Meadowlark owner worried about nonprofit ski area

LARAMIE (AP) — As supporters of Antelope Butte ski area raise money to re-open it as a nonprofit venture, the owner of the lodge at the nearby Meadowlark Ski Resort is afraid the venture could kill his business.

Wayne Jones doesn’t think there’s enough business to support two ski areas in the Bighorn Mountains. In a report broadcast Tuesday, he told Wyoming Public Radio that it will be hard for Meadowlark to compete with a subsidized ski area.

“A nonprofit, they can sell their ski tickets as cheap as they want, and they can lose as much money as they want. All they’ve got to do, if they lose money, is go and recruit some more tax free money. We don’t have that option,” Jones said.

Antelope Butte, about an hour’s drive west of Sheridan, has been closed since 2004 but a foundation has raised more than $150,000 to reopen it as a nonprofit. It’s also hoping to get state grant money.

Emerson Scott, who used to run Antelope Butte, disagrees with Jones.

Scott said Meadowlark and Antelope Butte had their highest skier days when both were open. He said having both resorts created a “kind of a crucial mass” in the region for skiing.

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