Courtesy of Clark County
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 | 5:28 p.m.
Map of Clark County Shooting Complex
11357 North Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas
A new $3 million sporting clay course opening Friday at the Clark County Shooting Complex will give visitors and valley residents a chance to “golf with guns” while enjoying scenic overlooks of the Las Vegas Valley.
Shooters testing out the new course will ride in golf carts outfitted with gun racks to travel to 30 different shooting stations spread across 75 acres of desert north of the 215 Beltway.
Each station is uniquely designed and presents clay pigeons flying toward, arcing away from or soaring across the shooter’s field of vision, which is back-dropped by panoramic views of the Las Vegas Valley and Strip. The location of the target launchers will change monthly, offering a continually changing experience for visitors.
On Thursday, local officials, including Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins and Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross, as well as shooting complex staff and supporters, gathered at the first station on the sporting clay course to celebrate the completion of what many described as park’s “missing piece.”
“We are already have trap and skeet shooting … the hottest shotgun venue in the country right now is sport clays, especially among the under-50 group,” said Steve Carmichael, the shooting complex’s program administrator. “This fills a hole for us that we haven’t had that we probably should have opened the facility with. It’s two years behind getting going, but it will make up for it real quick.”
Carmichael said the opening of the sporting clay course, which was funded with money from the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act, completes phase one of the park’s build-out and should help boost annual attendance at the facility above 100,000 people. Future plans for the park, which opened on 2,880 desert acres in 2009, include the development of a tactical shooting range and a long-distance shooting range, he said.
Collins, whose district includes the complex, helped mark the course opening with his own take on the ceremonial ribbon-cutting Thursday afternoon that involved a shotgun and a clay pigeon.
He said the new course would help further establish the shooting complex as a go-to destination for tourists and events.
“Sporting clays are really popular everywhere, so we’ve got to have it here. When you come to Vegas, you’ve got to have everything,” Collins said. “People don’t just come here for the shows, the entertainment, the conventions by themselves. They come to go to Red Rock, the Valley of Fire, they go see the Hoover Dam ... for the folks looking for something else to do, this lets people get outside.”
Earlier this week, a group of 500 people in town for SHOT Show had an event at the county shooting complex, something Collins thinks also will happen with groups from other large events in town, like the National Finals Rodeo.
Course designer Marty Fischer, whose Georgia-based Sport Shooting Consultants has worked on more than 100 courses around the country, said the social atmosphere of shooting sporting clays makes it a popular activity for groups of both experienced and amateur shooters.
The panoramic views of the valley and the unique desert landscape will make it a popular and unforgettable attraction for shooting enthusiasts, Fischer predicted.
“That city down there is full of people that come day after day, and they’re all looking for something to do when they’re not at a convention or in the gambling hall,” Fischer said. “We want to find a way to make this place one of the alternatives. They’re going to have a lot of fun when they get here.”
The Clark County Shooting Complex, 11357 N. Decatur Blvd., is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Sporting clay targets cost $32 per 100 and guns can be rented for $20 per day. Visitors can bring their own shotgun shells or purchase them at the complex.