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Economic sense for joining a gun club?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by fdiesel, Feb 28, 2008.

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  1. fdiesel

    fdiesel Member

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    I was out shooting a little practice at one of the gun clubs by my house yesterday. There are three in the area and it works out for me because the are all open on different days of the week so I can essentially practice three times a week not including the weekends. Anyway as I went inside to pay after I was done (we still do have the honor system here in Michigan), the cashier told me I should become a member to enjoy the reduced rate of $1.00 less per round. I took the application home and I was sitting at my desk filling it out, the economics of the whole situation hit me.

    To join just this one club would cost me $175.00 annualy. To even see the benefits I would have to shoot 175 rounds of practice before the $1.00 discount even applied. That is 17 and 1/2 flats of shells and that is just at the club I shoot at on Wednesdays.

    I'm not trying to sound cheap but the economics is this scenario just isn't business savy to me. Not to mention if I joined the other 2 clubs, I would really be not investing wisely. As one of my financial advisors told me "If you take care of the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves."

    I guess what I am trying to get at is that I know a gun club doesn't operate by itself or for free but I think the membership pricing and benefits verses non-member pricing and benefits should lean a little more towards the members. The club in this situation is showing no real benefits to its members.

    In My Humble Opinion, I can't see a reason for joining a club at this point due to the lack of perks for its members.
     
  2. Mike Michalski

    Mike Michalski Member

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    I don't disagree with either of your conclusions. The economics don't support membership and the clubs don't charge guests in parity to the membership. I think they are trying to encourage more shooters.

    That said, I joined my clubs not based on my economic situation but on theirs. I want them to survive; and yes, it feels better to be a member. My opinion.
     
  3. nipper

    nipper TS Member

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    my club benifit is, if we get three members to join thru the year, we dont pay the membership fee.

    bill
     
  4. Big Dave

    Big Dave Member

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    Is trap the only thing offered at these clubs? Most clubs do not require membership to shoot trap but do require it to use the other facilities available there, such as rifle, pistol and archery ranges. If these are offered at the clubs then you must factor them into the cost. If these are trap only clubs then you support the club by being a member or by paying the extra dollar per round. Clubs need members and their support to stay open.

    Big Dave
     
  5. dward

    dward Member

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    If a club doesn't have enough members it may not be a club any more.
     
  6. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Our membership fee is the same as the amount you save with 20 rounds of practice.

    Still an advantage.

    HM
     
  7. fdiesel

    fdiesel Member

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    All three clubs are actually beautiful places and I, like you, want to see them not go under. I am going to send one of these clubs a check but as a whole or thinking corporation-like, I just don't believe that with there current rate structure they are promoting membership well because the average guy coming out will realize they will have to shoot a whole lot for this to benefit them. And if the memberships are what's keeping the lights on, I don't this way will keep them coming through the door.
     
  8. fdiesel

    fdiesel Member

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    Yes Dave, the wednesday club is all trap, that's it. It just sounds like it is going to end up very similar to a social club with members only and it's operations cost will solely be financed on its members backs.
     
  9. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    fdiesel, I've done that math many a time. On it's face, it's nearly impossible to gain your money back at a membership cost you quote - with the possible exception if you also get components and shells at a discount also. I've even seen clubs floundering and making the decision to raise a very cheap membership rate to double or more and watched this: Club has 200 members willing to pay $30 membership fee each year and there is a need for more income. Club doubles the membership rate to $60 a year and has 100 members willing to pay. End result? No gain whatsoever with 200 times $30 vs. 100 times $60.

    Mike Michalski has it right. It's easy to do simple math and see if a membership is economically feasible for your situation but supporting the club by joining may benefit you in the long run. Frankly, if I had 3 great clubs within 20 miles of my home and I liked them all, I'd not be able to rationalize joining all three at those fees.....Bob Dodd
     
  10. fdiesel

    fdiesel Member

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    Bob, I have been around my wednesday club for many years and I am going to take them my check next Wednesday when I go, but as for the other two I just won't do it. It's at the other clubs, the guys are always saying "You need to join the club that way you don't have to pay all that money for a round of practice." Im just running out of ways to say no politely.
     
  11. Ljutic111

    Ljutic111 TS Member

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    My club charges a $100 initiation fee to join plus and annual dues of $50 . Trap only , opened 2 days a week with a savings of $1 per round for a cost of $3 with non-members paying $4 per round . A manditory 5 range duties per year is also required and plus helping out at the club when you are there shooting to take the pressure off the 1 person there on range duty . Some join and don`t come and drop out within the next year which is money to the club . We don`t want this , we need the help since we pay no one and all the work there is volunteer . There are many who have been coming for years shooting many rounds a month and don`t intend to join because they don`t want to be a helping hand to the club . They could have been saving money in the long run and believe me we could use their membership . With less than 20 members , we have a lot of work with just 2 trap houses working to get a third on line . Every shooter would like clubs to be available close to them and be open more times a week but it does take time and work to make this happen . Some clubs charge a $25 fee with no work involved and others are hundreds of dollars with so many hours of work per year or a dollar figure if you don`t perform them . Everyone has a choice to belong or not and the cost varies with what is provided . Small clubs like ours would like everyone to belong but thats not likely as well as we need non members paying the extra money . When the cost of targets and other expenses grow than the non-members fees will go up and members will stay the same , may entice them to reconsider . But as long as the choice is to help or not , many will chose to just pay the freight and not become a member . Just makes it harder on the dedicated members .
     
