Indoor gun range opens in Broomfield
Last Updated: 16:08 December 30, 2013
Stear, 33, an aerospace engineer by trade, unveiled Shoot Indoors at 1 Park St. in Broomfield with a soft opening earlier this month. A grand opening is planned for Jan. 11.
The 11,628-square-foot space near the intersection of U.S. Highway 287 and Commerce Street includes 10 25-yard lanes as well as space for safety and certification courses. The facility accommodates handguns, rifles and some shotguns.
According to websites for Colorado's Parks and Wildlife division and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a gun rights organization, Shoot Indoors is the second gun range in Boulder and Broomfield counties. Boulder Rifle Club, however, has an extensive wait list, according to its website. The Longmont Police Department's firing range near Interstate 25 off of Colorado Highway 119, and the nearby Trigger Time Gun Club lie just outside Boulder County.
Stear lives in downtown Denver and works at Buckley Air Force Base doing data analytics on satellites. The idea for Shoot Indoors came while working on his master's degree at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where he had moved from Pennsylvania to work at Ball Aerospace. That's when he often found himself having to drive up to an hour to find a place to shoot - only to wait in line.
"I just wanted a range close to me to shoot at in the evening when I actually had some free time," said Stear, who grew up in Pennsylvania hunting with his father and grandfather but found it more difficult to find time to shoot once in the working world and living in the city. "Hopefully a lot of other people enjoy it as much as I do."
Stear, who has bachelor's degrees in astrophysics and mechanical engineering from Lehigh University, received his master's at CU in engineering management. For his master's thesis, he drew up the business plan for Shoot Indoors.
He looked at several possible locations along the U.S. 36 corridor, and rented the space on Park Street in the spring. He declined to divulge the amount of startup costs, but said he financed the launch with his own savings and a small-business loan from Wells Fargo, as well as help from friends and family. He's spent the past several months doing much of the build-out himself.
The public drop-in fee is $22 per hour, with monthly memberships costing $40 per month. Stear is also selling 50 lifetime memberships for $1,000 apiece - of which a few remain to be sold - to help generate early interest.
Stear said the focus is on the range, and that he has no plans to open a retail gun operation at Shoot Indoors. There are free introductory gun-safety orientation classes four nights per week and more in-depth firearms courses five nights per week for a fee.
"I wanted to be a pure shooting range first and just get really good at running the range," he said.
Shoot Indoors has 10 employees. Stear is able to leave his job at Buckley in the afternoons to tend to the range, but said he has no plans to leave the aerospace industry. The shooting range is a side project that wound up consuming most of his free time.
"It was just kind of a need," Stear said.
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