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Powder Creek Non-member fee gone

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Lost Bird, Mar 27, 2008.

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  1. Lost Bird

    Lost Bird TS Member

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    After great consideration and a few death threats, Powder Creek has canceled the daily fee for non-members. It was intended to help lagging revenue and offset increased operating costs. Actaully it worked but only at the cost of upsetting MallardFilmore and of course we can't let that happen.

    We still want to encourage shooting in the area and increase memberships. For the casual shooter, the $5 daily family rate has been canceled and only regular rates will apply. Discounted rates still exist for the members.

    This applies to Trap, Skeet, Sporting Clays and five-stand. The Cowboy SASS range still charges $5 a day for participation in their events.
     
  2. mallardfilmore

    mallardfilmore TS Member

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    I should be flattered that I was the only one mentioned on this thread and had no idea that the loss of my business since this illgotten idea would have that much effect. However, if you received threats based on that ignorant and poorly thought out decision, I wasn't involved. I assume that my outing of that program here probably lead more people to pay attention to the fees charged to the shooters and the need to speak up. Lets get the shooters involved in some new (meaning something not tried before)ideas to promote the club and the shooting sports available there. Not just another skeet and trap league a couple times per year.
     
  3. Lost Bird

    Lost Bird TS Member

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    The only motivation for the fee was to help perpetuate the club through this devastating winter and keep the finances healthy. You try and sometimes you're right, sometimes you're wrong. In this case we understand that the best tool to keep clubs like ours open is increased traffic. We can't provide rounds at a loss, but the more shooters the more members, the longer we get to stay around.

    Powder Creek is by far the best kept secret in the Kansas City area. We will never have the trap following of KCTA. I used to be a regular at Elliot's with my father and that to me is Trap. We don't enjoy the benefits of being located in a park with level ground etc. But Powder Creek does have great trap, skeet and an incredible Sporting Clays facility.

    I'd be happy to take any comments, advice, ideas, or suggestions to help keep an urban shooting park alive and well. What has been successful in the past at other clubs?

    Lost Bird
     
  4. mallardfilmore

    mallardfilmore TS Member

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    That's not the first time I've heard the line "Powder Creek's the best kept secret in the KC area". That pretty much sums up how much effort the board is putting into getting more guns on the pads. They want to feel like they are a "best kept secret" only keeping your business a secret in the real world adds up to "out of business" after too long of not enough people coming through the door, like now.

    How about working some sort of deal with one of the gun shops or all of them or the big ones? Buy a gun at ***** and get X number of rounds free/cheaper at Powder Creek. How about a banner at the big gun counters, at least on this side of the state line? Surely someone like Cabelas, Bass Pro, The Bullet Hole, The Gun Shop could be talked into some sort of back scratching deal. They sell guns, you sell birds. Customers see other sporting venues, gun shops sell more guns and gear.

    When was the last time you set up at one of the gun shows or even just put out a few hundred flyers? Did you offer anything to them to entice them to come out? How about a card, ticket or something that allows a one time purchase of 5 rounds at member price to get them hooked in? Just sitting there and telling them that they should come there is an exercise in arrogance. You have to give them a reason to come and some deal like that or similar gives them incentive.

    If any, some or all of the shops would allow a small set up like you see in the malls where you sign up for a free something which is a simple way to get addresses, phone number or email addresses to mail info to. Could be as simple as "free info on Powder Creek Gun Club". Concentrate on getting email addresses cause that seems to be a pretty cheap way to send info.

    How about a fun shoot like "the Rabbit Gun Nationals"? take a couple of rabbit traps up just west of trap #1 and have nothing but rabbits some weekend. Classes for single shots/single targets, repeaters/doubles and so on.
    Break it by age groups.

    An "iron man" shoot? 200 16's, 200 skeet, 200 sporting clays in one day with one gun. Maybe several runs of this during the year for an overall using all 4 gauges? No, not shoot 25, get shells, B.S., get a drink then lollygag back to the line. I'm talking shooting 40 shells per station for a 200 bird round at once. Same for the skeet and sporting.

    You have a web site, how many places are you linked with? How many are you missing out on?

    You're the board and supposedly there for the betterment of the sport, the shooters and the club. How about actively anyone and everyone at the club for ideas? Surely someone there is a computer person and could help come up with some ideas on how to use that computer for something other than TS.com.

    You and the folks there come off as pretty arrogant quite often and make people feel like you're doing them a favor by even being there. Real business is you are there to serve the public not do them a favor. Better service, more customers. More customers, more money. It's really quite scary how easy it works if you try to wipe off the "I'm from Johnson County and you're lucky I let you be here".


    By the way, I've dropped these ideas and more over the years and I'd say it's done no good so far as we're still doing what we did 20 years ago. But, I'd say that's the first time anyone actually hopped off their high horse and asked for an idea.


    Can't say I just sat there and complained.
     
