Ongoing efforts to save Antelope Butte are fueled by Sheridan locals

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Courtesy Photo

When ski area Antelope Butte shut down in 2004, hopes of it re-opening looked bleak. In 2011, members of our community formed the Antelope Butte Foundation, a non-profit organization that is working to re-open Sheridan’s beloved ski area. Since then, the board of directors at ABF has been busy fundraising, working out legal details, and spreading community awareness. So far, they have raised $190,000 in funds, and although it’s a good start, the projected cost of opening the Ski Area is $3.1 million. SHS graduate Josh Law is optimistic about Antelope Butte due to “the passion that the community has for it”, and said “We’re not stopping soon. It’s not a matter of if, but of when”. Board member Tony Tarver said “We’ve had overwhelming support from the community” and has “a ton” of hope for Antelope Butte.

Antelope Butte, which first opened in 1960, had long been the “go-to” spot for skiers in and around Sheridan. It’s proximity to Sheridan made it an easy and accessible place to ski, and it was common to run into friends and familiar faces on the mountain. Over the years, Antelope Butte established its niche as Sheridan’s ski area, and the same loyal customers would return year after year. If you were a skier in Sheridan, you were probably a regular at Antelope Butte. Because of this, the Sheridan community has many members strong sentiment towards Antelope Butte. “I learned to downhill ski at Antelope Butte.” said Tarver “I brought my family here in 2006, and we didn’t have a local place to ski.” Antelope Butte was a friendly and convenient place for skiers, and support for the cause is heavily bolstered by average people who miss their local ski area.

Though money is the main obstacle, there are still ways that average high school students can contribute to re-opening Antelope Butte. Local companies have already volunteered labor for refurbishing the lodge and lifts, and anyone is welcome to come help. Josh Law encourages high schoolers to “spread the word” about the foundation. For more information, visit www.antelopebuttefoundation.org or facebook.com/antelopebuttefoundation.