South Deschutes County’s bustling resort community of Sunriver has come a long way in less than a lifetime.
Where today you find vacationers and retirees basking, golfing and rafting in the pine- filtered sun, some 70 years ago you would have a bunch of less-happy campers: army grunts.
The area was the site of Camp Abbot, a World War II training facility designed to train combat engineers in a simulated combat environment.
By June 1944, the camp was abandoned and most of the settlement razed. The Officers Club has been preserved and renovated and is now known as the Great Hall.
The appropriate name for Sunriver was selected by developers John Gray and Donald V. McCallum. Condominiu
ms were built in 1968 in conjunction with the completion of Sunriver Lodge, and in 1969, the master plan was completed and developers began selling lots. Today, the lodge is not only a popular place for visitors to stay in the summer,
it’s also where numerous couples have exchanged vows and the site of a number of company retreats.
Throughout the years, Sunriver Resort began offering additional amenities, including Crosswater Golf Course, whichC was named one of “America’s Top 100 Courses” by Golf Digest in 1999. Sage Springs Club and Spa also opened and caters to visitors and locals alike. The spa offers traditional services like massages, facials and hydrotherapy. The club portion offers indoor and outdoor tennis courts and instruction. Sunriver Resort’s newest development project is Caldera Springs Resort, which includes a Lake House, Zeppa Bistro, a Quarry Pool and a nine-hole golf course. The development is located across from Crosswater Golf Course.
Despite the tranquility of the area, Sunriver’s population fluctuates wildly throughout the year. The area can host close to 20,000 people on some weekends.
These swelling population figures and developments have prompted the need for a new interchange off Highway 97— completed in 2007—making it easier and safer for visitors to exit in and out of the town.
Today, Sunriver is an unincorporated community governed and operated by the SROA and supported by membership dues. Sunriver has its own water, sewer, police and fire departments, an airport, shopping mall and ice rink.
Sunriver is also home to the SHARC, an aquatics and recreation center, operated by the Sunriver Home Owners Association. The SHARC is Sunriver’s premier aquatic, events venue and more.
The Sunriver Nature Center is located on seven acres near Lake Aspen, and features native plants and animals on the center’s grounds, and indoor exhibits show the natural and human history of the area. An observatory with a 20-inch telescope, as well as a “Starport,” is also part of the center.