By Polly Mikula
The Butternut Inn will be the new home for Castleton University’s School of Resort Management program in Killington, according to a letter of intent signed by Jim Haff and his wife Mary, with Castleton University.
Haff, the owner of the Inn and member of the Killington Select Board, made the announcement to the Killington Planning Commission on Wednesday, April 24.
The lease would be for a seven year period with the option for two renewal terms of five years each. The leases occupancy is for a maximum of 36 students and staff in 18 rooms and 40 parking spaces – all which is already permitted for the Inn’s Act 250 permit, Haff said. (The permit allows for up to three people per room or a maximum of 54 guests.)
The Inn will be used for Castleton University lodging, dining and academics.
“We have come to an agreement, we have a letter of intent and are working toward a lease,” Haff said. “I expect it to be finalized in the next few days,” he told the Mountain Times on Thursday, April 25.
Plans are for Castleton University to take the premise over no sooner than July 1 and no later than August 1 so they can be up and running for fall semester, Haff added.
Haff plans to replace the Inn’s roof, redo the exterior paint/siding and replace the windows – work will begin as soon as the lease is signed. “I will also contact appropriate agencies to verify that everything is up to date,” he added.
Castleton expects the School of Resort Management program to grow and has talked about upping enrollment to 60 students, but details of that expansion are not worked out yet, Haff said. “There is room for some expansion within the Inn, but we’re not discussing those details quite yet.”
Haff has ran the Butternut Inn for over 11 years, having bought it on Halloween 2007. When asked what he plans to do with his time now, he simply shrugged and said, “there are so many thing I could do! Let’s wait until the lease is signed.”