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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son and I are fairly new to the sport of trap shooting. We have competed pretty hard the last 2 years, each time ending the season with a trip to Sparta. This year I made the trip to Missouri with my wife to shoot in the Fall Handicap.
Now I am not a "Sparta Hater", but here are some observations I have after my limited experience with the two different locations (1) the actual trap facility at Sparta is 2nd to none (2) Missouri fields are very nice, good background and a few shade trees (3) the lodging around Sparta is a joke. The only decent hotel in Sparta is the Holiday inn express and they are impossible on many fronts. (4) Lodging around Missouri is plentiful and nice (5) outside activities around Sparta are "Zero", there are numerous things to do in Missouri (6) food, Sparta is "Molly's" , Missouri is everywhere.
For the 5 percent of the shooters who actually "compete" and have a chance to win, go to Sparta, for the rest of us I'll take Missouri every time. It isn't even close.
 

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Limited experience, wait until you are a dedicated shooter. As you gain experience you see things in a different light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's doesn't take experience to count the number of hotels and restaurants in Sparta. It doesn't take experience to notice there are no outside activities other than the trap range. This type of elitism is exactly why trap is a declining sport. With high school and middle school shooting numbers through the roof it's a crime those shooters are not shooting ata. Keep having your Grand in the middle of a cornfield in Sparta with nothing for the family to do and you will never get those shooters. But, the old elitist trap shooters are probably happier that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
One more thing, look where the Skeet and sporting clays championships are held! They have San Antonio, we have a cornfield in Sparta! And we make fun of them!
 

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For someone who is not a "Sparta Hater" you seem to be doing a pretty good job. I glad you enjoy the MTA. A lot of us do but, the fact, is unless there is a tremendous expansion at some other club, The only place large enough for the Grand at this time is the WRSC. I'm not in love with the place but, I look at practical reality not emotion. There are several on here who aren't trying to be constructive (they just want to start crap). Not saying you are in that group but, people need constructive ideas not just a gripe forum. Some of the same people who are on the hate Sparta train will be some of the first to belly ache if the ATA is forced to hold a Grand with a "limited" program and "restricted "excess. You can have all the motels in the world but, that isn't much good if you don't have trap Fields to go with it.
 

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I think your wife knows you pretty well.

Glad you enjoyed the Fall Handicap.

Like any shoot it is a ton of work for the folks putting it on.

And those folks deserve our thanks.

Shoot well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You are correct about the number of fields. Sparta has a great trap facility. You can't build hotels for two weeks out of the year. I just don't see the Grand growing in its current location. I'll probably keep going when it actually comes time for the grand. But, the lodging is a probl
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think I need to emphasis my points: (1) Sparta has the best trap facility anywhere, (2) Sparta puts on a great tournament, (3) the Sparta grounds, camping, vendor buildings, and parking are wonderful, (4) the targets are thrown perfect at Sparta (5) the people at Sparta are great. (6) the lodging situation is terrible, and (7) there is nothing to do in the area for non shooters. These are facts, if that's complaining then so be it.
 

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Zack
Do you have a solution for the things you consider a problem?
The Haters have harped on the same things since we moved to Sparta but they offer no solution.

We were very fortunate the State of Illinois built us a fantastic facility.
When the rubber hit the road we were out of options and they took us in.

For me personally a 40 minute drive to a gun club from my hotel is not a great hardship.
I typically commute anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour to shoot.
From our hotel my wife and daughter have made numerous day trips either into St Louis or to the neighboring small towns.
They always have a good time.

Trap clubs are like trap guns. I like them all.
But I like some more then others.
Clearly I am a fan of Sparta.

Have a great day.
 

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There are companies that will rent you an RV and set it up for you at Sparta, you stay right there on the grounds. We stay in our coach there and its as much fun to camp as it is to shoot! If I get on early flights there is plenty of time to head to St Louis and site see etc, only about 45-50 mins away. Belleville is a decent city to do things at also. I understand the lack of hotel accommodations but like you said you cant build hotels for two -three weeks out of the year. Besides that you got to cruise the whole facility with the dogs on the golf cart!! Not to mention there is some serious drinking and story telling going on across those 1001 campsites nightly!!! You'll meet friends for life there! Camping there just brings a whole different feel to the experience.
 

