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Satisified with the typical gun club any more?????

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by senior smoke, Mar 29, 2012.

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  1. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,564
    Location:
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
    Hello:
    I sometimes wonder what has changed in most of us? Years ago most people started out looking for a 2 bedroom home, as we called it then, a starter home. You stayed there a few years, and eventually moved up into a 3 bedroom.

    Retiring from the banking industry, I saw young couples change their way of thinking. In the 70's, I saw new married couples wanting and demanding what most of us would call our dream house, just starting out in married life.

    No longer were most couples willing to settle for the 2 bedroom starter house, as they wanted their dream home now, and some were willing to work two jobs for it. I saw some couples were the husband worked 2 full time jobs, and the wife a full time job and a part time job, just to afford the new monthly payments on their so called, dream home.

    With that being said, I also wonder if the new shooter of today is satisfied with the typical gun club from the 50's and 60's? You know the type of club, you pay your yearly membership, you then get a discount to shoot trap or skeet.

    If you had a bar or refrigerator at your club, you could purchase a beer or soda after shooting along with a snack if you wanted. If you had a tournament a few of the women would make some food and shooters could purchase a plate if they wanted to eat. Nothing fancy, just home made food.

    This is the type of club I started out attending back in 1970, and I am starting to miss this type of club, as some of the clubs today are catering to the younger more affluent generation shooters with deep pockets.

    Some area clubs now have sporting clays courses, some now want pistol shooting too. Throw in archery, and the list goes on. Nothing is wrong with any of these types of games, but it entails cost to the gun club and it's members.

    There was a time that a bar would not even be considered at a gun club as it was rendered as being unsafe mixing liquor and shooting. Now some clubs bar areas look like Monte Carlo night at the local casino, with all the bells and whistles.

    To satisfy the new type of shooter, most clubs can not afford to pay for all these upgrades so they depend on donations, and increasing cost to the shooter, beyond the ever rising cost of the economy.

    I feel the 4 trap gun club, with 1 or 2 skeet fields are going to be the club of the past very very soon. In business, you try to give the customers what they want, but where will it end? Some of these clubs are becoming country clubs like the golfing community.

    By nature, I am a very conservative person. I like things simple. I like seeing the same type of events each week, the same people. Some clubs offer so many different shooting events on a given day to try and satisfy everyone that the trap entries are so low you can count them on only one hand.

    The gun club I presently shoot at is this old type of club that shoots mostly trap. If I want to purchase a beer or soda after shooting, I can walk behind the counter and take one, and leave a dollar bill on the counter. If I get hungry, I have a choice of chips or a bag of pretzels. I see the same guys each week and I wouldn't change this club for the chance to shoot a variety of shooting games that are now being offered at numerous clubs.

    If you like the change the shooting sports is heading, no problem, as to each his own. I have always believed if it works don't change it. The younger generation demand certain upgrades to their clubs. No problem, At least I still have a choice to pick where I want to shoot.

    What do you think about gun clubs trying to satisfy every members whim?
    Steve Balistreri
     
  2. The Stive

    The Stive Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    635
    I am thankful if there is a club open where I can shoot. I shoot trap and skeet and I enjoy both games. I am happy if I can go shoot a few rounds. John
     
  3. Martinpicker

    Martinpicker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,177
    My gun club has one trap, a small pistol range and a bench rest for a rifle. We have a clubhouse, but they don't serve food or beverages, but you are welcome to bring your own and put them in the fridge. The members carry the targets from storage to the traphouse and everyone is expected to pick up their own hulls. I think it is great!!!! Jack
     
  4. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
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    6,258
    Guess whats happening to the people that got more house than they could afford? Now they are underwater and looking for the escape. Lots of them will go bankrupt and not be able to buy another home. Their dreams will die.

    Nothing wrong with the small 4-trap gun club and just like the conservative home buyer, these are the ones that will continue to survive and be the backbone of our sport. I'm glad as hell to be part of one such club, we may not be the biggest but we have a real good time and are proud of what we do have. (all paid for)
     
  5. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    15,642
    Location:
    Green Bay Wisconsin
    The problem is you can't have a club where you go take your own soda from a donated used refrigerator, and do any kind of job at all with registered targets.

    People have changed over the years, too, and if you want their dollars you need to have a facility that puts them at ease and makes them happy.

    There are plenty of the small clubs around here, but mine has a bar, and 6 fields with both skeet and trap.

    I go there because it's 8 minutes away and has open shooting 4 times a week besides the leagues 3 nights a week.

    These other clubs don't have open shooting at all. They are happy to make their money on league shooting and picnic day.

    that's not enough for me.

