After 37 years at Butternut, Russ Funk retires to a life of fishing and fun! Tony Bleau is appointed Mountain Manager in his place. Tony had been with Butternut for 18 years and will be overseeing a $500,000 snowmaking expansion at the mountain. Over two miles of new six inch snowmaking pipe, a Bombardier MP+ Groomer, 105 new efficient HKD Millennium tower mounted snow guns with Gilman Hydrant Pads to protect skiers from the 105 new posts + 210 Niedner snowmaking hose sections were installed, a Flowtronex Air to Air Heat Exchanger now cools our compressed air from 200 degrees down to a cool 40, while an Anderson Hi-efficiency Separator removes water from the air lines. All these enhancements lead to improved snowmaking efficiency and increased production and snow quality at the mountain. We started transplanting trees to help define various trail edges that were damaged by the 95 tornado - cleanup and tree plantings still continue each summer!
Joe Mosa retires from the Ski Patrol Director position after 22 years of service. 50 new HKD Tower snow guns and a few miles of new snowmaking pipe were installed. SUMMER CONCERTS & Fireworks proved to be a big hit featuring: Max Creek Memorial Creekend, Derek Trucks Band, Jiggle the Handle & Rev Tor Band. Third World Reggae Festival, Berkshire Amistad, Albert Cummings Blues at the Basin, Brooklyn Cowboys - Honky Tonk Country, Marshal Tucker Band, Bela in the Berkshires featuring Bela Fleck & the Flecktones + Keb' Mo' & Martin Sexton . The Berkshire Mtn. Music Festival a 3 Day concert & camp out with 5 Stages & 50 acts including: Strangefolk, Olu Dara, Yonder Mtn. String Band, Steve Kimick Band, Sector 9 moe., Leftover Salmon, Percy Hill, Soulive and many more.
Ushered in the 1st Annual Berkshire JAZZ Festival Featuring: Cassandra Wilson, Houston Persons, Etta Jones, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Roy Hargrove Quintet, Terence Blanchard, Dianne Reeves, Paul Winter Consort & The Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
New snowmobiles, a few miles of new snowmaking pipe, a new Bombardier groomer are purchased. Einar Aas - Awarded LIFE MEMBERSHIP by PSIA. Einar is the Ski School Director at Ski Butternut. He was awarded Life Membership, the highest honor possible by the (PSIA) Professional Ski Instructors of America - Eastern Division at their annual meeting at Mt. Snow on Tuesday December 3rd. SKI Magazine Top 100 Instructors October issue: Hans Meschter named to this elite list as a member of the Ski Butternut Instructional Staff. Winter 2002-03 was one of the best winters in the ski areas history.
40th Anniversary (1963-2003) Ski Butternut adds a Tubing Center with 5 lanes, 200 tubes and a dedicated handle lift. The area also adds a new Flying Carpet, hooks up to town sewer and rebuilds the Triple chair. We also added a new entrance sign which displays our new logo! Another new Bombardier grooming machine added, 6 new snowmobiles, few more miles of new snowmaking pipes, new computerized ticketing system and T1 internet connection - Ski Butternut enters the high-tech age! SKI Magazine features Ski Butternut and the town of Great Barrington, MA as "a ski destination town" in their November issue. The Butternut Ski & Snowboard Shop voted "BEST OF NEW ENGLAND" by the Snowsports Reps Association and they should know as they visit every shop in the East. Reasonable prices, skilled staff, on-site Demo Center, pleasing merchandising and the quality of the shop's overall offering are reasons mentioned in the award. LIFE SAVER - A guest suffering from a heart attack, has life saved thanks to quick action by Ski Butternut Ski Patrol staff. Patrol team members used an onsite A.E.D. to shock the guest's heart back to a controlled rhythm. TUBING CENTER ADDED offering 5 lanes of winter fun. Including its own handle lift and lights for night operations. WONDERKID CARPET LIFT ADDED ideal for younger kids just learning to ski. 70+ Club Ski Race - Fastest overall time posted by Ski Butternut Ski Patrol member, Gerhart Menzel. Winter 2003-04 weather proved to be a roller coaster with a lack of cold temps before Christmas. Then guests had to brave extremely cold weather from Christmas through late January before it moderated. The cold temps often dipped into negative numbers with daytime highs reaching for single digits. The cold did cut down on visits. The cold weather did have an upside as our snowmaking team was able to use the frigid cold temps to blast the entire mountain with a tremendous amount of snow, shoring up the slopes with incredible conditions that lasted the rest of the season. Season ended April 3, 2004. Vern Gessner "sweeps" off into retirement from the Ski Patrol, 2004.
