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Discussion Starter #1
I shot registered birds for a few years, never became very good, but that wasn't the reason I stopped shooting Trap. As a matter of fact, I probably don't have a reason. My question is the same as the subject. I heard all kinds of reasons, but none that are definitive. It is my understanding that the trap line at Vandalia was on property not owned by the ATA? The owner said move, and they were forced to move? Does anyone know the true reason and why did they select Sparta, say over some place in Kansas, or Texas or any other place in the US? I am not fishing or trying to stir up controversy, as a matter of fact, if you intend to raise you voice, then start you own thread. Herb Roach
 

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Herb, you have the start of the short version pretty correct.

The rest of the short version is that ATA had no money and was time-constrained, so was in a doubly-poor negotiating position, ergo 'the best place to go for the next 100years' was not a viable option.

Sparta was the least-bad available & affordable choice ... and may ... I say MAY, in retrospect, have been brilliant (by accident).

There are, of course, personalities and side-issues involved, but the parsimonious explanation usually is the most true.

Bob
 

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Let me guess, we couldn't shoot at the vandalia airport any longer because they were tired of us and wanted the space. The rumor that shooters were pointing their guns right at airplanes is not true but there are some large rodents that went missing. 2 The state of Illinois built a world class shooting facility right smack in the middle of the USA so it's fair for everyone that we can use under favorable terms and since it is unlikely to be encroached on anytime soon maybe we can stay there a long time. See the problem is if you build a shooting range these days anywhere close to civilization you will have a houty touty neighborhood get built right up to the property line and then they being well to do and rich people just like trapshooters but different will sue the gun club to that ole bad place and back (children read this)and then the club has to move.

But the main reason I think we moved was so some people could show us what whiny bit&%*s they are.
 

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It goes back to the mid-80's, Emory Air freight (now defunct) & airport expansion (never happened). A long history of procrastination, laziness and ineptitude by the ATA power brokers of that time.

Curt
 

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worst part is that they didnt really expand the airport all that much in Vandalia last time I was through there...so maybe we could still be there...ah well, I'm sure Sparta is nice. I havent been able to make it down yet.
Beau
 

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I wonder if it stayed and the Grand was still held there what it would be like now? Would there be anyone gripping about the old run down facilities? Would anyone gripe about the distractions? Would some be pleading that we move to a more modern location like like like the CC? Would WPT attend? Would Leo still win? Would the ATA books be any easier to understand for a normal non tax attorney type person?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Green Beret: Ok, who said "you gotta move"? Who? City? Airport Authority? Did ATA have a long term lease with "the owner"? Did someone say, "you got 30 days, or you got till next year? What consideration was given to the cost of moving such a large operation? I had been to Vandalia several times, and I remember the parking problems, campers parked helter skelter, and when it rained, it was every man for himself. But, all that being said, it didn't keep me from going. The atmosphere was exciting for this little city kid, and you could buy anything ralated to shooting and a lot of things that weren't. Earl Tolliver took me the 1st time. I went on my own from then on. I went to Sparta just to see what kind of shooting facilities they could build, and I was ever so surprised. My 1st impression was that "this is what a gun club is supposed to look like". I went back to make sure that I hadn't missed anything, and I even went when there was no organized shooting. It is a wonderful gun range. I couldn't possibly pick one over the other because they have different characters. Each has something more to offer than the other. I will go again, I hope. Maybe next time I can shoot again, that would be icing on the cake. By the way, Green Beret, thank you for your service. Herb Roach
 

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Herb, the debates and back and forth went on for some time. They were told, and knew, years in advance. Are you being sarcastic? It almost failed, as I recall, due to the anti-gun politics of IL. There were other sites (OH & Texas?) which were too expensive / far / hot etc.. There were also rumors of insider deals, but who knows if it was just rotten apples?

To answer you question without all the vitriol, it was up in the air and went back and forth several times. The ATA is lucky to have the shoot at Sparta now, but it was written as a ten year lease. The caustic comments may be an indication that more shooters need to drink more water, especially if they've been in the heat at the Grand. Perhaps they're developing kidney stones. A dismissive attitude does not change the fact that decisions must be made in the next few years.

1) Concerning the future of the Grand, Sparta is not written in stone ad-infinitum. The economy may have a larger influence by the time of the renewal than anyone now realizes. It would be shortsighted to wait until the last minute to renew Sparta without knowing what the costs will be for the next ten year period. ie. shop around alternatives, keep an open mind, attempt to make the best deal

2) The present "costs" do not dictate, with this economy, that it will continue in the same manner. If the ATA is in such severe debt, and a significant portion of "daily fees" collected at "local clubs" are used to fund the several large shoots held during the year, and they mainly serve the smaller group of elite shooters (see many grumblings on TS.com); perhaps it's time to seriously begin charging prices for these shoots in line with their costs. This is one reason that members would like a full, clear disclosure of the ATA finances.

ie. Perhaps the entry fees at the Grand and Satellite Grands will, of necessity, have to be twice that of the typical club shoot. Let the big boys pay for the big shoots. The Grand may decrease in numbers, but also be a real tournament for those who really want to shoot. When I heard that Sparta got the final approval it appeared to me that this was the thought behind the scenes. If you don't have the means to rent a lot and park for a couple weeks you won't be able to afford more than a day visit in the future anyway.

The comments on TS.com and participation numbers at the "local clubs" show decreases in ATA shoots and increasing daily fees for them will probably even out to even fewer shooters paying more in fees with no net gain.

3) Unfortunately, we have another major election in just a two + years, Obama is busy fund raising on a daily basis, and who knows what will change. Daly hasn't had total control on IL so far, but who knows? If the big O is re-elected he has nothing to lose by signing every anti-gun law that approaches him. Look Out! Bloomburg, one of the biggest anti-gun advocates, may run as well and may set off an anti-gun wave that the typical voter digests like pablum.


Plus, Curt is also an asset to his State and local shooting organizations and deserves recognition for that as well. Thanks Curt.

JT
 

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Herb - The city of Dayton backed out of the lease. the lease had many years left to run but Dayton wanted to expand the airport and showed us the door. However, going back into the 90s, the ATA told Dayton and the Dayton Airport that the ATA intended to move anyway. So push, pull, or shove, the ATA was into leaving Vandalia way before I started shooting trap.

The membership was treated to many back and forth studies regarding the cost of moving, of buying, of mooching, etc. You can look at meeting minutes on line, go back to 02, 03, etc to get your own flavor for the history
 

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Here's hoping that the new 10 year lease is signed quickly so we can bury Vandalia forever & look to the future instead of the past. Let the whiners whine & let the shooters shoot!
 

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There are lots more real shooters......the whiners are just more vocal & love to live in the past instead of the future.
 
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