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Are Trap Ranges Profitable

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by TrapDude21, Jan 20, 2008.

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  1. TrapDude21

    TrapDude21 TS Member

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    I've been shooting trap now for about 6 months and have totally been bit. I try to shoot every weekend and just did my first registered shoot this month. Granted, I'm not ready to turn pro, but I really enjoy it (don't enjoy the higher shell prices though).
    Someday, I wouldn't mind owning & operating a trap range. The places that I go are pretty nice, are reasonably priced, and they attract quality people - sounds fun. Wasn't sure how profitable these ranges are and how many years it takes before you actually start turning a profit (can you make a living?). Anyone have first hand experience and/or advice? Also, what do you look for in a range?
    Appreciate your comments.
     
  2. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    I'm a member at a small club, 2 skeet fields, 2 trap fields. It costs us $1.42 for 25 targets ($7.70 a case of 135 if I remember right), which we sell for $3.25 (43% profit). Subtract out of that electricity, trap maintenance, property tax, insurance, ect ect. and theres not a lot of money to be made. Granted we also have a decent bar, so we are making money on that as well, but as a club, we could probably not survive if either the bar or the shooting ceased. Unless you have the capital to purchase a large piece of land, and put in lots of facilities in (skeet, trap, and sporting clays at a minimum), there is no way to maintain a club and make enough profit for it to be you're sole source of income. Most small clubs rely heavily on a base of volunteer help as it is, anyone you have to pay to help run your club cuts into the bottom line as well.
     
  3. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    Skeet man left out an important money maker. Every time a squad shoots a round of trap they leave about 8 pounds of lead at the range. This can be turned into a profit for the range owner. HMB
     
  4. Frank C

    Frank C Well-Known Member

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    Skeet Man, what about target shrinkage/breakage which runs about 7-8%....
     
  5. Joe Woods

    Joe Woods Well-Known Member

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    I share your dream. Think you better have other source of income. Last August at Grand American it was so hot , 50 employees decided not to attend one hot day. I am sure this created problems. I am sure there are many other head aches.
    Good Luck/ All the best.

    Joe Woods/Ontario
     
  6. skeet_man

    skeet_man Well-Known Member

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    hmb- this is true. However, most of what I said pertains to a small club (1 or 2 fields). its going to take decades of consistent shooting before you could get a company in there that'd be willing to mine the shot for you, especially at a trap-only club, and that assumes you have a club where reclamation is feasible (no trees, fairly flat, hard soil).

    Frank- Forgot about that. in some cases, 7-8% is conservative.
     
  7. JBrooks

    JBrooks TS Member

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    Location is the most important thing. You need to be close to a fairly large, affluent population that can be promoted into shooting for the first time and have no problem paying $6.00 per round. You need 4, preferably 5 fields. Sporting clays is a big plus. Properly run, you can make money. Most small trap clubs are very poorly run by guys whose primary interest is to shoot for $3.00 bucks a round, fart, drink beer, complain about the "good old days" and not get off their lazy butts to welcome a new shooter should one have the misfortune of stumbling across their poorly maintained club.
     
  8. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Member

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    IT IS TOUGH.

    I just work for the guy who is leasing the 7-month-old Atterbury Shooting Range from the State of Indiana. This time of year is especially hard. Wednesday we threw 25 trap targets and 50 skeet targets. Thursday we threw only 25 skeet targets. Friday was little better. Saturday we had both a skeet and trap meeting to form the winter leagues. After the Skeet meeting Ron offered Half price targets to anyone who would shoot. We ended up throwing about 450-500 total targets. And no......It didn't even cover the heat bill for Saturday, let alone the labor cost. We made more off the coffee donations than the targets thrown,

    To make a long story short; You have to have lots and lots of help from your real hard core shooters throughout the year, to make a profit and/or living off a trap and skeet range. I’m just glad it’s not my name on the dotted line of the lease and other fixed expenses that have to be paid no matter what time of year it is.

