Reuel Sheldon who has been the Operations Manager at Ski Butternut for 25 years, and has worked at the mountain off and on for 30 years, retires. He steps down after seeing the mountain through many great years and some challenging times. Challenges included the life altering injury to the iconic owner, Channing Murdock in 1994 on the heels of the worst winter on record and the devastating F4 tornado that ripped across the mountain May 29th (Memorial Day) in 1995.
Mr. Sheldon was the head of the Monument Mountain Music Department (K – 12 programs) prior to working at Butternut Basin. He started in 1977 as a night groomer operator running the LMC 2100, the old Tucker and DMC 3700 snowcats. His calm demeanor and decisive action quickly gained the trust of owner, Channing Murdock who in 5-short-years promoted him to Operations Manager.
Under his watch the mountains infrastructure was enhanced greatly. A new Maintenance building was constructed. The Rental Shop was moved from the Clubhouse into the old Maintenance building where it still resides today. The Clubhouse was greatly expanded to allow for more room for food service, a larger Ski Shop and offices for the Ski School. Rentals went through another major expansion and more recently a complete retrofitting to accommodate storage of more than 2000 sets of skis and 350 snowboard setups. Over the summer of 2007 a new pump house and valve house were constructed. This resulted in a huge increase in water pumping capacity, going from around 1600GPM to 3600GPM (gallons per minute), allowing the mountain to make more snow faster. The mountains snowmaking infrastructure has enjoyed a few major expansions as well since Mr. Sheldon was hired the Mountain has installed over 230 energy efficient snowguns. All twenty two trails on the mountain are currently covered with snowmaking guns plus air and water lines, which means the mountain can cover 100% of its trails with man-made snow. Ski Butternut is consistently one of the first mountains in all of New England to open all its trails by snowmaking power alone. Under his tenure three quad chairlifts were erected including; The Top Flight Quad in 1993, The Highline Quad in 2004 and The Cruiser Quads in 2005. In addition four carpet lifts have been added enhancing the experience for beginners and young children alike. A Tubing Center was introduced in 2003 to the joy of many local children and visitors from the city alike.
Promotions from within have taken place to fill the void left by his retirement. Succeeding Mr. Sheldon will be Jeff Harvey who moves from the position of Lifts Manager to Operations Manager. Harvey has been mentored by Mr. Sheldon for a few winters in anticipation of this move.
Sean Welton will take over Jeff Harvey’s position as Lifts Manager. Mr. Welton moved down from Saddleback in Maine with his young family to join the Ski Butternut staff as Assistant Lifts Manager at the start of this winter.
Mr. Sheldon stressed that “Ski Butternut is blessed with a unique and talented staff that is always willing to go above and beyond the call.” “The staff is comprised of a well seasoned team that works well together.” Mr. Sheldon and GM, Jef Murdock, both feel the mountain and the resulting management team are strongly positioned to move forward.