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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, 1 high speed eight, 1 high speed six, 2 high speed quads, 4 quads, 5 triples, 1 double, surface lifts
Past Lifts:2 high speed quads, 2 triples, 3 doubles, surface lifts
Left: The South Ridge base area (2007)
Recent NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News:
12/18/2023: Ski Areas Devastated by Catastrophic Sto...
10/15/2023: Mid-October 2023 Lift Construction Round...
6/11/2023: Mid-June 2023 Lift Construction Roundup
5/7/2023: Early May 2023 Lift Construction Roundup
SkiNewEngland.net Profile
Located just east of the northern White Mountains, Sunday River is one of New England's largest and most popular ski areas.

Local Beginnings

Sunday River circa early 1958
Sunday River circa early 1958

The origins of Sunday River date back to February 1958, when the Bethel Area Development Corporation was formed with local insurance executive Howard Cole elected as president, State Representative Addison Saunders as vice president, Bethel Savings Bank president and Gould Academy associate headmaster Edmond Vachon as treasurer, and Bethel Inn owner Guy Butler as secretary. The organization's goal was to seek new industrial development and find new winter business. A Winter Business Committee was formed, which reportedly looked at multiple potential locations for a ski area before settling on Barker Mountain (also known locally as Bald Mountain). The committee then obtained options for the needed land from Penley Brothers, Cross Brothers (future owners of Mt. Abram), and Richard Williamson.

On April 10, 1958, the Bethel Area Development Corporation announced plans for a $100,000 ski area, for which construction would start immediately. The group also announced that the site still had three to four feet of natural snow on the ground, making it a good location for spring skiing, with winter committee chairman Murray "Mike" Thurston stating that the area would have a ski season longer than any other in the east. The group hoped to open at least one top-to-bottom trail by the winter of 1958-59.

The group found that the access road only needed widening and surfacing, and that a parking lot could be located 500 feet from the proposed lodge. Lift service would be via a T-Bar up to 4,200 feet long by 1,600 feet vertical (terminating below the "snow fields"), as well as an 800 foot rope tow. Plans were made to hang chairs from the T-Bar in the summer for sightseeing, as well as to eventually construct a lodge atop the mountain. A future 2,000 foot T-Bar was planned for a north-facing "natural snow bowl."

Sel Hannah was hired as a consultant for the project, spending a weekend in mid-April inspecting the area. One of his first suggestions was to change the direction of the trails to a more northern exposure, as he found the initial layout to be too steep and the ledge to be more challenging for the lift installation. Hannah proclaimed, "There is excellent exposure at the natural snow bowl on the north east slope of Bald Mountain. There is no evidence of wind damage, and this along with ideal exposure assures you that you would be able to get most mileage out of the snow. The ground is not too rough, which is an indication the slopes could be grassed without too much expense." Hannah provided his services to the company in exchange for stock.

Governor Edmund Muskie purchasing stock from Addison Saunders and Murray Thurston
Governor Edmund Muskie purchasing stock from Addison Saunders and Murray Thurston

The area finally received its name later that spring, as the Sunday River Skiway Corporation was formed on May 7, 1958. Governor Edmund Muskie purchased the first $10 share of stock in the company just before the Fourth of July, proclaiming "The people of Bethel should be congratulated for their fine spirit of cooperation which has led them to start this movement." The company set a $110,000 stock sales goal for July 15 in order to open for the 1958-59 season.

Trail clearing started on July 26, 1958, as a group of five volunteers began clearing a 25-foot wide path for the T-Bar survey. Trails were laid out on either side of the line by Sel Hannah.

Hopes of a 1958-59 season were dashed in September, when the group announced Securities and Exchange Commission issues had delayed the project. In addition, the group was still trying to find a contractor to clear trails.

Major trail clearing kicked off circa October, with logging company crews taking down valuable timber. A volunteer crew would then follow, cutting down and burning the remaining non-valuable timber. Development proposals were also altered, limiting the length of the T-Bar to 3,000 feet and size of the parking lot if the $110,000 sales goal was not substantially exceeded. Meanwhile, incentives were announced to increase stock sales, ranging from a one-year pass (for $250 in stock) to a lifetime pass ($1,000 in stock). Soon thereafter, shareholders were given a free day voucher for every three shares purchased.

