SHERIDAN, Wyo. (AP) — A group hoping to reopen the Antelope Butte Ski Area near Sheridan is close to meeting its first fundraising deadline.

The Sheridan Press (http://bit.ly/xyTLNf ) reported Monday that the group has raised about 80 percent of the $125,000 it needs to have in the bank by Friday.

The Antelope Butte Foundation must submit a permit application to the U.S. Forest Service by then and it must show that the venture is financially viable.

The foundation hopes to reopen the ski area by December. Board member Mike Weitz said the group estimates it could cost between $1.3 million to $1.6 million to get it operating again.

The ski area is located on about 500 acres in the Bighorn Mountains. Its permit was terminated in 2005.