  5. todd farris

    todd farris TS Member

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    FWIW, I don't know the politics in Kansas shooting but I visited Powder Creek last September and found it to be a beautiful place to shoot with great targets. Hospitality could have been a little warmer but one of the regulars took the reins and offered to let us shoot with him. I am in Kansas in Sept each year and I will be back to visit Powder Creek again!!!

    Todd Farris
     
  6. GunCSI

    GunCSI TS Member

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    After they hammered Mallardfilmore like he was the single reason the club had to drop whatever fee this was, he came up and offered some ideas that should have some merit. I find it curious that they never bothered to reply or comment on the ideas.
    What about it board members? If you aren't interested in these ideas, what have you got to offer up?
     
  7. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Shawnee, Kansas, USA
    Well mallard,

    First of all, I'd like to believe I'm one of the least arrogant people I know (and maybe that's an arrogant statement...) Have you ever met me? I suspect not. When you next visit the club, if I'm there I'll be the one with a smile on my face, saying hello, thanking you for coming out, shaking your hand, asking if you're having a good time, and can I do anything to help?

    Some of your ideas are not bad. In fact, quite good. We thought of a few of them all on our own.

    Actually, we're already working with some of the sporting goods super-stores to implement some of the things you mentioned. We're planning a table advertising the club at one of these stores and selling memberships there in the near future, and we're working with these stores to offer memberships for gun purchases.

    Pretty sure we have a banner at the Bullet Hole. We have one of their banners in our clubhouse.

    We're planning some "fun shoots" this year, and in fact already had one in early March. But this is the kind of thing we are looking to promote as a "benefit to being a member," so the fun shoots may be open to members only. I don't see this as a "non-members not welcome here" issue, but rather as a "here's a neat thing you can participate in if you become a member."

    Iron man shoot? Interesting, but I, for one, sure wouldn't want to shoot 600 targets in a day. Maybe 300. We've discussed this kind of thing and we may indeed offer such an event this summer. We did have an iron-man shoot not too terribly long ago (not last summer, but the summer before that) as a benefit for long-time employee Jimmy York.

    Advertising in the KC Star, such as what you see in the Sunday sports section, is amazingly expensive. When we have a little excess working capital, we're planning on implementing that. It is long overdue, but again, amazingly expensive.

    Gun shows? Maybe you get a few target shooters there, but most of the folks that I see at local gun shows are military wannabe's and couldn't care less about shooting a clay target. Maybe I'm wrong...

    We have a non-board advisory committee that offers ideas to implement. And guess what? Many of them help implement those ideas instead of just making suggestions.

    The new manager, Kevin Maloan, and his staff, Doug and Melissa and a host of others, have made some excellent improvements. Some of them are not easily noticed. All of the sporting clays machines have been rebuilt, all of the sporting clays battery chargers and power sources have been re-wired, all of the pushbuttons and cords have been replaced. Things have begun to work like they're supposed to. We have a new PAT trap in trap 2 to go along with the PAT traps in 3 and 4 that are just a few years old. We have a range safety officer on staff. All the CVR cable-ends have been re-wired (a member donated his time to do that.) With some of our extra sporting clays machines, we're going to offer (on a limited basis) a 5-stand to the east of skeet field 3. These are just a few that I can think of. There are many more improvements that have been completed.

    I personally, and several other board members, have helped coach the youth SCTP trap team for all 6 years of its existence at Powder Creek.

    Now, the other part of the equation. Nearly all of the members of the board have real jobs and real families. As much as we'd like to do all those things and dedicate ourselves to working tirelessly to turn the club around, as you have noted we must, frankly, reality gets in the way. Working 40-50 hours a week AND doing these things takes away from some other important things. We like to shoot too. Some of us actually like our families. But we signed up for this duty and we do, and will continue to do, what we can for the good of the club.

    Now, for you; What are YOU going to do to help the club? Complaining about bad decisions made by others, and making suggestions for someone else to implement is one thing. Making it happen yourself is quite another. Will you be at the next board meeting, or pitching in when the traphouses need painting, or helping re-roof or paint the gazebo? Two of our board members completely re-wired and installed new lighting in the target barn on their own time.

    We always need volunteer help at the Shootout at the Crossroads collegiate shoot.

    What are you going to do?

    As a friend of mine is fond of saying, "Ideas without action are useless."

    On a related note, I've posted my name here below. I am one of the members of the Board of Directors (the office manager has been having trouble updating the photos on the BOD link on our website, so my name and photo do not show up there yet, but I really am on the board.) How about posting your name?

    BTW, we've been a best kept secret for about 60 years and have still managed to stay alive. Eveyone on the board agrees that being a best kept secret is a bad idea. The club has much to offer, and we should, and must, do a better job of promoting ourselves. I'm going to do my best to see that the club stays open for as long as I can.

    Tim Bruggeman
     
  8. rbdl

    rbdl TS Member

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    Tim nice job.



    Matt Ewing
     
  9. bubba68

    bubba68 Member

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    Ditto...Tim, nice response.

    For what it's worth:
    I lived in KC for roughly 15 years until two years ago. I shot predominately at KCTA as it was closer to my home. But, I did occasionally visit Powder Creek if KCTA was closed, etc.