    HM
     
  6. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Messages:
    7,564
    Location:
    Wauwatosa Wisconsin
    There will be shooters on both sides of the fence and there is nothing wrong with that.
    Steve
     
  7. Gunn

    Gunn TS Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
    Messages:
    210
    Our club has two trap, two pistol, two SASS, three rifle, sporting clays and IDPA. It feels that trap is the b@st@rd child of the group since only one trap works. But it has trap. It is small and friendly. Tim
     
  8. tom berry

    tom berry Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    760
    Location:
    Winterset, IA
    Steve,

    If you ever get the chance get up to Eau Claire and visit the club there.

    It has, 7 traps, 1 skeet, 100 yard rifle range, Pistol range, Archery Range, 5 stand (on occasion), fishing ponds, 300 + acres to hunt. Best of all, it has a full service bar and has since the early 70s.

    It has all of this, with $30 membership fees, reasonable trap prices and a healthy financial situation.

    I'm sure there are a ton of clubs just like this all over the country.
     
  9. coot shooter

    coot shooter Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2010
    Messages:
    770
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Steve

    I live in your neck of the woods. It does not have to do with the size of the club as much as how it is run.

    There has been a huge decline in the quality of GC mgmnt. Things need to be run properly, and shooter demands need to be met.

    Innovation is lacking. Registered shooting is a small part of the equation.
    Money shoots,Non registered emrchandise shoots, registered with calacutta's, or 50 bird events with mandatory purses are a few of the things that would interest me.

    There are very few GC's that are keeping pace with what needs to be done to draw shooters. The ATA crowd is more geared toward big shoots these days. GC's need to draw in new people, and hopefully ad to the ATA shooter base from them.

    Just an opinion ....

    Mike
     
  10. larryjk

    larryjk Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    519
    Our local "shooting park' is a city owned and operated facility. The dues are $55/yr for a senior which includes use of the indoor pistol range during the winter months. It is about $100/yr for a family membership. There are "pop" machines and candy machines for snacks. During matches, there is a stove to make chile, etc. The facilities are two trap/skeet combo ranges and two additional trap ranges. A 5 stand range. Several pistol ranges with dividers for safety and two ranges for "cowboy" shoots. An archery range. Rifle ranges are a 300 meter facility with 10 covered shooting points with bench rests and a 1000 yard range that currently has targets at 100, 200, 500, 800, and 1000 yards. There are about 3 annual buffalo rifle shoots each year. Nice facility. No booze since it is a city operated facility.
     
  11. Kingbang

    Kingbang TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    223
    Steve you have a banking background, So you know accounting. Each and every one of our clubs has its own personality. In my opinion, This "personality" is shaped by as many things as there are many clubs. My home club in Oregon is one of the largest shotgun only in the state. 6 years ago we had only trap, We had to either add sports or I honestly beleive we would be gone today. Some shooters disagreed with the diection, didn't like the management and they don't shoot here any more. While that saddens me? it is better than the alternative, which was loosing another gun club.Our membership is up 3 fold from then. I respectfully disagree that the smaller 1-4 house clubs wont survive. They can much easier if they build thier memberships 5-10% a year. The overhead is lower. The other fact for all of is, and you eluded to? This is not a cheap sport to play. We seem to have this entitlement point of view that we have to keep the cost of shooting down. To the demise of our clubs? WF targets just went up almost 20% for orange dome. From $8.10 a case to $9.95 The cost of delivery went up to. Our freight cost was $1.13 a case in January. Thats $71.00 a pallet. If fuel went up 20% as well? now we are at $1.41 a case. Or about $89.00 a pallet. Thats $8.41 cents a bird times 25 $2.10 a round cost. Now figure in your look at, loss, broke birds, club overhead, maintanence, taxes, insurance,annual association fees. Any thoughts of future capitol improvements? A rainy day fund for unexpected expenses?
    Your cost is now 35% to 50% of delivered bird costs.
    IF we had added 1% a year to shooting every year starting in 1970? We would have weathered this storm long ago.
    What will kill our clubs is poor long term planning because we dont have a handle on the cost of doing business.
    Not so much different than the couple that wanted thier dream home First? But then could not sustain the work load to keep it over the long haul.
    IMHO

    Dennis
     
  12. senior smoke

    senior smoke Well-Known Member

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    Good posts guys.
    Steve
     
  13. Bruce Specht

    Bruce Specht Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Near but not in chicago
    Instant gratification and the banking industry is what had ruined our economy!
     
  14. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    From my way of thinking......... instant gratification and the Government regulation of the banking industry are what has damaged out economy. The EPA and the environmentalist have ruined our economy.
     
  15. ken1okie

    ken1okie Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2009
    Messages:
    779
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Six Skeet fields, 4 trap fields, 5 stand, several pistol ranges, 50 yard range,100-200 yard range, All weather benches for 100-200 yard ranges,archery range, indoor Air rifle, Skeet, Trap, Rifle operation buildings, Main club house with kitchen.No bar but sodas for sale several locations. Fishing ponds.I paid $150.00 for my membership from a deceased member widow years ago. Membership is full at around 900. Waiting list is overflowing and no more being accepted. Financially solvent with money in the bank...one great club.
     
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