DEEP: Sunrise State Park

Sunrise State Park
{Sunrise State Park Sign}
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) seeks proposals from developers for the redevelopment, long term management and operation of Sunrise State Park, located in East Haddam, Connecticut.  
The DEEP seeks a qualified development team with the financial resources and expertise to create a destination location for the Connecticut State Park system.  The DEEP will work with the developer to create a high quality redevelopment which ensures public access, recreation, environmental sustainability, and economic opportunity for the town of East Haddam and the state. For Sunrise State Park to truly succeed as a destination location, the property must be thoughtfully planned, redeveloped, managed and operated. The selected developer will bear all responsibility for financing, permitting, design, demolition, construction, reconstruction, management and operation of the Sunrise Resort property in return for a long term ground lease with the DEEP, who will maintain ownership over the property.
The DEEP seeks to ensure the redevelopment of Sunrise State Park will make the park a destination for Connecticut residents and visitors alike. Redevelopment concepts appropriate to the park should attend to the following goals:
  • Preserve the natural, cultural and historic resources of the property;
  • Provide public access for recreation and amenities such as cultural or environmental education programs;
  • Provide economic benefit for the region and the state over the long term that is compatible with the park setting;
  • Thoughtful architectural design for new buildings which is appropriate to the park setting and DEEPís guidelines listed herein;
  • Promote best practices for sustainable development, including but not limited to water and energy conservation, beneficial reuse of materials, alternative energies and green technologies.  LEED certification for the completed project is highly desirable.
No state funds are expected to be available for the support of this project. Therefore, Sunrise State Park must be economically self-sustaining. It is anticipated that commercial uses compatible with the public uses and historic character of the park will be an integral part of the parkís redevelopment plan. The DEEP will consider proposals for development and/or new construction such as:
  • Recreation facilities;
  • Education facilities;
  • Cultural or arts facilities;
  • Short-term or extended-stay accommodations; including camping, RV, and cabin accommodations
  • Hospitality uses, including hotels and conference/banquet facilities;
  • Food service and small scale retail which support the redevelopment
  • Other public, commercial and mixed-use purposes appropriate to the site and the character of the park.
  • Office and administration space which support the redevelopment.
As the purpose of this RFP is to seek out the best re-use plan for Sunrise State Park, the DEEP will evaluate any proposal outside the above mentioned parameters which the respondent believes is compelling enough in its contribution to the economic vitality of the region and provide public benefit to the citizens of Connecticut.
Notwithstanding the above, the DEEP will not permit the following on the park property:
  • Permanent, long-term residential uses;
  • Industrial or manufacturing uses;
  • Electric power generating stations other than those that furnish power only to Sunrise State Park;
  • Telecommunication towers;
  • Parking, except parking for vehicles used in connection with the maintenance and operation of Sunrise State Park or facilities there and the transportation of visitors to various locations throughout the park;
  • Adult entertainment enterprises.
Ten (10) copies (one unbound), along with one electronic version of the proposal must be enclosed in a sealed envelope and submitted to DEEP before 4:00 pm. Friday, March 16, 2012.
NOTE: DEEP will be hosting a site visit from 10 a.m. to 12 noon on Friday, February 3, 2012. A snow date, if needed, has been scheduled for Monday, February 6th, also from 10 AM to 12 noon.
Site Description
Sunrise State Park, previously known as the Sunrise Resort property, consists of 146 acres located in the west-north-west corner of East Haddam. The park, in the Moodus section of town, shares common boundary lines with the 300 acre Machimoodus State Park to the southeast and Salmon River to the west. The State park benefits from 4,700+ feet of frontage on the Salmon River. The main entrance to the property is from State Route 151 which abuts it to the northeast.

Site Map  (PDF)


The Sunrise State Park property is located east of the Connecticut River in East Haddam, CT.  It is served directly by State routes 151 and 196 which run concurrently past the main entrance to the property. These state roads are two lane roads with one lane in each direction. The nearest four lane road is CT State Route 9 which is west of the Connecticut River.  Route 9 runs northwest/southeast from the greater Hartford area through Middletown to Old Saybrook where it intersects Interstate 95.  From west of the Connecticut River Sunrise may be accessed by use of the Middletown/Portland Bridge and traveling southeast 12 miles to the property.  Sunrise may also be accessed by exiting Route 9 in Haddam, crossing the East Haddam Bridge and proceeding 4.5 miles north to the property.

For further information, please contact:

CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
Division of State Parks and Public Outreach
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT  06106


Content last updated January 2012