Print Pattersons dream of an indoor shooting range
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Saturday, 31 July 2010 08:00

A Cornville couple is looking for support from the community in their efforts to eventually build an indoor shooting and archery range in Camp Verde.

Pat and Louann Patterson show the area where they would like to build an indoor shooting range near Cherry Road and State Route 260 on Sunday, July 25. The Cornville couple received an endorsement for the project from the Camp Verde Town Council but are waiting for approval from nearby neighbors of the range before moving ahead with their plans.It’s a dream for LouAnn and Richard Patterson, both avid shooters with a background in the firearms industry. They would ideally like to see the range constructed on a piece of land near State Route 260 and Cherry Creek Road, but it’s far from a done deal.

“We don’t want to get anybody’s hopes up just yet,” LouAnn Patterson said. Still, they figure if this type of business is going to be successful anywhere, it’ll be in Camp Verde, a town in the middle of a region filled with hunters and gun owners.

The couple needs letters of support to deliver to the U.S. Small Business Administration in order to help them qualify for a loan to get the project underway.

The letters would help show there is a demand for this type of business in the area.

Patterson said letters from local governments, gun clubs and other similar organizations carry the most weight with the administration, but every letter they can get from anyone in the community interested in seeing this type of business succeed will go a long way in helping.

Mayor Bob Burnside signed one such letter last week on behalf of the Camp Verde Town Council.

Burnside wrote that not only would gun owners benefit from having an indoor range, but the range would be a “valuable asset” for the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office because deputies could use it to train.

“We are confident that this business will have a very positive impact in the community, not only for our town but for the entire Verde Valley,” Burnside wrote.

“We’re trying very, very hard to make this a reality,” Patterson said. “There’s a lot of work involved with putting in a range.”

Patterson said she and her husband already have a good plan for what they want to offer if they can get their loan.

The range would be 300 feet long, with different areas for pistols, rifles, and bows and arrows. The rifle range would use the entire 300 feet, while the pistol and archery ranges would be only 75 feet long.

The owners would also like to offer gun and bow rentals, as well as supply sales.

“There may be something that someone in a million years would never be able to afford,” Patterson said. “But they could come in and still get the chance to shoot it.”

The business would also cater in part to women, Patterson said.

“A lot of women are interested in shooting, some in trying something new,” Patterson said. “But it can be intimidating in some places. I’ve had women tell me they’ve walked into a range and no one would even talk to them. You’d be surprised.”

Patterson said the range would be “100 percent professional” and would even have room for a classroom.
But none of this is going to happen unless gun and archery hobbyists want to see it happen, Patterson said.