Letting people know about a range...

joelinux

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So, I have recently been made aware that the range I frequent is somewhat...unused.

Is is the Central Coast Long Range Shooters out of San Luis Obispo, CA.

It is a gorgeous, well maintained range, with targets out to 1400 yards, and plans to expand out to 1800, maintained steel, hit indicators, on BLM land, so the entry fees are cheap, etc. etc. etc.

There are a few die-hards there, but by and large, there aren't a lot of participants. I think this is because they don't really have a feel for how to advertise that they exist.

My take of it is that it's a lot of people who are wicked good on a rifle, but just love to shoot. They don't really have a sense of how to expand their user base.

Whenever I tell people about the range, they are completely unaware that such a range exists within driving distance. I think they have a seriously good product, but are lacking in how to make people aware of it.

So, my question to you all is: What do you think would be the best way to let people know about this range?
Contact local gun shops and shooting clubs? See about having competitions hosted there? Ask the NRA to host stuff there? etc.

I'm curious to know what tends to work, and what is a waste of time, in people's experience.
 

M8541Reaper

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It is. How do I let people know about it without being annoying?
By just creating this thread, you’re helping get the word out. I’m jealous that you have access to such a nice range. Best way to go about it, is to mention it in passing rather than going on a marketing campaign. Next time you’re at a local shop, just mention it like “hey have ya heard of this place?” Instead of going in with the intent of advertising, which can seem forced or awkward.

All that being said, my inner “I hate public ranges let alone crowded public ranges” voice is mad at you for telling others about such a hidden gem because you have an opportunity for a low risk and peaceful place to shoot. ...which is the opposite of every public range I’ve been to.
 

joelinux

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By just creating this thread, you’re helping get the word out. I’m jealous that you have access to such a nice range. Best way to go about it, is to mention it in passing rather than going on a marketing campaign.

All that being said, my inner “I hate public ranges let alone crowded public ranges” voice is mad at you for telling others about such a hidden gem because you have an opportunity for a low risk and peaceful place to shoot. ...which is the opposite of every public range I’ve been to.
It's volunteer based, and they have had to shut down to one day a week due to lack of people.
 

M8541Reaper

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It's volunteer based, and they have had to shut down to one day a week due to lack of people.
Oh that sucks then. Better than most ranges like that, which are usually only open 2-3 days a week, but still, that sucks.

Social media is the best way to spread your message in 2019, so you’re on the right track.

Best of luck!
 

308pirate

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All that being said, my inner “I hate public ranges let alone crowded public ranges” voice is mad at you for telling others about such a hidden gem because you have an opportunity for a low risk and peaceful place to shoot. ...which is the opposite of every public range I’ve been to.
This

Loose lips sink ships
 
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1500varmint

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It's volunteer based, and they have had to shut down to one day a week due to lack of people.
If the range is only open one day a week then it's already dead.

If it keeps going they should engage every law enforcement organization within a 50 mile radius and let them know they'll arrange special LEO days where departments can use the range for a discount.

Plaster info with every shooting club in the area, blitz Internet shoting forums, Facebook pages, etc, etc.
 
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Gregor.Samsa

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You’re doing the right thing posting here. I live in the North Bay Area but travel to SoCal frequently to see family. I was just in Paso Robles the other day. I had no idea this existed. I’ve heard that there’s BLM land at Ft. Hunter Ligget. I’d love to check this out sometime.
 

Runnineh

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I spend a lot of time in paso and I'm just hearing about this place for the first time. I'll be checking it out on my next trip
 

Behindenemylines

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We will be having a sanctioned PRS match there this year that will likely help with awareness. Currently opened Thursdays, Saturdays and every 4th Sunday (I think it's the 4th might be the 3rd Sunday). The hours are 9 am until around 1 or 2. If you joing their Facebook page you can get weekly email updates on range hours. Wind starts ripping after noon there.
 

kriller134

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We will be having a sanctioned PRS match there this year that will likely help with awareness. Currently opened Thursdays, Saturdays and every 4th Sunday (I think it's the 4th might be the 3rd Sunday). The hours are 9 am until around 1 or 2. If you joing their Facebook page you can get weekly email updates on range hours. Wind starts ripping after noon there.
I’d be interested in matches here. The wife loves SLO, so it’ll be a good excuse to get up there. Also have dinner at Jockos too.
 

Mk32784

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I posted some feed back on there Facebook Page about how, it would be nice if info and hours were better publicized, website was more updated, and a calendar (like every other range) was made public to help show dates for competitions/open hours is. Would be nice and help drive traffic to the range.

... and the blocked me.

Lovely group of people I guess. /s
 
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joelinux

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I posted some feed back on there Facebook Page about how, it would be nice if info and hours were better publicized, website was more updated, and a calendar (like every other range) was made public to help show dates for competitions/open hours is. Would be nice and help drive traffic to the range.