NEW QUAD CHAIRLIFT INSTALLED New Highline quad replaces the 36 yr old Highline Double located on skiers left of Main Street. The old lift was made in Italy by Carlevaro & Savio. When the operations team installed it they had to learn enough Italian to read the assembly instructions document. The double served the mountain well since 1968. The new lift is 3000' feet long and covers 620' vertical. It will increase the areas uphill capacity to 12075 skier per hour which is an increase of 800 people per hour over the old double. SKI Magazine Top 100 Instructors October issue: Greg Carlson named to this elite list as a member of the Ski Butternut Instructional Staff. SKI Magazine November Issue - Bread & Board the Berkshires "Ski Butternut resembles a Scandinavian Country Club and makes an ideal family destination."
THIRD QUAD CHAIR installed to replace the 40 yr old Grannys Double located on the cruiser trail. The new lift is 2019.7' feet long and covers 416.4' vertical. It will increase the areas uphill capacity to 13,275 skier per hour which is an increase of 1100 people per hour over the older double. The older antique chairlift seats were sold for only $100 each making a number of long time guest happy to have a piece of Ski Butternut and NE Ski history adorn their garden, yard or home. Twenty two additional snowmaking guns are purchased to further enhance the Butternut snowmaking legacy. Ski Butternut furthers its reputation as an affordable place to play by offering lift tickets priced at $15 every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday all season long excluding holiday periods.
One Tough Winter - Skiing in the East never really got started till after MLK holiday.
Ski Butternut invests heavily in a NEW State-of-the-Art Pump House and a few miles of 8 and 12 inch snowmaking pipe to carry the water up the mountain to the snowguns. Ski Butternut has always been known for quality snow and exceptional grooming. This investment drastically increases the amount of water we can pump up the hill (in past years we topped out pumping 1400-1600 GPM) We can now push 3600 GPM (gallons per minute). What it means to our guests - over twice as much snow can be made in the same amount of time. Get ready it should be a great winter.
Einar Aas - July 6, 1934 to July 13, 2008. Einar was born in Trondheim, Norway. He taught skiing at Gray Rocks outside Montreal Canada in 1960. Shortly thereafter he started teaching at Mount Snow and at Blue Hills near Boston. And then became the Director of the Ski School at Madonna Mountain (now Smugglers Notch, VT). In 1964 he moved to the Berkshires and started teaching skiing and running the racing program for Butternut Basin (now Ski Butternut). He quickly rose to the Ski School Directors position. In 1968 he became the Director of the Butternut Summer Day Camp and that fall he opened the Butternut Ski Shop. He eventually also took on the managers role for the rental shop. Holding both the Ski School Director and Rental Shop Manager positions for the rest of his life. Einar was a Class A Racer while living in his native Norway (this was the equivalent of a World Cup racer today). He became certified by the Canadian Ski Instructors Association and became an examiner in 1962. He was certified by the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) in 1964. He served on the board of directors for PSIA-E for twenty-nine years starting in 1973, he also served as president of PSIA-E for several years. He received a lifetime achievement and membership award in 2002. He also served on and was president of PSIA's national board of directors. In addition Einar helped plan and organize the annual Josh Billings Runaground - (one of the largest triathlons in the country), for which he also served as the official starter until 2007. Einar - You'll remain forever in our hearts!
