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Thread: Why are there no Indoor Shooting Ranges in Anchorage

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    Default Why are there no Indoor Shooting Ranges in Anchorage

    I am looking into buying and or building a indoor shooting range. I am trying to figure out why there are not any public ones here in town. How many people would like one? What are the major public concerns?
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  2. #2

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    Regulations = cost, cost and more cost. Finding a suitable building in a suitable location, or purchasing land and building your own. Meeting all the codes, permits, zoning requirements, air handling regulations and insurance and monthly payments. It can be done for sure as others have done it down south and APD has one in Anch. I hope you can do it.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    There is one in palmer. You might want to get a hold of them and find out what is required to run one.
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    Iíve looked into it some for out here, the major stumbling blocks I found were insurance and EPA issues. Insurance for anything shooting related is just very pricy. EPA air quality inside and outside of the building looks to be extremely involved to say the least. In Anchorage I suspect you will run into permitting issues when all the loons show up at your permit hearings saying it will be loud, cause congestion, their houses will get shot up, and who knows what all.

    There were a bunch of them around Arizona, even in the little town of Prescott Valley which is the size of Palmer. Most had a gun shop in front and range in back, I miss those places . . . you could go shoot a new model gun before you buy the thing all at the same place. I wish you luck, I think it will make money if the government donít red tape and tax you to death.
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    Our cop shop has one and its free but very few us it
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  6. #6

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    If you could find out someone who knew why the one that was in Anchorage went under that might give you some ideas.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    The Firing Line closed down about 12 years ago. I don't know for sure, but when your daddy sets up a business for you and all you do is pull money from it neglecting even basic repairs or changing the air filters (cause they're expensive, you know) you business tends to go in the toilet. I used to shell out $250 for a yearly membership.

    The Firing Line was in that blue building that's now a car dealership on the Old Seward between Diamond & O'Mally. I don't know if they ever removed the air filter system.

    There's a guy working for V.F. Grace, Rod DeChristforo (spelling might be off) who worked as a manager for the Firing Line. He'd be a good guy to look up.

    I've been to shooting ranges that were in strip malls.

    Beyond that, I thought the NRA had programs to help people set up ranges.

    Good luck to you, I'll buy a membership if you have at least a 25m range.
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    Default Here's what I remember about the Anchorage indoor range (South of Dimond Center)

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskahugh View Post
    I am looking into buying and or building a indoor shooting range. I am trying to figure out why there are not any public ones here in town. How many people would like one? What are the major public concerns?
    Thank you in advance for your help.
    Quote Originally Posted by akraven View Post
    If you could find out someone who knew why the one that was in Anchorage went under that might give you some ideas.
    Allen told me in the last year the indoor range was operating that the insurance cost was killing him.

    He would probably be willing to give you the benefit of his experience if you are really serious.

    Allen H. Choy. Dynamic Properties. Lic# 17718. 3111 C St Ste 100. Anchorage AK 99503-3925. Office: 907-440-9176. Direct: 907-261-7600. Mobile: 907-261-7575

    338-06, I think Rod's name is spelled Christofaro. Only off by one letter if I am right.

    There was a guy named Mike who worked there a lot of hours. I can't remember his last name. Had an Eastern U.S. accent and worked his regular job at McLaughlin Youth Center. Anyone remember his last name?

    I would jump on the chance to shoot at a range closer than Birchwood and more client-friendly than Rabbit Creek.

    Lost Sheep

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I imagine it's a simple issue of profitability. Taking some wags if you purchase land and build one in Anchorage you'd be looking at $5-10 million, probably closer to 10. Then you need employees, insurance, utilities etc and I'd guess your operating costs would quickly add up to $1million/year. While there are alot of ardent gun nuts in the greater Anchorage area, it's still a fairly small population. Could you get enough paying customers to cover the debt survice on the facility, opperating costs and make a proffit? Odds are there are a hosts of other businesses one could put together for that same amount of money that would be much more profitable.

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    I've run the numbers on an Indoor Range in Anchorage more times that I can count. You want me run them by you, just pm me.

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    Have you looked into the NRA programs? They have a bunch of programs including insurance. Have you thought about setting up as a non-profit? There's a lot more paper work involved, but you might get into an insurance pool. Remember, non-profit doesn't mean you have to pay yourself peanuts.
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  12. #12

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    As I remember there was a fire one of the firemen looked at the grey mud the light went on and it became a haz mat issue. Don't remember if this closed it down but I do know the fireman that said grey mud he talked about all the shredded paper.

