Melissa Ziobron Sets Her Sites on Sunrise State Park

The newly elected representative for the 34th District says she wants the state to do something with the former resort.


State Rep. Melissa Ziobron, R-34th District, has filed legislation that she hopes will finally bring to the state's attention her concerns about the former Sunrise Resort in Moodus.

Ziobron's legislation, House Bill 5261, simply states that it seeks "to require the development of a plan for the use of the Sunrise State Park." Ziobron on Monday said that while the legislation may have no expenditures attached, or much teeth at all, she's hoping it will elevate the issue of the former resort's status among state lawmakers.

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Once a thriving tourist attraction amid several resorts that used to flourish in Moodus, the 146-acre Sunrise property, now owned by the state, has sat vacant for years. 

Ziobron said she and many of her constituents in the region are frustrated by the state's lack of impetus in getting the property redeveloped and back on the tax rolls.

In fact, Ziobron said the current state of the park is disgraceful and that her frustration is turning to anger. Getting the state to take action on the site, she said, will be a focus of her first term in the legislature.

Last year the state sought development proposals for the land and two firms submitted plans, including a nonprofit group that wanted to build a  campground and cultural arts center there. 

The state, however, rejected both of the proposals. Meanwhile, the once beautifully-manicured property continues to deteriorate.

The buildings and recreational areas that once held wedding receptions, company picnics, family reunions, school trips and overnight guests still stand, but only as haunting images of what they once were.

Cabins and hotel-style rooms have been vandalized. Broken dishes litter the floors. Beds, mattresses and bureaus remain. Paddle boats and other equipment were left behind. Perhaps the best example, however, is in one dining area, where the condiment station remains stocked.

Ziobron said Sunrise is one of several vacant former resorts in the area that should be revitalized, incuding Johnsonville and Klar-Crest

Melissa Hoy Ziobron January 15, 2013 at 11:42 AM
The actual language addresses the safety specifically: "That the general statutes be amended to require the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to develop a plan for the use of the Sunrise State Park that ensures the safety of the premises." Also, I am hoping the parcel generates revenue, not going back on the tax rolls as stated.
Local Guy January 15, 2013 at 04:00 PM
It was an utter diaster what happened when the state acquired the property. The most prominent building was burned down by the local addicts, the entire place was vandalized and stripped of all metal, and pretty much now it just a collasping mess. The state did absolutely NOTHING with the property. The state- especially the DEEP, is SO conservative when it comes to creative use ideas for state property. Everything just gets gated off and no is use permitted. Sunrise used to host so many annual events that drew hundreds each time to the area- the Canjun-Zydeco festival, the BMW motorcycle thing- and this was all within the last 10 years. It's nice that it didn't get bulldozed into some McMansion development, but what exactly was the plan once the state bought it?


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