By January 1, 1959 stock sales had nearly reached $30,000. Later that month, Sunday River directors met with Tebru Lifts to discuss the proposed T-Bar. Some directors reportedly travelled to Magog, Quebec to view a new Tebru lift in operation.

In March, the Sunday River Skiway Corporation entered into a contract with Sno-Engineering to take on all further surveying, engineering, and contractor arrangements on the development. Members of the Sno-Engineering team at the time were identified as Sel Hannah, Wildcat founder George Macomber, and former Mt. Sunapee manager David Heald.

On August 10, the Sunday River Skiway Corporation voted to proceed with construction, including the installation of a 3,200 foot long T-Bar in time for a December opening. Plans were also announced for a future T-Bar reaching to the summit of the mountain. Construction soon commenced for a 36 by 60 foot base lodge.

Construction of the original base lodge circa December 1959
Construction of the original base lodge circa December 1959

In October, Clarence "Johnny" Rolfe was named manager of Sunday River Skiway. A native of Bethel, Rolfe had spent much of his life working as a lumberman and had been supervising construction of the ski area. By this point, trails were reported as mostly cut and foundations had been poured for the diesel-powered Hall T-Bar. In addition, the access road and parking lot were completed and the base lodge was being framed.

In November, Nils Torjesen was named ski school director. A competitive skier and jumper prior to serving as a Norwegian Army officer in World War II, Torjeson had relocated to Canada in the 1950s, leading ski schools at Deauville Estate and Country Club and Adele Lodge in Quebec, as well as Hornsjo, Norway.

Construction was nearing completion as December arrived, with Addison Saunders announcing that the area would open as soon as "we have any snow on the ground." T-Bar towers had been installed and the haul rope was being strung, while the two-story base lodge was completed. A 600 foot rope tow was installed for novices. By this point, the $100,000 project was reportedly funded by 20% local stock sales, $40,000 non-local stock sales, and $40,000 in Small Business Administration financing.

Sunday River Skiway Opens

The original base lodge
The original base lodge

As a foot of new snow accumulated, Sunday River Skiway opened on December 29, 1959 with "nearly everyone in Bethel" on hand, according to a Portland Press Herald article. The cafeteria opened one day later, drawing raved reviews in the Portland Evening Express.

In February, plans emerged for a new novice slope to be constructed in time for the next winter. Favorable weather drew a crowd of 2,500 over the three-day Washington's Birthday weekend. In early March, Sunday River hosted the alpine ski events for Gould Academy's winter carnival.

The T-Bar in February 1960
The T-Bar in February 1960

In mid-March 1960, Betty Potter of the Portland Press Herald reviewed Sunday River, writing "Despite the fact the mountain has only two trails open this year, the slopes were not crowded," adding, "Because Bethel is an infant in the business, skiers there make it a point to welcome newcomers to their areas, everyone knows everyone else and gay comraderie [sic] is prevalent." Potter noted that "The lodge is already too small and there is a definite need for more trails. There is plenty of mountain left to develop and plans call for expansion."

The best skiing of the season was reported in late March. Operations continued into the second weekend of April, with bare spots reported on the upper mountain. The directors of the corporation were reportedly pleased with the season, as business increased each month. Off-season plans included grading existing trails to enable skiing with less snow and cutting a new nearly mile-long trail on the north side of the area. Mike Thurston was elected president of the Sunday River Skiway Corp., replacing Addison Saunders.

In October 1960, Sunday River announced the construction of two new trails and the relocation of the novice rope tow. At the time, Sunday River's trails were not formally named. Leading the way was what would become Sunday Punch, described as a new 4,500 foot long by 200 foot wide intermediate trail. The intermediate Crossbow trail was also reportedly added. In addition, the existing (later known as) Cascades slope was improved, the base lodge painted dark brown, a snowcat ordered, and a survey line set for an upper mountain expansion.

As mid-December arrived, the new snow cat was delivered, but natural snow cover was lacking. A 10 inch snow storm allowed the ski area to open for the 1960-61 season just before Christmas. In January, Sunday River's trails formally took on the names Cascade, Rocking Chair, Cross Bow, and Sunday Punch, the latter becoming a race venue.

Meanwhile, weekend attendance had reportedly doubled as compared to the debut season. The season reportedly cruised along smoothly until Washington's Birthday weekend, when rain and fog hurt business and resulted in the postponement of a race. Snowpack improved in March, allowing Sunday River to continue into April. The season ended after 112 days of operation, resulting in a 52% increase in revenue.

