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Thread: New range in town

  1. #1
    Member ARGONUT's Avatar
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    Default New range in town

    I wanted to get a feeling of what every one thought of the ranges around the area and what they would think of having a range that was up to 60 yards static indoors, had a video shoot, as well as having over 30 3d targets up to 40 yards with "real" shooting situations. All indoors. My question is would anyone pay for a membership to this kind of range? 24 hour access would be possible for members. Along with a 10 a day user fee for non-members. Of course maint equipment, staff and repair items would be for sale at a small pro-shop on site. If it grows would expand into custom strings built on site as well as ordering capabilities for larger orders such as bows and so forth. I am interested in everyones input as for I come from an area in michigan where the three bow shops in the area all have large indoor and outdoor ranges. And quite frankly I think the ranges up here suck and wanted to know if everyone else would be interested in a REAL indoor range since the weather sucks for shooting in the winter up here outside.
    He who don't float. Don't follow the ARGO!

  2. #2
    Member skybust's Avatar
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    I think it would be great but wouldnt want to have to drive to Anchorage everytime to use it put one in the Valley also

  3. #3
    Member ARGONUT's Avatar
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    One step at a time. gotta start somewhere.
    He who don't float. Don't follow the ARGO!

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    ARGONUT- I have been in the retail business as a business owner for 15 years now. I LOVE archery and I have on numerous occasions tried to make the numbers work on a large archery range. I simply can't do it. Construction costs or even lease costs for a building the size you will need for a 60 yard range are astronomical in the Alaska market. To rent space in the Wasilla market you are looking at $1.40 to $2.00 a square foot per month. With that lenght of range you are looking at over $10,000 a month just in rent. Now you have to heat it, insure it, and light it. Have fun with the fire marshal too. The is simply not enough customer base up here to sustain it.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member moses42ak's Avatar
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    Been kicking roughly the same idea around lately but not on that grand of a scale. Still researching and not sure how it will pan out.

    Good luck

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    Member jkb's Avatar
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    A range that size in anchorage would require about 180,000 a year in rent or mortgage payments, so you would have to get 16.4 customers spending 30 dollars each 365 days a year just to pay the rent. Figure you'll have double that number of customers for utilities insurance and somthing left to pay the help. Funding is going to be tough with the price real estate and utilites in anch.
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    Member mossyhorn's Avatar
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    I personally wouldn't pay for it. I hate to pay money to shoot and just wait till I can go outside and do it for free.

  8. #8
    Member ARGONUT's Avatar
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    Ok so maybe I have set my sights a little high but there has got to be some way of getting a better indoor range than what we have available now. expesially a 3d range.
    He who don't float. Don't follow the ARGO!

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    Member ARGONUT's Avatar
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    Sorry for being so blunt but you guys sure do like to piss in a guys wheaties. I didn't ask for all that although it is much apriciated advise. I asked would any one be interested in shooting there on a regular basis?
    He who don't float. Don't follow the ARGO!

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    I'll answer your original question. Yes, I'd like to shoot there. I'd guess roughly once a week in the winter...

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I personally wouldn't pay for it. I hate to pay money to shoot and just wait till I can go outside and do it for free.
    Not saying it's right or wrong, but that's the same attitude that I ran into when I planned to build an outdoor range up here. Certainly took the wind out of my sails. I'm still going to do it, but you are going to have to pay to cover insurance and target cost.
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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Bear Paw in Wasilla can get 30 yards for their indoor 3D shoots on Wednesday nights and she has 12 lanes at this point. They are moving their divider wall to gain 4 more lanes soon. Honestly I don't see the point of shooting 60 yards indoors and don't think you would get much participation other than a long distance league once or twice a week. I think most folks like shooting 20 yds and consider that adequate. Offering 30-40 yds would be entertaining and may draw some folks, but I don't imagine people would be lining up.

    The 24 hr. access (I'm assuming a key card...) would be a good idea. That idea has been tossed around out in the valley for a while, but no one has acted on it yet.
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    Member Marc Taylor's Avatar
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    More power to you, ARGONUT, and I'm sure you won't just jump in without working out the numbers, but as AKDoug points out they are real.

    What you may like to know is that many here in Anchorage visit something when it is new but tend to wane in interest as time passes. I haven't figured that out but I've seen it often.

