Throughout the 90's Butternut Basin was known as "The Pride of the Berkshires."
SKIwee Rope Tow #8 installed See our ad in Sports Illustrated
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Cuyler AKA Tight Turns - Compared Butternut to "a carefully manicured English park that is crisscrossed by well-landscaped paths and then put on an incline plane"
A near record winter in terms of snowfall. Ski area opens two weeks before Thanksgiving the earliest ever.
Aug 8 - Rock & Reggae Festival A concert which attracted 850 people for a seven hour concert at Butternut Basin. It was the most successful outdoor music festival of its kind in the Berkshires in many years. Six bands: Bim Skala Bim, Acoustic Junction, The Danny Tucker Band, The Pearls and Equalities and Pittsfield's INI all played. Frisbees were flying and guests with lacrosse sticks tossed balls near the lake that framed the idyllic landscape to the rear.
Chair #1 -"Top Flight" Quad installed for 30th anniversary season. The chairlift manufactured by CTEK of Salt Lake City UT is 4100 feet long and will increase capacity from 1000 skier/hr to 2175 skiers/hr greatly reducing lift lines. The lift cost about $750,000. Butternut highly capable team handled the installation. In addition to the new lift Butternut installed two 2,000 kilowatt diesel generators. The generators originally were used in 1942 vintage WWII Navy submarines. The generators will supply all the energy needed for snowmaking and will save us $100,000 in electrical costs. Lift tickets increased $1 to $36 for adults this season to partially offset the cost of the new lift and other improvements. Butternut Ski Patrol featured in CBS-TV Rescue 911 TV Show - The life saving efforts of the Butternut Ski Patrol, headed by Butternut's Patrol Director Joe Mosa, a 20 year patrol veteran were featured in Rescue 911 on January 19, 1993. The TV episode highlighted the Butternut Ski Patrol teams quick and decisive action which resulted in miraculously saving the life of fellow Ski Instructor, Mary Allessio. On March 4, 1989 Mrs. Allessio 52 had collided with a tree resulting in seven broken ribs, one puncturing a hole the size of a quarter into her heart. The rib had pierced her left atrium & ventricle and damaged the right pulmonary artery. This was truly an accident with life threatening injuries. The TV episode highlights the combined effort of the Ski Patrol, the Ambulance Squad and the local Fairview Hospital's general surgeon Dr. Veinoglou, who patched the hole in her heart using a piece of Dacron. Marty was being loaded into an ambulance by the Butternut Patrol in just eight minutes after receiving the call for assistance. The ambulance ride took only 4 minutes. Dr Veinoglou stayed with Marty through two subsequent cardiac arrests. He stayed with her for 36 straight hours including an ambulance ride to Hartford Hospital. Doctors informed Marty that if the rescue had taken as little as four minutes longer she wouldn't have made it. Marty Allessio was happily skiing at Butternut Basin the next winter. The Rescue 911 episode, which took five days to film, had Marty Allessio playing herself in all but one important scene. A stunt woman stood in for her - skiing into the tree at least eight times so the cameras could capture the right footage to make the show realistic. Mosa Butternut Patrol Director received the Purple Merit Star - The National Ski Patrols highest honor for his efforts in the rescue.
"Butternut stuck in my memory as one of my favorite mountains ... arriving I recalled why Butternut retained a place in my heart, an abundance of greenery that no other mountain seems to have, towering evergreens, an abundance of Mountain Laurel" Butternut's lift ride is one of the special treats you get for going there, the trails are charming. Butternut still maintains an Old New England Charm." Wrote Chris Davis Haslinger, Jan. 22, 1994 - Taconic Newspapers
Feb 11 - Butternut skiers raise $37,580 for Charity. Former Olympian Doug Lewis (Bronze Medallist at 85 World Championships & US Champion) & 15 Teams participated in the 2nd annual Jimmy Huega Ski Express a charity dedicated to optimizing the health and well-being of persons challenged with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Heuga won a Bronze Medal in the 64 Olympics in Innsbruck Austria. He was diagnosed with MS shortly after his achievement.