Andrea Dennis - New Business Manager Andrea is enjoying a well deserved promotion from within. Previously she was the office manager. She replaces Sandra Garivaltis who stepped down as the Business Manager in June. A position she held for 13 years. Mark Goodman - New Director of our Snowsports School & Rental Department Mark most recently comes from Hidden Valley PA where he was the Resort Services Manager responsible for the Snow Sports School, Rentals, Guest services, Ticketing and Lift Operations. He also has extensive experience with stints at Smugglers Notch VT (Alpine Programs Manager), Hunter Mountain NY, Whitetail Resort PA (Ski School Director) & Seven Springs PA (Staff Trainer). Jeff Harvey - New Lifts Manager - Jeff replaced Shawn Balestro who moved to Ohio in June. Jeff worked for the mountain in a similar position many years ago. In fact he trained Shawn before he left the mountain years ago. Welcome back Jeff. Jeff has been working on a complete overhaul of the Triple Chairlift. New Roof, New Motor Room and numerous operational upgrades have been made to this classic Triple Chair. 2 New Carpet Lifts have been added to enhance the beginner experience. The new lifts are located on the Scooter trail and collectively can transport guests to the top of the trail or to the SKIwee learning area. With this addition Ski Butternut now offers our guests 4 carpet lifts. An additional Bombardier Groomer BR 350 added to our grooming fleet. 30 More Pipe Dream Tower Snowguns have been added this summer. In addition the mountain staff has added more air lines and replaced existing 4" lines with new 6" water line increasing the volume of water we can convert into snow on these trails. Most additions have been concentrating on the following trails: Lucifer's Leap replaced lines and increased water from 4 to 6" lines. Freewheeler added 6" air lines & 8" water lines. The Race Course Added both air & water lines & Scooter where we added air lines. These additions accompany the new pump house and will continue to show our commitment to offer the best snow conditions possible. The Lower Lodge Bathrooms have enjoyed a beautiful make over.
Recycling - our efforts have been enhanced with the addition of recycling bins being purchased so guests can feel more assured that their bottles and cans are indeed being recycled. Recycling was being handled by our trash collector in the past off site, but too many guests were not aware of this action. By installing these new bins our recycling efforts are more noticeable.
2009 - Summer
Our Motto - "MORE SNOW FASTER"
120 More Pipe Dream Tower Snowguns have been added. In addition the mountain staff has replaced over a mile of snowmaking pipes with new larger capacity air & water lines. Yet again increasing the volume of water we can convert into snow. Most additions were centered around the base area and Hob Nob & Lucifer's Leap slopes. These additions continue to show our commitment to offering the best snow conditions possible!
An inline air/oil separator was also added.
Rentals is receiving 1500 sets of new Rossignol shaped skis & 300 Burton Snowboards. Both are accompanied by new bindings and boots.
The Rental buildings interior was gutted and a new, efficient, ski & snowboard rental equipment racking system with boot driers has been installed. There will be a new flow through the building. Mark Goodman the Ski School & Rentals Director anticipates faster service for guests as the key benefit from the new equipment and storage solution.
Summer Continuation of our Motto - "MORE SNOW FASTER"
30 More Pipe Dream Tower Snowguns have been added on top of last years investment in 120 of these 18ft energy efficient snowmakers. We moved the air water lines on the Freewheeler slope so that our snowmaking investment would play better with the wind and allow for more of the snow we make to stay on the slope on windy days. A new entrance into rentals has been built to better handle those families enrolling kids in our Adventurers and miniRIDERS programs and to separate these guests, who understandably require more guidance, from the rest of the rental customers. End result we'll be able to move all paries through the rental facility much more quickly. More rental equipment was added including Rossignol Skis, Burton LTR Snowboards, Helmets and even some Telemark Equipment. The Terrain Park crew has built more features and the parking lot was regraded to allow it to drain better. Dick McCann was appointed to head up the Ski School and rentals.