    Making every square foot pay for itself in something that large would be tough month after month. In the summer, everyone is on the Kenai or in the valley fishing, for instance. It can get very LEAN just when you expect to be busy.

    Good luck and you'll receive all of our support if you make it happen. And good on you for asking.

    Taylor

  14. #14
    Member ARGONUT's Avatar
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    the purpose behind the longer yardages indoor is for winter practice i would like to have an out door section for summer when the weather is fairer. but offering real life hunting yardages with the ability to shoot year round is the goal and an ever changing set up of targets aswell. I agree with the summer months being lean thats why i have the yearly membership as well as suplimental such as a pro shop, custom arrow makers, custom bowstring and so forth. Maybe we don't need 60 yard but definatly 30-40.
    He who don't float. Don't follow the ARGO!

  15. #15
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    So none of you hunt in the winter? Seriously practice in the situations you hunt in........why are Alaskans so chicken to spend some time outside once it starts to get "cold"? Winter is the best time of year up here! No tourists, quiet and south central has beter weather than some lower 48 states.

    If you dont practice at -40 it will without a dubt effect your accuracy when your hunting at -40.
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    Default Winter hunting

    Agreed Rick P... Winter is the easiest time of year to get around in the bush. You can use snowshoes or skis on the grouse and ptarmigans like nobodys business. Small game hunting is Alaska's winter sport.

  17. #17
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Don't forget predaters, trapping, snowmachining and ice fishing..........heck 90% of my fishing these days is on ice, I am out there by myself!
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  18. #18
    Member ARGONUT's Avatar
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    traditionally was refering to big game practice. Of course there is always the small game hunting not quite the same thought. whole nother beast if you excuse the pun. But I believe we are getting off subject.
    He who don't float. Don't follow the ARGO!

  19. #19
    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    If you were to build such a range, I'd likely stop by once or twice in the winter, but I wouldn't be interested in a membership.

    As for summer - there's a fine outdoor course in Kincaid for NAA members, and the $50/yr (I think it's still that?) is hard to compete with. It's certainly hard to compete with a free target range with 10 to 80 yard targets. And on a personal note, I live very close to Kincaid so unless you set up shop even closer, I wouldn't be interested in whatever you'd offer by comparison in summer (especially if it's more expensive). Not to mention a lot of "free" country to shoot in across this state.

    As for establishing a customer base, you'll likely need to rely on more than just bowhunters - read that as target shooters. And target shooters like to shoot at 20. And personally, 20 yards is plenty for me to shoot indoors in winter. If I want to shoot farther, I'll go outside. I don't mind shooting when it's cold.

    And I don't get to shoot as much as I want sometimes, anyway. I'm slammed with work and will be for the next month or two, so my shooting has dropped to "just occasionally" at best. Sometimes life gets in the way of being a good repeat customer. And to the point - I'm pretty happy with my membership at Full Curl. Dave and Joni are good folks and it has all I need for an indoor range.

    And the points made above jkb, Doug, and Marc are spot on. Real estate ain't cheap up here, and there's really not that big of a customer base. Michigan has 15 times more people than Alaska, and they're all grouped a lot closer together.

    Anyway, that said - best of luck if you try to make it happen.
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  20. #20
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    ARGONUT,
    Archery shops struggle in Alaska. That's a plain fact.

    -The margin on bows is next to nothing
    -The margin on accessories is not much better and while Alaskans talk a good game about buying local they still tend to make big accessory purchases online.
    -(As already pointed out) Real estate is expensive

    Also, rural Michigan is well roaded and many suburban areas allow bowhunting in which creates far more close-to-home hunting opportunites than in Alaska. And in Michigan, pretty much, 99% of bowhunters are after whitetailed deer which allows shops to specialize. Specialization cuts down on overhead.

    If an Alaskan shop specialized in Black Bears over bait, or moose, or anything else they'd go broke quickly.

    And, Michigan is in the toilet economically speaking. Real estate is far cheaper there so a prospective shop owner's start-up dollars go farther and they are more likely to make a go of a shop the size you're talking about.

    If you've got pockets as deep as your passion then develop a business plan and go for it. I'd shoot there a few times a month.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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