Locke Mountain Expansion

A rendering of the 1961 expansion
A rendering of the 1961 expansion

In August 1961, Sunday River announced it would be constructing a T-Bar to the summit snowfields (the ledges above the present day Locke Mountain top terminal). By this point, the T-Bar line and extensions of Cascade (later abandoned) and Sunday Punch were reportedly cut, while the 2.25 mile novice-intermediate Lazy River trail was planned. The 2,200 foot long T-Bar would increase Sunday River's vertical drop to 1,400 feet. In addition to the new trails and lift, the parking lot was expanded and a separate ski shop building constructed.

In November, Uel Gardner was announced as the new ski school director. The area picked up two feet of snow just before Thanksgiving, but opted not to open due to subsequent warm temperatures and ongoing construction. Instead, the season kicked off just before Christmas, following a moderate snow storm.

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

Looking to provide a beginner experience for beginners, the Mixing Bowl area was constructed for the 1963-64 season, served by a Hall T-Bar. The 37 acre complex was billed as a "completely separated" area for novices. The Mixing Bowl later became the site of Sunday River's first snowmaking installation in 1970-71.

Despite these advances, Sunday River was still behind the times. An early 1970s Skiing magazine review stated the small lodge was "so crowded it looked like one of the Titanic's lifeboats. And the cafeteria has about the range of lifeboat survival rations."

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, grooming, and base facilities. Work on Sunday River's second base area, an extension downward of the Mixing Bowl complex under the name South Ridge, began in 1978.

Otten Takes Over

The South Ridge base area circa the early 1980s
The South Ridge base area circa the early 1980s

Les Otten purchased the ski area in 1980 and quickly turned dreams into reality while growing skier visits exponentially. Otten claimed to finance some of his work by selling scrap metal lying around the property.

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. In light of the infrastructure changes and reworked trails, Les Otten told Skiing magazine, "basically what we did was take the mountain apart and put it back together the way we wanted it." Now it was time to expand.

New Peaks

Spruce Peak circa 1987
Spruce Peak circa 1987

Sunday River's growth quickly accelerated as the mid 1980s arrived. Rather than focus on developing high end real estate, Otten went for a different approach, telling Ski magazine, "we're a middle class ski area all the way. We want to provide the average skier with a condo he would have to pay $80,000 to $120,000 for elsewhere."

On the strength of real estate development, North Peak was added for the 1985-86 season. 1986-87 brought the addition of Spruce Peak on the then-western end of the resort, served by yet another triple chairlift. Skiing magazine described the new wide, steep groomers as "largely responsible for Sunday River's bright new reputation among collegians and the yacht-club set."

For 1987-88, the first phase of Whitecap debuted with the lower Whitecap trail pod. Dubbed as the largest single season expansion ever in the Northeast, 1987-88 also saw the installation of the Sunday River Express, Maine's first high speed detachable quad chairlift, as well as an expansion of the Barker lodge. The upper portion of Whitecap was added for the 1988-89 season, including the legendary White Heat.

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

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. What was billed as the first of its kind in the East, the Sunday River Mountain Bike Park debuted in June 1991. Aurora Peak was added for 1991-92, the Summit Hotel and Conference Center for 1992-93, the Jordan Bowl in 1994, and Oz in 1995. In the mid 1990s, the editor of Ski magazine stated that Sunday River had "gone from a blip to a major force in the East," while noting it was "built quickly and cheaply." Les Otten told the New York Times, "This isn't just a ski area, it's an entertainment company."

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 and S-K-I 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 on North Peak, while the short lived Spruce Cliffs trail was cut on Spruce Peak. Meanwhile, Sunday River was trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of snowboarding, featuring eight parks, a lighted halfpipe on Lower Tempest, and hosting the USSA National Snowboard Championship in March of 1998.

With the American Skiing Company quickly sliding into financial doom, Sunday River's long term trend of massive expansion came to a grinding halt. Beyond the lack of investment in the ski area, four season operations were effected when the mountain bike operation was suspended in 2003. 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. Lift served mountain biking soon resumed at Sunday River.

Sunday River co-founder Mike Thurston passed away on November 25, 2008 at the age of 87.

Boyne Takes Over

The Chondola in 2017
The Chondola in 2017

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 continued to see heavy investment in snowmaking, resulting in it having October opening days more often than not.