    Two things stick in my mind:
    1) I personally didn't like the system of purchasing a ticket to then take out to the person in charge of the fields - that's just my preference. I would rather get squadded and then get called to the line, then pay at the end of the day/session. From my experience, trapshooters are very trustworthy people and I doubt if many would take advantage of you and walk away without paying. (I actually forgot to pay one day at KCTA and called Lynn from home and he simply had me pay next time I showed up.)
    2) On each of the occasions that I did shoot there (always just practice rounds) I witnessed some sort of unsafe practice by a shooter (changing stations with a shell in the chamber, a closed gun action while walking from the line, a shooter firing at an "extra" target after the round is complete and everyone else is walking away) - and management was never around to witness it. Yes, I called it to the person's attention each time, but it just gave me an uneasy feeling. I am sure it was just coincidence, but it still sticks in my mind.

    Overall, a very clean, well maintained club with a very large accomodating clubhouse.

    I am not trying to give you bad PR in any way, I truly hope this helps - because I was just the type of occasional customer that you are trying to attract. Maybe these have already been addressed, but I wanted to put them out there.

    Good Luck.
     
  10. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    bubba,

    Good points.

    The ticket system has been in place since long before I started shooting at Powder Creek. I agree that trapshooters are a pretty honest crowd. But truth is, before we implemented a pay & play system, we lost an obscene amount of targets to freeloading.

    Members get a pay & play card.

    Non-members need a paper ticket to shoot, and they have to give the ticket to the trap help, who punches in the pay & play card for them.

    For non-members, and this is a recent modification, we do want them to come into the clubhouse first, pay for their rounds, and sign the ever-popular release form (and I know full well these don't hold up in court, but anyway...) The real reason for the release form is the safety rules that are printed on it for all non-members to, hopefully, read and understand.

    Experienced shooters like yourself probably read those and think to themselves, "nothing new here. I always do this."

    But we do get a lot of folks coming out to the club before hunting season who are not experienced with shooting at a club, and are unaware of all the rules and procedures. I was there once, and I'm sure you were too. They are the ones we really want to get that list of safety rules in front of.

    As far as the safety violations, yes, they happen at all clubs, and Powder Creek is no exception. We do have a full time RSO now, and he keeps an eye out for violations, but like the police, he can't be everywhere all the time. For that, we need to police ourselves.

    Powder Creek has an excellent safety record, and we want to keep it that way.

    Tim
     
  11. gcbluerock

    gcbluerock Member

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    I shot at Powder Creek this past weekend and I found a lot to say good things about. I had opinions of the place during the previous management that would have made old Mallard and his rant look like a nun. I found that the manager Kevin has done a good job of having things ready to go and people doing all the jobs that go on behind the scenes to make a shoot run smoothly. They had cold drinks and good cheesburgers for lunch. They had good trap help. They had good targets, no great targets, maybe the best I have ever seen there. The place was clean. The people were friendly. They had good prizes. There were (as previously mentioned) no additional non-member fees charged. I was fortunate enough to overhear someone address TimB99 by name and I introduced myself to him and found him to be a very knowledgeable and likeable person. I look forward to shooting with him again. I noticed a few others present that I am 99 and 44/100 % sure had not been there in quite a while and none of them had anything negative to say about the place. I am glad I went and I am of the opinion that the place is on course and a good place to go again.
     
  12. KS-OKIE

    KS-OKIE TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Let me throw my 2-cents worth in here.I was one that would not have ever shot at Powder Creek again under past managent.Sunday was the best time I have had at this club since moveing to Kansas City in 1988.Kevin and ALL his help bent over backwards to give us the best targets and overall experience.Its always fun to be around Timb99.And shooting on the same squad when gcbluerock ran a 100 with that target crusher 90-T was a blast.I WILL BE BACK AGAIN...enough said ....KS-OKIE..John Wiegand.
     
  13. foghorn220

    foghorn220 Active Member

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    Ok im sure it is a nice club but with the cost of targets and other stuff these days I would hate to pay a 5 dollar a day fee to shoot at im sure premium priced targets this is only my opinion which im sure don't mean much to most.


    Im sure the 5 bucks will get me 30 miles futher down the road as far as gas in the tank of my transportation.

    Foggy
     
  14. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    Foggy,

    That was the point of the original post.

    We wanted to make it known that we got rid of the $5 daily fee.

    We learned from our mistake, did away with it, and moved on.

    Tim

    Gregg and John, thanks for the kind words. I'm glad to hear you feel that way, and glad you'll be back!
     
  15. Lost Bird

    Lost Bird TS Member

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    Nice to see so many nice comments about Powder Creek lately. We do what we can to offer an enjoyable shooting experience. Our new manager is doing a great job for us, the change was long over due. Everyone else on the board is a volunteer with other jobs. We do take each suggestion seriously, but economic realities play a large part in the ability to act on many of them.

    As long as Mallard is happy, I can be at peace.
     
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