  12. spitter

    spitter Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    Our club supervises and operates a public range in cooperation with our Park Department. Anyone can shoot without being a member. And I tell anyone who asks about membership ($45/year) to shoot a few times at the range to see if what we have is what they want.

    We used to take anyone as a member and were lax about enforcing the work requirements. Now we require sponsorship by an existing member and I'll bounce anyone who doesn't work their work hours. We need the help more than the dough.

    Economics is only a small part of the membership picture. Its belonging to a group of similar, like-minded individuals. You get out of a club what you put into it. We have a nice newsletter. a club picnic, plus a purchasing coop for equipment and reloading supplies - not to mention the shooting discount.

    For our "core" shooters, its like having a private club at our disposal - paid for by 200 of our occasional shooting buddies. We get no priority for our shooting, but being one of the diehard members gives us the freedom to run programming the way we want to.

    Again, buy in only if you think you'll get something out of it and $$$ should be lowest on the totem pole.

    Jay
     
  13. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    If you want to make economic sense out of joining any club better give up before you overextend yourself. Gee whats in it for me?

    Or you could actually be a member and contribute your time, your ideas and some of your money. Do this and the rewards will be there in the form of personal satisfaction. You get to be one of the good guys and be of value to others. You get the pride of refering to a facility as your club.

    Do nothing other than pay for targets occaisionally and you come up empty every time. The experience is limited to being cheap and doing as little as possible all the while expecting great and wonderful things to magically occur.
     
  14. slowdp

    slowdp TS Member

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    If you don't support the clubs you will not have the clubs. The clubs also have a responsibility to insure their existence by making sure the rates are high enough for non-members. The non-members need to foot part of the bill. Clubs and businesses alike often make the mistake of keeping rates low for a long period of time and then realizing they need a large increase. Do the increases a little each year. People expect increases. Large jumps will cause mass drop out.

    The club I belong to charges a very small adder for non-members shooting trap. We do not rely on the non-members money to keep the club open. These guys belong to other clubs in the area and shoot with us the once a week we are shoot trap because it is more convenient. That is ok and understandable.

    We lose about 30% of our members every year and get an equal number joining during the year. These are guys who bought a gun and are looking for a place to shoot it or a place to train their wife (what the hell are they thinking). They visit a few times and don't come back.

    Club officers - just make sure you are financially sound and have sufficient income to build reserves. One day you will have to fight to keep your club open. Have the money to stand your ground.

    Our cost has taken a major increase lately and we had to raise fees. The fees will probably increase again next year because we did not raise them enough this year for fear of losing more members.

    The cost of operating a club is no different than the cost of the fuel to get there or the cost of the ammo to shoot once you arrive. Prices will increase.

    Join at least one club in your area and support many clubs by shooting there.

    We all want the shooting sports to survive. It is our right and besides it is fun. We need a skeet field. I think watching guys shoot in pink lace shoot would be a great way to pass an evening.
     
  15. grnberetcj

    grnberetcj Active Member

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    It's always better to give back more than you take....

    Volunteer and help your hobby stay alive and well.

    Curt
     
  16. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    slowdp said it better than I could.

    Well stated.

    If we don't support the clubs by joining the membership, we will surely have no place to shoot soon.
     
  17. kelly andersen

    kelly andersen TS Member

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    $175 wont seem like much when there is nowhere to shoot. With develpoement encroaching on just about every gun club these days we need to support the clubs and stand together. Whats $175 when you consider the friendships and the fun you have at your club, bills have to get paid also. I just recieved a call about joining the club I shoot at,I have been laid off for 3 months but I'm gonna join this weekend. It sure would not be fun to go to the club and find it closed due to all the fruitcake org's. that are trying to stop gun sports. If it's not the noise its the lead on the ground they will use anyting nowdays to try and stop us. A club with a strong membership will do better than one with few members. I personally dont pay much attention to the price of rounds,I have met some of the best people I know shooting, if it cost a little more, so be it, its worth every penny. Support the club before its to late!!!!!
     
  18. romie

    romie Active Member

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    Help your local clubs if you want a place to shoot! we don't have one.
    Monty
     
  19. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

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    Since you are shooting at 3 different clubs on a regular routine basis you should if at all possible join the membership ranks of each establishment if not for yourself but for the support of them.

    Most people think that clubs make all there money off of guests paying a little more for targets than members pay and that is true in a very small way but to keep the club open month to month and year after year they need members willing to step up and pay the membership to support the club and ensure that it will be in existence for many years.

    Now do your tallying and figuring and ask yourself if the clubs charged $2 more a round or charged you the exact same price per round but instead said all guests will pay a $5 or $10 daily guest fee, now what would you do?

    If you can afford it join and support all 3 but if money is tight back off a couple rounds every other week for a month or so and save the money to join each one. Not only will they appreciate that your becoming a supporting member but you also be able to sleep better at night knowing you have done the right thing.
     
  20. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    My club is 5 minutes from the house, if your not a shooting member your not allowed to shoot except as aguest of a full member. The next closest club is 25 miles from the house. As a shooting member we shoot any time the club is oepn (2 days a week) and we can get reduced rates per round when we buty a ten round card. The members are friendly and it close so for me it's worth the yearly membership
     
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