While sitting idle on July 10, 2016, the top terminal of the Spruce Peak Triple suffered a catastrophic failure, resulting in the lift being totaled. Due to the nature and the timing of the event, Spruce Peak was without lift service for the 2016-17 season. Lift service was restored to the peak in December 2017 when a new Doppelmayr triple chairlift was opened.

Following his retirement from competitive mogul skiing after the 2018 Winter Olympics, Gould Academy alum and Bethel native Troy Murphy created his Donny Pelletier persona in 2018. Donny quickly became a popular figure at Sunday River, staging events and appearing in promotional material.

In March 2019, Sunday River announced it would cease operating its mountain bike park and zip line tours. That off-season, a new T-Bar was installed on lower Locke Mountain for racing purposes.

For the 2022-23 season, the Jordan Bowl Express Quad was replaced with a new high speed eight person bubble chair. Following the season, the Barker Express Quad was removed to make way for a high speed six-pack.

The 2023-24 season kicked off with top to bottom skiing off the Jordan 8 chairlift in mid-November. The new Barker 6 chairlift debuted on December 9. On December 18, a massive rain storm devastated Sunday River and the surrounding region, shutting down the resort for nearly a week. A mudslide filled the Gould Academy building in the Barker base area while water cascaded around the new Barker 6 base terminal. Trails and roads suffered washouts, including the loss of a culvert resulting in occupants being stranded at the Grand Summit Hotel. The resort reopened for limited operations on December 23.



NewEnglandSkiConditions.com Reports
Month Average Percent of Terrain Open
October4%    (4 reports)4 Open
November10%    (15 reports)10 Open
December29%    (21 reports)29 Open
January70%    (17 reports)70 Open
February86%    (9 reports)86 Open
March85%    (9 reports)85 Open
April34%    (18 reports)34 Open
Recent Conditions Reports
Feb. 16, 2024 by bostonbob
Packed Powder, Powder
Feb. 15, 2024 by bostonbob
Frozen Granular, Ice
Jan. 14, 2024 by nordicgal
Loose Granular, Frozen Granular
Dec. 15, 2023 by newenglandskier13
Packed Powder, Variable Conditions
Dec. 9, 2023 by tuckers
Wet Powder, Variable Conditions
Sunday River on NewEnglandSkiConditions.com


NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com News
Recent Articles
Ski Areas Devastated by Catastrophic Storm - Dec. 18, 2023
Mid-October 2023 Lift Construction Roundup - Oct. 15, 2023
Mid-June 2023 Lift Construction Roundup - Jun. 11, 2023
Early May 2023 Lift Construction Roundup - May. 7, 2023
Sunday River Announces Two New Lifts for 2023-24 Season - Feb. 16, 2023
Lift Construction Continues as December Starts - Dec. 4, 2022
2022-23 Ski Season Starts Tomorrow - Nov. 16, 2022
Lift Construction Continues as August Comes to a Close - Aug. 28, 2022
Lift Construction Already Underway - Apr. 2, 2022
One Injured in Sunday River Gondola Incident - Feb. 24, 2022
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
Merrill Hill
Open
2022-23


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 lift line (January 2020)
Alera Group Competition Lift
Doppelmayr
T-Bar
2019-20
The Aurora Quad bottom terminal in 2007
Aurora Peak Quad
Yan
Chairlift - Quad - Fixed
1991-92
Opening day (December 9, 2023)
Barker 6
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Sixpack - Detachable
2023-24
The Chondola bottom terminal in 2011
Chondola
Doppelmayr-CTEC
Chondola - Sixpack - 8 Person
2008-09
The base terminal circa August 2022
Jordan 8
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Octo - Detachable
2022-23
The Jordan Mountain Double east terminal in 2007
Jordan Mountain Double
Garaventa CTEC-Hall
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1994-95
The Little White Cap Quad base terminal in 2007
Little White Cap Quad
Yan
Chairlift - Quad - Fixed
1988-89
The Locke Mountain Triple midstation in 2007
Locke Mountain Triple
Borvig
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
1984-85
Merrill Hill 2
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
2023-24
The base terminal during the 2021-22 season
Merrill Hill Triple
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
2021-22
The Perfect Turn Express bottom terminal in 2007
North 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 2007
Quantum Leap Triple
Hall-Borvig
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
1992-93
The South Ridge Express bottom terminal in 2004
South Ridge Express
Poma
Chairlift - Quad - Detachable
1992-93
The base terminal (December 2017)
Spruce Peak Triple
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
2017-18
The bottom terminal (2016)
White Cap Quad
Yan
Chairlift - Quad - Fixed
1987-88
The White Heat Quad in 2007
White Heat Quad
Yan
Chairlift - Quad - Fixed
1988-89