June 20 - Channing Murdock injured in bicycle crash. - Channing Butternut's creator and owner was thrown over the handlebars of his bicycle when his front tire hit a substantially recessed manhole cover. Murdock's head and right shoulder hit the paved road surface in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. His pelvis, three ribs, right collar bone and right shoulder blade were broken. A lung collapsed, worse his brain suffered life threatening injuries and trauma. The injury damaged Murdock's centers of speech and memory. Channing who had risen from a job excavating a ski area outhouse, to the Chairman of the National Ski Areas Association. in the blink of an eye his life had been changed forever.
Winter 1994 - Butternut experiences worst winter on record.
Butternut wins prestigious NSAA Design Award from Snow Country Magazine for having the "Best Day Lodge under $2 million"
An F4 TORNADO rips through Butternut Basin on May 29th, Memorial Day. The Tornado rotating at 260 mph, decimated chairlifts and destroyed 8000 mature trees in its 500 foot wide path. It literally took a horizontal swipe out of the lower half of the mountain drastically changing the mountains breathtakingly beautiful landscape. The tornado caused well over 2 million in uninsured damages to the ski area. It damaged 5 of the areas 8 lifts, most of the snowmaking equipment and impacted 18 of 22 trails.
Jef Murdock announces plans to rebuild.
GREEN a Techno mini Woodstock - DJ oriented New Age Concert rocks the Berkshires. Rocking around the clock for 22 hours of "sheer sonic bliss" and attracting about 4000 concert goers to the mountain. In addition to the DJ controlled concert the event featured a multimillion dollar sound system, a full spectrum laser show and a life sized Stonehenge replica. The event was promoted (by Primary Productions - a boston Based recording label & OHM Records of Boston and London) as a drug and alcohol free youthful event exposing new music styles, fashions and culture. There were no live bands only DJ's spinning tunes with the help of computers, synthesizers drum machines & sequencers.
Ski Butternut Rebuilds - ads 50 new snowguns
The new snowguns are put into action quickly as the area receives abundant cold weather. A decent start to the season with the help of mother nature who deposited 25+ inches of snow in the first 20 days of December. A great way to kick off the season with lots of fresh natural snow before Christmas.
1996 - May 18
Channing Murdock receives the Sherman Adams Award at the NSAA national convention.
Dave Ryel AKA "Groupie Dave" joins the staff as Group Sales Manager.
Matt Sawyer joins the staff as Director of Marketing & Sales.
Ski Butternut is the 1st ski area in all of New England to offer a truly AFFORDABLE Season Pass The new low cost season passes were strategically designed to attract skiers who otherwise would not have committed to skiing or riding frequently enough to justify much higher rates. The affordable season pass prices were initially set at the incredibly low rates of $199 Adult, $159 Junior and $59 Kid.
Ski Butternut Summer Concert Series begins in the summer of 1999. Ski Butternut hosted a variety of music from Rock, San Francisco sound, Reggae, Blues, Funk and Jazz blanketing the mountain and echoing down the valley. The summer concerts attracted such nationally recognized acts as: The Marshal Tucker Band, The Roots, String Cheese Incident, Jazz legends The Duke Ellington Orchestra and numerous locally acclaimed acts like Max Creek, Rev Tor, Meg Hutchinson, Advanced Phunk & Flipper Dave. The notorious 3-Day Berkshire Mountain Music Festival aka Berkfest filled the air with diverse music for five years. The concert annually brought 50 top notch musical acts a year to the Berkshires. At its peak Berkfest attracted approximately 10-12,000 concert goers a day to the mountain. Local merchants held the 3-Day Berkshire Mountain Music Festival in mixed reviews, many welcomed the added income and heightened energy, while a few complained of increased traffic or other issues related to any large youth gathering.