The Antelope Butte Foundation has raised $360,000 to restore a chairlift. It’s the latest development in the effort to reopen the Antelope Butte Recreation Area near Sheridan. The ski area originally opened in the 1960s but closed in 2004.
The foundation received a $180,000 matching grant from Tom and Joan Scott in April. The Joe and Roberta Watt Foundation donated the remaining $180,000, enabling the restoration of the chair lift.
Josh Law, the foundation’s Chief Operating Officer, said that in 2011, a law was passed that allowed Ski Areas to open for summer recreation.
“This is a pretty big game changer for Antelope Butte because we are right on a national scenic byway with hundreds of thousands of cars driving by in the summer time. So there is going to be tremendous opportunity for outdoor recreation, education and so forth at Antelope Butte. It used to be called Antelope Butte Ski Area, it’s now called Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area because it will be a multi-use facility,” said Law.
The recreation area plans to open to the public for the 2018-2019 ski season and has already been used for public and private events like mountain biking, sled dog racing and a wedding.
Law says the Sheridan community is excited for the recreation area to reopen, and that many people have a personal connection to the area, including himself.
“To say I’m excited to have Antelope Butte back open would be complete understatement. It’s just had a tremendous impact on my life growing up.” Said Law.
The foundation has raised $2 million towards reopening the area. Construction on the lodge and chairlifts is already in progress.