Past Lifts
Seasons
The Barker Mountain Double circa the 1970s
Barker Mountain Double
Pullman-Berry
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1971-72
-
1986-87
The bottom terminal (2016)
Barker Mountain Express
Yan-Poma
Chairlift - Quad - Detachable
1987-88
-
2022-23
The base terminal circa the 1960s
Cascades T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
1959-60
-
Fall Line Double
Borvig
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1985-86
-
2007-08
The Jordan Bowl Express Quad bottom terminal in 2007
Jordan Bowl Express
Doppelmayr
Chairlift - Quad - Detachable
1994-95
-
2021-22
The top terminal circa the 1960s
Locke Mountain T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
1961-62
-
1983-84
The Mixing Bowl T-Bar circa the mid to late 1970s
Mixing Bowl T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
1963-64
-
1977-78
North Peak Triple
Borvig
Chairlift - Triple - Fixed
1985-86
-
1996-97
South Ridge Double
Hall
Chairlift - Double - Fixed
1981-82
-
1991-92
South Ridge T-Bar
Hall
T-Bar
1978-79
-
The South Ridge Triple in 2004
South 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
2023-24 Sunday River Trail Map
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
2020s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2023-24$159.002023-24 Ticket Price Graph$1619.002023-24 Season Pass Price Graph10.2 daysNovember 142023-24 Skier Visit Graph
2022-23$149.002022-23 Ticket Price Graph$1609.002022-23 Season Pass Price Graph10.8 daysNovember 17April 232022-23 Skier Visit Graph
2021-22$139.002021-22 Ticket Price Graph$1599.002021-22 Season Pass Price Graph11.5 daysNovember 18April 242021-22 Skier Visit Graph
2020-21$119.002020-21 Ticket Price Graph2020-21 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 23April 242020-21 Skier Visit Graph
2019-20$109.002019-20 Ticket Price Graph$1419.002019-20 Season Pass Price Graph13.0 daysNovember 9March 152019-20 Skier Visit Graph
2010s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
2018-19$105.002018-19 Ticket Price Graph$1389.002018-19 Season Pass Price Graph13.2 daysOctober 19April 282018-19 Skier Visit Graph
2017-18$105.002017-18 Ticket Price Graph$1349.002017-18 Season Pass Price Graph12.8 daysNovember 11April 292017-18 Skier Visit Graph
2016-17$99.002016-17 Ticket Price Graph$1309.002016-17 Season Pass Price Graph13.2 daysNovember 23May 12016-17 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 21April 292006-07 Skier Visit Graph
2005-06$59.002005-06 Ticket Price Graph$1300.002005-06 Season Pass Price Graph22.0 daysNovember 17April 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 daysNovember 1501,0002002-03 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 GraphMay 1513,0001999-00 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 GraphOctober 23552,0001997-98 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
1991-92$37.001991-92 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 13May 181988-89 Skier Visit Graph
1987-88$27.001987-88 Ticket Price Graph1987-88 Season Pass Price GraphMay 181987-88 Skier Visit Graph
1986-87$24.001986-87 Ticket Price Graph1986-87 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 12240,0001986-87 Skier Visit Graph
1985-86$22.001985-86 Ticket Price Graph1985-86 Season Pass Price Graph190,0001985-86 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
1979-80$10.501979-80 Ticket Price Graph1979-80 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 2April 740,0001979-80 Skier Visit Graph
1970s Ticket Price Season Pass Price
Pass Payback
Opening Day
Closing Day
Skier Visits
1978-79$9.751978-79 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 19May 31977-78 Skier Visit Graph
1976-77$9.251976-77 Ticket Price Graph1976-77 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 10April 101976-77 Skier Visit Graph
1975-76$8.001975-76 Ticket Price Graph1975-76 Season Pass Price GraphOctober 31April 161975-76 Skier Visit Graph
1974-75$8.001974-75 Ticket Price Graph1974-75 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 16May 21974-75 Skier Visit Graph
1973-74$7.001973-74 Ticket Price Graph1973-74 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 18April 271973-74 Skier Visit Graph
1972-73$7.001972-73 Ticket Price Graph1972-73 Season Pass Price GraphNovember 22April 211972-73 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
1966-671966-67 Ticket Price Graph1966-67 Season Pass Price GraphApril 21966-67 Skier Visit Graph
1965-661965-66 Ticket Price Graph1965-66 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 181965-66 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 GraphJanuary 111963-64 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 Graph$50.001961-62 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 20April 81961-62 Skier Visit Graph
1960-611960-61 Ticket Price Graph$50.001960-61 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 22April 161960-61 Skier Visit Graph
1959-601959-60 Ticket Price Graph$50.001959-60 Season Pass Price GraphDecember 29April 101959-60 Skier Visit Graph


