A local foundation working toward reopening a ski area in the Big Horns is a few thousand dollars closer to its goal.
The Antelope Butte Foundation raised $32,000 during a recent event, which brings the group's total amount raised, thus far, to $190,000. The update's coming in from organizers of the event.
Mark Weitz is the president of the foundation. He said the overwhelming community support fuels their fire to continue with the plan, which is to raise $3 million to reopen and begin operations of the Antelope Butte Ski & Recreation Area, located 59 miles west of Sheridan.
According to a release from the organization, eighty-six-year-old Don Huffaker was one of the 200 people attending the recent fund-raiser. He received a round of applause when introduced as one of the hardy group of community leaders who opened the ski area in 1960 with a rope tow line under the name of Fun Valley, Inc.
He said, he's skied a lot of mountains, some bigger, but enjoyed the variety of terrain at Antelope Butte for more than 40 years.
The local organization has been working for the past 18 months to re-open the lodge, which had been privately owned and operated, until closing in 2004. Their plans are to refurbish the chairlifts and lodge, then re-establish a ski school and develop recreational programs. For more information, go to www.antelopebuttefoundation.org.