
    Locke Mountain1961-62Open
    Barker Mountain1971-72Open
    North Peak1985-86Open
    Spruce Peak1986-87Open
    Whitecap1987-88Open
    Aurora Peak1991-92Open
    Jordan Bowl1994-95Open
    Oz1995-96Open

    Image Gallery
    1962-63 Eastern Ski Map1964-65 Eastern Ski Map1965-66 Eastern Ski Map1966-67 Eastern Ski Map
    1970-71 Eastern Ski Map1971-72 Eastern Ski MapSunday River Aerial Imagery, 1997 vs. 2011
    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 Sunday River Express in 2007Barker 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
    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 Spruce Peak Triple bottom terminal in 2004Spruce Peak Triple
    Borvig
    Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
    1986-87
    The White Cap Quad top terminal in 2007White 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
    Locke Mountain T-Bar

    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
    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 Map1969-70 Sunday River trail map1986-87 Sunday River Trail Map2007-08 Sunday River Trail Map2009-10 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
    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 days523,0002003-04 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 days521,0002001-02 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
    1994-951994-95 Ticket Price Graph1994-95 Season Pass Price Graph546,0001994-95 Skier Visit Graph
    1993-941993-94 Ticket Price Graph1993-94 Season Pass Price Graph525,0001993-94 Skier Visit Graph
    1992-93$39.001992-93 Ticket Price Graph1992-93 Season Pass Price GraphOctober 11525,0001992-93 Skier Visit Graph
    1991-921991-92 Ticket Price Graph1991-92 Season Pass Price Graph502,5071991-92 Skier Visit Graph
    1990-91$36.001990-91 Ticket Price Graph1990-91 Season Pass Price Graph439,0001990-91 Skier Visit Graph
    1989-90$33.001989-90 Ticket Price Graph1989-90 Season Pass Price Graph396,0001989-90 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 Graph1988-89 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
    1983-84$18.001983-84 Ticket Price Graph1983-84 Season Pass Price Graph110,0001983-84 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 Graph1981-82 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$9.251977-78 Ticket Price Graph1977-78 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 191977-78 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 Graph1970-71 Season Pass Price Graph1970-71 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 Graph1968-69 Season Pass Price Graph1968-69 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
    Add a memory of Sunday River
    First Name:
    Last Name:
    E-Mail Address:
    Comments:



    External Links
  • Sunday River - official site
  • Sunday River - Wikipedia
  • Last updated: June 3, 2015

    Also on NewEnglandSkiHistory.com...
    Big expansion plans at Waterville?
    Big expansion plans at Waterville?
    From top to bottom - American Skiing Company
    From top to bottom - American Skiing Company
    A classic trail cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps
    A classic trail cut by the Civilian Conservation Corps
    From a small area to a mega resort
    From a small area to a mega resort
    Will Tenney's lifts spin again?
    Will Tenney's lifts spin again?
    West Bowl at Jay Peak?
    West Bowl at Jay Peak?
       NewEnglandSkiHistory.com:   Connecticut    Maine   Massachusetts    New Hampshire    Rhode Island    Vermont       Site Map    What's New   
    Alpine CCC Ski Trails    Biographies    Cancelled Ski Areas    Expansions    Lifts    Ski Area Management    Maps    News    Then and Now    Timelines    Topics    In The Press    Links
    Attention New Hampshire Taxpayers: Please Visit TaxpayersForCannon.com

    Copyright 2002-2015, All Rights Reserved
    www.NewEnglandSkiHistory.com | Feedback