... and the blocked me.

Lovely group of people I guess. /s
Did you enter the group first? It could be that Robert auto-bans outsiders from postings from emails wholesale from the notification email, and you got lumped in with the many many anti-gun people that try to post to the page a month.
 

1500varmint

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In my opinion the greatest challenge is the hours of operation.

If they're only open Thursdays, Saturdays and every 4th Sunday from 9 am until around 1 or 2 it severely limits opportunities for people to get there.

I think adding even one more day (Friday) and expanding the hours of operation from 7 am - sunset would be a huge improvement. Weekend range for weekend distance shooters kind of thing.
 

joelinux

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In my opinion the greatest challenge is the hours of operation.

If they're only open Thursdays, Saturdays and every 4th Sunday from 9 am until around 1 or 2 it severely limits opportunities for people to get there.

I think adding even one more day (Friday) and expanding the hours of operation from 7 am - sunset would be a huge improvement. Weekend range for weekend distance shooters kind of thing.
It's sort of a "chicken and egg" problem. The RSOs are all volunteers, so Thursday and Saturdays are the only days when they have volunteers that can come in. So we need people to open up the range so that the range can be open more days.

If you are interested in getting involved, they are having a volunteer coordinating meeting in February/March timeframe.
 

1500varmint

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It's sort of a "chicken and egg" problem. The RSOs are all volunteers, so Thursday and Saturdays are the only days when they have volunteers that can come in. So we need people to open up the range so that the range can be open more days.

If you are interested in getting involved, they are having a volunteer coordinating meeting in February/March timeframe.
Unfortunately I'm three time zones away, so I can't be much help other than moral support.

I currently travel about an hour and 40 minutes for my closest 100 yard range (Sheepdog Warrior Range - https://sheepdogwarrior.com) so I'd bet there are people in that radius in your area who would be "regulars".

Good luck.
 

Mk32784

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Did you enter the group first? It could be that Robert auto-bans outsiders from postings from emails wholesale from the notification email, and you got lumped in with the many many anti-gun people that try to post to the page a month.
I had posted in the group before asking for details for competitions and got told "coming soon". And wasn't banned.

Someone posted asking about dates and one of the admins literally said "PM this Lisa person and she will add you to the mailing list"

I pointed out that if you want to expand the range usage, having to PM a stranger on facebook about a mailing list to know about when the range is going to be open isn't gonna to be attractive. I thought I was professional in my reply but I guess they thought otherwise and now I am banned from the facebook page.

This isn't really close to me, 3ish hours but I have driven all over CA to shoot in new places that have nice ranges and matches. If they can't handle a bit of feed back on a facebook page then I will gladly advice anyone in my circle to avoid.

I understand the chicken and egg problem of volunteers ROs and having open hours/days. But you got to find someone or some funding to be open reasonable hours and be reasonably organized so that people will actually want to show up.
 

rob.sfo

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I'm headed to SLO in May for the Tactical Games, I might try to leave a day earlier and spend Thursday at this range. Thanks for the heads-up.

It's a 4 hour drive for me so not sure how often I could get there, but there aren't many ranges like this within driving distance at all, so I'm glad you posted here.
 

2aBaCa

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Im in the Bay also and recently found out about this place.

Trying to find solid information on the range is not easy.

From what I gather the range itself is part of a public shooting complex but the long range portion is exclusive and gated and there needs to be a RSO to shoot. of which doesnt have a concrete schedule. And its maintained by a volunteer group of long range shooters.

Most people will travel there so Saturday & Sundays are a must.

Also from what I understand onsite overnight camping is available.

That being said if they could organize local club matches that would bring in more attention. Also coordinating with Avenal club would be a plus. Create flyers and send them to bay area gun shops.
 
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seansmd

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We had some of the SLO folks attend the Avenal matches last year and vice versa. I agree with @2aBaCa getting matches published in the bay area.

We should also RO each other's matches.
 
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joelinux

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They are looking at people in the new year to be RSOs...they are coordinating sometime in February/March timeframe if you wanted to get involved.
 

viva la figa

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Im in the Bay also and recently found out about this place.

Trying to find solid information on the range is not easy.

From what I gather the range itself is part of a public shooting complex but the long range portion is exclusive and gated and there needs to be a RSO to shoot. of which doesnt have a concrete schedule. And its maintained by a volunteer group of long range shooters.

Most people will travel there so Saturday & Sundays are a must.

Also from what I understand onsite overnight camping is available.

That being said if they could organize local club matches that would bring in more attention. Also coordinating with Avenal club would be a plus. Create flyers and send them to bay area gun shops.

$50 per year according to their website... Id gladly become a member! But a Sat and Sun open schedule would be a must.
Id pay double if it meant that they could hire an RO to work weekends. Might make the club more viable?
 