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    Has anyone gathered any updated information on this topic?
    I've gathered some investors for about $750,000. I figure with membership fees and other sales
    we could pull in a minimum of $250,000 per year for this first 5 years.
    I have an idea to cut cost drastically an avoids the air filtration issue legally.
    I'm interested and any serious feedback.

    What at would you like to see in an indoor shooting range in anchorage.
    How much is the most you would pay for a yearly or monthly membership?
    Pistol and AR short range only, or would you also want rifle. If rifles were not available
    would you still go to the indoor range.
    Would you like to see a gun shop at the same location.

    Im in all ears as I'm planning on making this happen.

    Thanks,
    -Thom

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    Member Delta Tenderfoot's Avatar
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    I would be interested in hearing how you would get around the Air Quality issue, especially for an indoor range. I was on a team that closed down and remediate 39 indoor ranges in national guard facilities. Any use of leaded or lead content bullets will require a remediation program. I would be careful about shortcuts involving EPA or State environmental laws. Just sayin.
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    Range Safe lead free ammo. Less filtration and air movement required, thus allowing less heat lost and frequency of filters being changed, all cutting cost drastically. From a $5M-$10M venture to $750,000 possibility.

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    Interesting idea. You would have to control the ammo to store purchase only in order to ensure lead frre. Dealing with heating makeup air to ensure the minimal air changes is a a mater of calculations and right sizing the mechanicals. Don't forget that you still nee air changes for the cordite.

    For 5-10M I would expect a fine dining loft to observe the shooting! I would rather shoot at an outdoor range with a covered shooting pad myself.
    All paradise rests in the shadow of swords." ~K. Yates

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    Quote Originally Posted by spaz907 View Post
    Range Safe lead free ammo. Less filtration and air movement required, thus allowing less heat lost and frequency of filters being changed, all cutting cost drastically. From a $5M-$10M venture to $750,000 possibility.
    So now folks pay to shoot there and can't offset that cost by shooting cheap lead, no rolling your own, no testing your hard cast bear loads? You will never get enough membership to even build a coffee stand cuz folks will just drive to Palmer like and shoot what they want like they do now.
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    Having cleaned the air handling system in an indoor range, I don't think I'll ever shoot in one without it, even with lead-free bullets. Man, the stuff that came outa there can't be even a little good for you lungs with repeated exposure. We're talking worse than the worst auto air filter you've ever seen, and it had been cleaned recently before we got to it. Sheesh.

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    The projectile is only part of the air quality issue. The entire combustion process also applies. You will never get away from having proper air filtration at an indoor range. Running lead-free bullets only addresses part of the problem. The simple fact is, there is not enough market in a town as small as Anchorage (which already has two really nice outdoor ranges) to support an indoor range under current government regulation. I did a business plan on building an indoor range back in the late 1990's and it wasn't feasible back then. And that was with all the NRA range building program materials in hand. With the new EPA regs that came out about a decade ago, there is no way to make a new-contstruction indoor range profitable until you start getting close to the million mark in local population or get some big agency and corporate sponsorship to keep it running.

    In addition to air filtration, insurance, full-time RO on duty, target handling systems, etc., you also have to have a proper backstop. By far, the best backstop on the market is the Snail system from Savage. You should check those out if you continue down this path. http://savagerangesystems.com/

    And you'll need much more than a simple square range with a high membership fee if you're going to succeed in this. Thing about having instructors on staff that offer regular training for brand new through advanced shooters. Think about a shoot house and reality-based ranges for everything from SD to IDPA to LE training. Think about hosting competitions throughout the year.
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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Having cleaned the air handling system in an indoor range, I don't think I'll ever shoot in one without it, even with lead-free bullets. Man, the stuff that came outa there can't be even a little good for you lungs with repeated exposure. We're talking worse than the worst auto air filter you've ever seen, and it had been cleaned recently before we got to it. Sheesh.
    I'm with ya there! When I was loading the equipment we got from Surefire in Prescott last month they were taking their snail type bullet trap apart. The filters on that looked about like I figure the inside of the mufflers in a 1955 Mack truck must look! And they were from the front end, those on the trap end where the bullets get ground to mush must be even worse.
    Andy
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