Visitor Memories
"Sunday River was in many ways a dream of Bethel life resident, Mike Thurston who was one of the first skiway presidents. He was part of a core group that helped raise cash and do the necessary work which resulted in recreational downhill skiing coming to Newry. The mountain (sometimes referred to as "the hill" by my parent’s generation and which within this article is referred to a ridge) was our winter home growing up as kids in the 1960s and which our parents, whether they were beginners such as mine were or they were seasoned ski coaches such as Gould Academy ski coach Paul Kailey, was one big family. As the mountain grew through the 60s, more and more people began skiing there. With the advent of bringing Killington in as general partners in the early 70s, the "hometown effect" started changing into a destination resort. Today, Sunday River has essentially accomplished its goal of ensuring the economic health of the Bethel area which was likely the mission of the Bethel Area Development’s goal in 1958 when it all started. "
Curtis Cole, Jan. 25, 2023
"If you look at Sunday River Trail maps before 2014, you can see 2 lifts near the white cap base area next to the Tempest Quad. (Lift #9). These lifts were used to pull tubes up Tempest trail for tubing, and were labeled as lifts 17 and 18. Lift number 17 was the longer, better, and more safer one to ride, while lift 18 was short lived and was soon removed to make room for the new “Tempest Ridge” townhouses. It is also noted that lift 17 was longer lived, only to be fully removed around 2014. Tubing at Sunday River did not stop after the removal of lifts 17 & 18 however, in 2013 tubing was moved to skiers right of the Sundance Surface lift (#16) near the South Ridge Base area, where it still continues every year. Today, tubing at white cap ( as well as many other children's activities at white cap ) have been either discontinued, or have been moved to South Ridge to create a more centralized hub of activity around Sunday River’s main base of operations. This includes activities like pond skimming, the legendary “Bust n’ Burn” mougel competitions, and the annual firefighters race, all once held on the slopes of White Cap. Tubing at White Cap however, always seemed to stick around, even through the great recession of 2008, but the construction of the chondola at South Ridge changed all that. With the White Cap lodge deteriorating, and the South Ridge lodge prospering, Sunday River discontinued many of the activities at white cap, and the Tubing Lifts were on the list. The last season to ride the tubing park at White Cap was in the 2011 - 2012 season, and soon after were dismantled. The last remnant of the tubing park on the map could still be seen on the 2012-13’ season, but did not operate. Today, the only parts that remain are the top and bottom foundations of both lifts, and can be easily seen from the Tempest quad. "
Tucker Stanton , Apr. 16, 2018
"my son and I remember the small only "lodge" building that had several long benches to change shoes to ski boots on,leaving lungh bags and other gear below. after a couple runs the cold drove us to visit the near by ski eqiiptment sales building {the size of a two car garage} better ski hats goggles and mittens were bought...plus dad got his first new form to feet boots!!! not all that busy, we made several more runs until tuckered out, then had cocoa and hot dogs. the 20'foot lunch counter also served hamburgers had potato chips and a few candy bars. small cozy ultra friendly and a hustle bustle fun long day. excellent snow, and only the first of many trips from Bridgton for several winters. then it began to grow, have condo's,outside hot tubs with bikini gals splashing around. it actually out grew us,,,so many people! sort of lost that homey feeling, and we began visiting loon,wildcat,sugarloaf and of course pleasant mts. question: when did the chawnee ever even visit main??? it'll always remain pleasant mt.ski area to us.... just saying! "
john hunt, Dec. 29, 2017
"Teaching the kids how to ski in the mixing bowl And now I am teaching their kids on the same trail "
Dean Wallace, Mar. 1, 2017
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External Links
  • Sunday River - official site
  • Sunday River - Wikipedia
  • Last updated: January 2, 2024

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