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joelinux

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$50 per year according to their website... Id gladly become a member! But a Sat and Sun open schedule would be a must.
Id pay double if it meant that they could hire an RO to work weekends. Might make the club more viable?
Well, you could always volunteer to be an RSO for Sundays. :)
 

2aBaCa

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The biggest hang up for SLO is the uncertainties of weekend schedules and the need for an RSO.

Some clubs have hours and a combo lock on the gate. Paid members get the combo and can come and go during hours. Some even have mandatory yearly requirement to cover the RSO days, not sure if you need to have some sort of certification or not but that helps fill the need.
 
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viva la figa

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Well, you could always volunteer to be an RSO for Sundays. :)
If I didnt live 5hrs away and had a regular work schedule I would love to. But thats why I am willing to pay extra to hire someone to be an RSO....that way the range could operate on a regular schedule and people can make plans to go use it.

Hell $200 a year is not unreasonable....Id pay that to have someone there and keep the place open. You would only need 250 members at $200 per year to have someone full time....$50k a year for a full time range person is reasonable I would think.
 

308pirate

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Why is an RSO necessary?

Why not offer instead certifications to shooters and then let them have access whenever they can?

This is one instance where focusing on the outcome (a safe range) and opening the options regarding the process is better than mandating a single process (having RSOs) to obtain the desired outcome (having a safe range)
 
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theLBC

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have you posted anything in the long range section of calguns?
of course, most of the LR shooters in california might be on this forum as well.
 

joelinux

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Why is an RSO necessary?

Why not offer instead certifications to shooters and then let them have access whenever they can?

This is one instance where focusing on the outcome (a safe range) and opening the options regarding the process is better than mandating a single process (having RSOs) to obtain the desired outcome (having a safe range)
Because of the nature of the range, it can't be locked. And if someone shot on it without an RSO there, and the range people knew about it, they could be in big trouble.
 

joelinux

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Heres an idea.

Unofficial monthly or bi-monthly club PRS style match and BBQ.
We can float it. Problem is the range belongs to a collection of ranges in one area, and they have a joint meal twice a year as a fundraiser. Ipda, skeet/trap, GALs, cowboy, black powder, etc.
 

308pirate

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Because of the nature of the range, it can't be locked. And if someone shot on it without an RSO there, and the range people knew about it, they could be in big trouble.
You're vapor locked on the current solution, which is typical of many engineers. It took me (an engineer also) a lot of effort to break out of that type of thinking.

Before you reply to this, please go back and read my previous post again and do a deep dive into it.
 
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2aBaCa

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We can float it. Problem is the range belongs to a collection of ranges in one area, and they have a joint meal twice a year as a fundraiser. Ipda, skeet/trap, GALs, cowboy, black powder, etc.
Cant imagine why it would matter.

Another recommendation would be to time any events between Avenal monthly matches. You may be able to pick up some of the same crowd of shooters.

Even better, start attending Avenal, make some friends and network.
 
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joelinux

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You're vapor locked on the current solution, which is typical of many engineers. It took me (an engineer also) a lot of effort to break out of that type of thinking.

Before you reply to this, please go back and read my previous post again and do a deep dive into it.
The Range is on BLM land. Your suggestion about "certified shooters" is null because BLM mandates that an RSO (by name/title) be present before anyone can start shooting.
 

joelinux

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Cant imagine why it would matter.

Another recommendation would be to time any events between Avenal monthly matches. You may be able to pick up some of the same crowd of shooters.

Even better, start attending Avenal, make some friends and network.
I agree, I think networking is key. Brent Grillo just came back from SHOT show, and says some heavy hitters are interested in using our range, so, hopefully, we'll get some more traction that way...

Here is a bit of the layout. The green is the firing line. The red behind it is a road that is required to be open at all times, because it is an easement to non-range related properties on the other side. So, locking the range isn't an option.


1580166419673.png
 

joelinux

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Can the RSO shoot or is he limited to RSO duties only?
I see where you are going with this. I have seen them shoot while on duty, but only when there was a second keeping an eye on the range. Whether that is a requirement or not, I'm unsure. In any case, the more RSOs the better.
 

2aBaCa

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I see where you are going with this. I have seen them shoot while on duty, but only when there was a second keeping an eye on the range. Whether that is a requirement or not, I'm unsure. In any case, the more RSOs the better.
Yeah, just thinking if I was an RSO and I drive all the way down there can I shoot and be the RSO on duty? I would be more inclined to become a member, an RSO, and plan trips down there.

Especially on Sundays which is usually my only free day.
 

308pirate

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The Range is on BLM land. Your suggestion about "certified shooters" is null because BLM mandates that an RSO (by name/title) be present before anyone can start shooting.
Well I guess you're fucked for depending on the benevolence of government.

Here in the east we don't have public land like that so we buy our own and make our own rules.

I love living here......