Sunrise Resort – East Haddam, Connecticut - Atlas Obscura
Sunrise Resort is permanently closed.

Sunrise Resort

An abandoned 146-acre summer resort slowly being reclaimed by nature.  


During past summer days, it wasn’t uncommon to find hundreds of people vacationing at the Sunrise Resort. Families once bustled around the cabins, pool, gift shop, cafeteria, and recreational areas until its close in 2008.

Sunrise Resort was created by Hartford taxi driver, Ted Hilton in the 1930s. During its 92 years in operation, it was also known as the Frank Davis Resort. During its heydays, theme weeks were abundant—from Christmas in July, to Halloween in the summer.

Music echoed throughout the 146-acre campus brimming with such activities as horseback riding, sailing, swimming, tennis, basketball, and even an arcade plaza. Visitors stayed in rustic cottages, motel rooms, apartments, and resort lodging. The options were endless. The resort’s mascot, Cukoo, was a vaudeville clown that held contests and created theme weeks. He could be seen leading children playing instruments of their choice, marching from cottage to cottage to wake visitors up for breakfast.

The sun eventually set on this resort. When it closed in 2008, the property was sold to the Connecticut Government and left in disrepair. Rather than restoring the site, the pool was filled and many of the buildings were demolished.

Only three buildings remain at the entrance of the resort along with tiled floors, basketball, and tennis courts. 

Know Before You Go

Sunrise Resort is open to the public as a state park and closes at dusk. The buildings are state property and entering them is considered trespassing. Be careful heading into grassy areas as large snakes have been found around the area. 

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June 29, 2020

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