the lodge to the top of the mountain.  This coupled with the addition of a  three mile novice trail meant the entire mountain was now open to all skiers.  In the fall of 1972, Sherburne Corporation, owners of Killington Ski Area in  Killington, Vt., joined in the development of Sunday River by purchasing  controlling interest in the Mountain.  The Corporation placed 23 year old  Leslie Otten, fresh out of their management training program, as Assistant  Mountain Manager.  The following summer the lodge was enlarged and  renovated for the upcoming year and Les Otten moved up to Manager.   From the experience and success that had been achieved at Killington it  became apparent that the successful operation of Sunday River required  more snowmaking.  In 1974 the Ecstacy trail and a 1 ½ mile snowmaking  line were installed to insure top to bottom skiing from early November to late  Spring. Second home development began in the late 1960's with Viking Village.  By  1976 a 45 lot development named “Sunday River Village” was initiated.   Today there are more than 100 recreational homes in the Valley.  This  development brought great enthusiasm to the area and by late 1977 plans  were on the drawing board for a four phase condominium development. The first phase, South Ridge Condominiums, was completed for occupancy  by Christmas 1978.  This phase included three six unit buildings which were  sold within the six month construction period.  In addition, a totally new base  area was developed.  The Mixing Bowl T-Bar and snowmaking line were  moved down the mountain and the South Ridge Base Lodge was built.   During the summer of 1978 a Poma lift was installed adjacent to T-1 for  additional intermediate capacity serving the Cascades, Sunday Punch, and  Crossbow Trails. In the Fall of 1980 Les Otten became President and General Manager of  Sunday River by purchasing a majority of the corporate stock from Killington.  As Murphy's Law would have it, the next three seasons were poor winters for  snowfall.  During the 1982-83 season Sunday River was one of the few ski  areas in the East to show a profit,  primarily because of the snowmaking  capabilities and marketing promotions such as dumping a truckload of snow  on bare Boston Common.  Les and his staff had perfected making lemonade  from lemons, turning a poor season into a profitable one in 1983. Since the beginning of Otten's leadership, two new chairlifts have been  erected, 50 acres of snowmaking installed, three new grooming vehicles  added to the fleet, five new trails cut, base facilities renovated and  condominium units constructed for a total investment of 8.1 million dollars.   There has been a yearly growth of 10% in skier days and revenues have  kept up the pace too.  Les Otten and the Sunday River Skiway Corporation are looking forward to  the next 25 years and a golden anniversary in 2009. Answer: Paul Kailey was the first skier up the slopes in 1959.  CLICK HERE TO RETURN FROM WHENCE YOU CAME. 
The following is an article published in the August 2, 1984 issue of the Oxford  County (Bethel) Citizen.  Retyped and reproduced with permission.  SUNDAY RIVIAL PURSUIT  No, this is not Sunday “Rivial Pursuit” but, “who was the first skier to ride the  T-bar at Sunday River Ski Area on opening day 1959?”  It has been 25 years since that first skier rode the T-1 T-Bar and made that initial exhilarating run  down Barker Mountain.  This year on their Silver Anniversary, Sunday River  Ski Resort is installing Maine's first triple chair lift, completing 136  condominium hotel units, and is fast becoming one of New England's  premier destination resorts. In 1958 a small group of avid skiers convinced the Bethel Chamber of  Commerce that a ski area would be a great way of improving the  community's winter economy.  On April 28 of that year Sunday River Skiway  became incorporated issuing the first share of stock to the Honorable  Edmund Muskie.  Barker Mountain in nearby Newry was selected as the  location for the new ski area.  With an elevation of 2,582 feet, the mountain  was perfect terrain for a variety of slopes ranging from novice to expert.  In  1959, after almost locating the slopes on the opposite side of the mountain,  a major portion of the proposed development was completed by Clarence  “Johnnie” Rolfe and his hard working crew.  Sunday River opened for  business the following season on the day after Christmas with a 3,200 foot  T-Bar aptly named T-1, an 800 foot rope tow, a main lodge, ski shop and  cafeteria, with a 300 car parking area. The early years were neither easy nor very comfortable.  The very first  season the Mountain was without a grooming vehicle so that all trails had to  be foot-packed.  The power company refused to provide electrical service so the board of directors and their wives took turns spending the night in the  lodge making sure the generators kept running.  In 1961 another T-Bar, the  recently retired T-2 permitted skiing from the top of Barker Mountain to the  base lodge.  T-2 burnt to the ground in the late 60's during the middle of a  busy ski season, but thanks to the volunteer efforts of a group of Green  Berets (stationed on the mountain for winter training) the lift was returned to  working order.  In 1963 a third T-Bar was installed replacing the old rope tow  creating a novice area popularly known as the “Mixing Bowl.”  These T-Bars  have provided some interesting moments.  One Sunday morning at about 10  o'clock, a gearbox burned out in one of the T-Bars.  Luckily, Mt. Abram, a  nearby ski area, had just removed a similar gearbox from one of their lifts.   An energetic and dedicated crew picked up the parts and worked diligently  throughout the day to make repairs.  By 3 o'clock in the afternoon the heroic  crew was finished only to find that the lift ran in reverse. With each passing year the number of improvements and the ski area  continued to grow.  In 1970, then General Manager Seppe “Joe” Gmeunder  developed his own successful snow guns created from of a series of bent  iron pipes.  The snow making facilities were installed on the Mixing Bowl to  hopefully extend the season to Thanksgiving through Easter, regardless of  natural snowfall.  That year Joe was determined to be open and operating  on Turkey-Day.  By 11:00 the Mixing Bowl, covered with man-made snow,  was crowded with 700 skiers.  Joe was forced to call the radio stations to  announce that no more tickets could be sold.  (So much for a great  promotional idea!)  To help boost the uniqueness of the mountain and add  flair to the Mountain's ski school, Joe imported two instructors from Europe -  a Swiss Miss and a French Beau.  In 1971, the mountain's first chairlift, 5,200 feet long was installed by the  Pullman Berry Corporation of Pullman Railway fame.  The chairlift ran from