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County Government:

County taking steps to plug financial drain at shooting complex

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Courtesy of Clark County

Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins shoots his rifle at a new sporting clay course now open at the Clark County Shooting Complex, 11357 N. Decatur Road, on Friday Jan. 18, 2013. The new course takes shooters to 30 target shooting stations across 75 acres of desert in a sport also known as “golfing with guns.”

Updated Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 | 11:44 a.m.

Clark County Shooting Complex

A new sporting clay course opens at the Clark County Shooting Complex, 11357 N. Decatur Road, on Friday Jan. 18, 2013. The new course takes shooters to 30 target shooting stations across 75 acres of desert in a sport also known as Launch slideshow »

Price list at Clark County Shooting Complex

  • Rifle and pistol range $9
  • Archery center $7
  • Trap and skeet shooting $6.50 for 25 targets
  • Firearm rental $10 per hour or $20 per day
  • Sporting Clays $16 per 50 targets
  • RV camp site $20 per night
  • All prices are for adults. Customers must provide their own ammunition, which can also purchased at the shooting complex. Prices on ammunition fluctuate.

Operations at the Clark County Shooting Complex continue to misfire, with the park losing $250,000 in the first three months of this fiscal year.

The complex, which opened in 2010 at a cost of $63.4 million, was not expected to make money its first five years, according to projections done at the time of construction.

But the rate of losses — the park spent $1.1 million more than it brought in last year — means it won’t break even for several more years without changes in the way it does business.

The losses are raising concerns among county commissioners, who want to see the park end its reliance on a county subsidy that has totaled more than $3 million since it opened.

“We can’t act like this problem doesn’t exist,” commission Chairman Steve Sisolak said. “It’s clear something has to be done.”

Staff presented a first round of changes approved by commissioners Tuesday expected to cut this year’s losses by 75 percent.

The plan calls for a reduction of shooting complex staff hours by about one third, in conjunction with reduced operating hours at the complex, which will help save on utilities costs.

While these initial steps will save money in the short term, commissioners agreed more still needed to be done.

Finding new ways to market the shooting complex, whether in trade publications, on the county’s television station or through the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, is critical, said Commissioner Tom Collins, a strong supporter whose district includes the complex.

Collins criticized the county for not allocating staff to market the park and said it needed to be run differently than other parks in the county system.

“We can’t have recreation sports specialists that know about Frisbees, softballs and soccer balls running a shooting complex,” Collins said. “If you’re going to treat it like a potential enterprise fund that can be profitable, then you’ve got to do it right. For example, it was in the plan to hire a marketing person.”

Other ideas to boost the park's fortune include hiring a private management company, licensing naming rights, offering memberships or engaging a UNLV class to develop a marketing campaign to promote the complex.

Commissioners didn’t come up with any firm next steps but plan to check in on the complex early next year.

CORRECTION: Rifle and pistol range - $9 Archery center - $7 Trap and skeet shooting - $6.50 for 25 targets Firearm rental - $10 per hour or $20 per day Sporting Clays - $16 per 50 targets RV camp site - $20 per night All prices for adults. Customers must provide their own ammo, which can also purchased at the shooting complex. (They don’t list a price on this, it fluctuates) | (November 30, 2013)

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