    And yet, on Trapshooters.com, it seems I hear a bunch of people think the only expense a shooting range has is buying targets at about $7.50 to $7.75 a box. OK.....Let THEM start and run a gun range.

    Mark.....
     
  9. tlea

    tlea TS Member

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    You also have to be willing to have the programs that shooters want. Practice times, leagues, weekly derby's, calcuttas, annie derby's, registered, games, and so on. Food and beverages are a plus too. Even non-thrown target events pay. We have a local club that makes a lot of $$ just having splatterboard shoots and breakfast.
     
  10. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    The next year's economy may very well be the death knell for some marginal clubs, that operate with their back to the wall.

    We are down in total targets, and most of my shooting friends have cut back to some degree, largely because of the high cost of reloading. Oh, sure, we buy the cheapie shells and keep going, but us regular shooters are off by 30 % or so in output.

    Most of our operation is volunteer with a few of the heavy positions paid but not paid very much.

    I think the most successful private operation around here is Boxhorn's in Milwaukee, and they have something going on all the time.

    That has to be the secret for survival.

    HM
     
  11. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    I suspect that it would be very difficult to make a stand alone gun club profitable. For a business to make a profit it must have a reasonable return on the investment and a return of its investment.

    Also, if a club is somehow making a 4% return on its investment, but could make a 6% return by using the land for another business, the club is actually losing 2% by not using the site for the highest and best use.

    Pat Ireland
     
  12. JB Logan Co. Ohio

    JB Logan Co. Ohio TS Member

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    From the old Texas oil joke....The best way to become a trap club owning millionaire is to start out as a trap club owning Billionaire!

    JB=Jerry Beach 8503917
     
  13. code5coupe

    code5coupe Member

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    JB is right.

    To build a club from scratch, into a business that can support ONE man, you'd have to have a fairly large amount of money to start with...and I don't mean $100,000 either. Then, you must have plenty of time to secure permits and allowances and then build structures, and THEN to develop a steady clientele.

    I believe most, if not all, trap/skeet/clays facilities are labors of love.
    JB said it succinctly.......................................
     
  14. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree with everyone this time we have two ranges around my area that throw a ton of targets Tripple B and Redlands you are right the targets cost is $7.50 per case. But you need to know that these clubs throw truck loads every month at .28 cents each or more these guys do a good job running their clubs and they make alot of money. I really think If someone wanted to purchase a gun club they could get Redlands the owner is a good guy and runs a tight ship. I think his health is not so good and it could be done.
     
  15. stokinpls

    stokinpls Well-Known Member

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    Just watching clubs over the last 15 years, I don't see how any of them make any money off of registered trapshooters. Not sure how they do it.
     
  16. Big Jack

    Big Jack Well-Known Member

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    Two operations that never seem to have huge profit percentages (especially in the northern parts of the country)Trap Clubs & Public Golf Courses. Installation costs plus operating expenses, taxes, insurances, maint. with the limited operating time in the northern area ends up being an almost break-even if you put no value on your time and have a lot of volunteers to assist. Now if you down South, it may read a little better considering the operating time frame/year and the prices the area will bear.
     
  17. X Trap 2

    X Trap 2 TS Member

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  18. mcneeley5

    mcneeley5 Member

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    Yes, a clay target range can be run for profit, but the operator must have a thick skin to deal with the shooters pre-occupation with target presentation. The old hand set, shoot most any target days are long gone. You will have the wrong color-speed-height-angles-machine type-weather etc... We should go back to the old pull pipe trap fields, put the goofy neighbor kid in control of the angles and pulls! Mike
     
  19. ronbo142

    ronbo142 TS Member

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    AS pointed out by mcneeley5 we shooters are our own worst enemy!

    Great point.

    Ronbo
     
  20. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Our club is in good shape finacially but it is all volunteer labor with the exception of trap help for registered shoots. I don't think we will ever throw enough targets at a high enough price to be able to pay someone to manage the club.
     
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