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You've never had to drive across Dayton from a motel to the grand? 40 minute commute to any trap grounds is a piece of cake! Parking in Sparta is supreme, beats the living heck out of having to catch a tram that was full of non shooters, while you trying to get to your trap thats a half a mile away from where you parked your car. No nothing is perfect and it takes a while to build supporting structures. The WRSC does not sit empty once the Grand is over, there are other venues that take place. True none of them are the scale of the Grand. Camping at the Grand is pretty neat in itself. Complaining about not having non shooting activities at the Grand is kind of missing the point of having the worlds largest trapshoot. Sadly enough negativity is a way of life for some people. One of the reasons Sparta motels haven't sprung up is the A+ camping facility. If you want to shoot Sparta is one of the greatest places to go. If you want to go somewhere and mess around doing fun things Disney is in Florida.
 

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Been to the MO Fall Handicap and really enjoyed it. The difference in Sparta and Linn Creek...... Linn Creek is a tourist area with Lake of the Ozarks being a major recreational draw with lots of infrastructure that built up over the years.
Sparta was a sleepy little hamlet until the Grand arrived. Unless you lived in Sparta before, then there was no reason to visit. Major hotel chains aren't going to come in and build for an event that lasts 2 weeks. There are more than several good restaurants in the area if you know where to look. The local small town flavor is very enjoyable. The local merchants are glad we're there.
As mentioned in an earlier post....on site camping is the way to go. (Rentals delivered on site are an option) We stay for the entire Grand and generally only leave the camp ground to run to Walmart for more beer, ice & food.
I for one, am glad we're there and looking forward to many more Grands in Sparta.
 

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cuz
Sounds like you have been listening to the" Bitter Ohio Group".....Listen I'm sorry I didn't get to go to Missouri and if I could I would have.... but there is only one grand and it is in Sparta for now. There is only one Grand American handicap it's in Sparta only! You can win a lot of handicaps but I would have to say this is the most prestigious handicap in the world to an ATA member....Crap just shoot and quit listening to grumpy old farts... but if you want to stay home stay home if that's what makes you happy..... I'm not!
Monty
 

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Zackwater,
You should have been to Osage Beech in the 1930's and 40'. Not much going on then. Then came the 50's..not much then, maybe a few bait shops and cabins. It took decades to get Lake Osage, now Lake of the Ozarks to become a destination. I think you failed to compare apples to apples. I hope to be at the Mo Fall Hcap in a few days and I look forward to it when I can get there. Like Leo Shure stated, I have commuted over 30 minutes and was in Dayton all the time. Then it took 5 or more minutes to find a parking spot. Now comes the wagon ride with people clanking their barrels and bags into your gun. Then you arrive late and missed your first 25. Hope it is not raining, because your car could be 20 minutes away. Don't forget anything, remember your car was 20 minutes away. Then another 20 minutes ride back to your bank. How great Vandalia was......not. It was on the edge of a city. Oops, it is closed now. In case you are not aware of it, most shooting facilities in the middle of a residential or developed area close (Vandalia for example). If I were going to spend tens of millions to build a state of the art facility, I would look for an out of the way location. That is exactly where the WSRC is and for good reason.

The solution for more hotels is simple. Those that complain have to build a motel. Won't make money? Why should anyone else loose money. Build a go-cart track. Won't make money? Chipmaker and Leo Shure have some great points. Rent an RV for about the same as the motel and gas would cost, be on site, catch a ball game (semi pro or pro), visit a zoo, go to a concert, hit the Muni for a show, go to Six Flags. Nothing to do...please. St. Louis is not very far away. I go to the WSRC to shoot, spend time with family, camp, visit friends, make new friends, and shoot. Oh I forgot, have some ice cream and a pork steak or two at Southside.

The solution for your wife is for you to give her the same amount of money you spend on shooting and the car keys. I would wager that she will find something to do....even during the Grand. Look me up at Linn Creek and I will offer some solutions to your concerns. Hope you have a great shoot!
John U
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So, the solution to the lodging and lack of entertainment is (1) rent an RV, or (2) stay in St. Louis, (3) go to, or send my wife to St. Louis. I think these solutions make my "complaints" even stronger.
 

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Camping on site....you'll find there's a lot of night life at the shoot offs, beer tent and camp ground. Good times with friends and new friends you'll meet along the way. Don't underestimate the quality of life and entertainment after the days events have concluded. There's a good bit of small town shopping in nearby neighboring towns to be had without ever getting near St Louis.
 

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There are plenty of hotels in the O'Fallon/Fairview Heights areas, about a 40 minute drive from Sparta. Maybe not ideal, but it's worked for me for the last 10 years.

Of course, I'm there to compete. I have no desire to see the world's largest ball of twine or yet another mini golf and go-kart center. I guess I'm lucky that my kids just like being at the Grand and my wife enjoys a week at home without us yahoos.

--Dan
 

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I don't know why everyone is talking like the Mo Fall Handicap is over...it hasn't started yet.

The prelim days ended today and the main Shoot starts tomorrow.
 
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