The Wyoming State Shooting Complex Oversight Task Force met online last week to finalize their request for community readiness pre-proposals from groups interested in hosting the proposed facility.
The state will publish the request for pre-proposals in mid-November, and submissions will be accepted through March 1, the task force decided.
‘Getting them to the starting blocks’
Communities that don’t submit pre-proposals will not be considered as potential sites for the shooting complex in the future, members noted.
“(Let’s) be very clear about that,” task force co-chair Wyoming Sen. Larry Hicks, R-Baggs, said, explaining that the pre-proposal process was designed to “gather up all those entities that want to compete.”
“We’re just getting them to the starting blocks here.”
He reiterated, however, that the pre-proposals won’t be used to eliminate any applicants, either.
“The pre-proposal is not going to be the final thing that selects the proposed site,” Hicks said. “The pre-proposal is just to get people thinking about how to get ready to actually submit.”
Smaller groups that don’t have “a lot of resources” at their disposal can even indicate in their pre-proposals that they don’t yet have all of the information requested, Gunwerks CEO Aaron Davidson said.
The pre-proposal document will request information in five categories, legislative staffers said.
The first category is “land,” and it includes the following sub-topics:
-acreage (minimum 800 acres, preferred 2,500-plus acres)
-ownership (additional information requested for federal land)
-topography and vegetation
-buffer zones surrounding the site
-zoning issues or other regulations that may impact the construction and operation of the complex
-utility corridors that may impact the construction and operation of the complex
There are also several sub-topics under the “access” category:
-distance and travel time to the nearest highway
-type of road used to access the site
-distance and travel time to the nearest airports
-alternative transportation options to access the site
Subtopics under “utilities” include:
-water and sewer
-high-speed internet access
-natural gas or propane service
-other support available, including city or county staff, volunteers, and others to assist in staffing the complex
Sub-topics for “dining and lodging” were:
-the number of restaurants in the area
-the number of hotel rooms in the area
-the number of RV camping sites in the area
Finally, the pre-proposal document will request information about “other amenities available in the area around the site.”
“The task force is interested in any amenities or activities in the area that may bring people to the area or keep people in the area before, during or after a visit to the shooting complex,” the draft document states. “This description should also include amenities and activities for family members traveling with competitors visiting the complex.”
The task force asked state staffers to add another question to the list about the “wow factor” each proposed site has to offer, and Hicks requested a section about potential governance structures.
“Is it going to be owned by the state (and) operated by a local government?” he asked. “Is it going to be a state facility that’s then leased out under contract to a private entity? … We need to get people thinking about (what) type of arrangement, governance, ownership of the facility that you would propose.”
Wyoming Business Council CEO Josh Dorrell suggested incorporating economic development considerations into the pre-proposal document as well.
Wyoming Rep. Pepper Ottman, R-Riverton, asked whether the pre-proposal should include architectural renderings, but task force co-chair Wyoming Rep. Art Washut, R-Casper, said “I don’t think we’re there yet.”
In fact, he continued, the state is “not going to ask the community to give us drawings of the facility, because the actual design of this facility will be up to us, and we’ll probably hire professional folks to do that.”
Washut and Hicks both suggested residents learn more about the Cameo Shooting and Education Complex in Colorado, the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Arizona, and the NRA Whittington Center in New Mexico to get an idea of the “scope and magnitude” of the project Wyoming is considering, because “this is (not) your local gun range.”
State staffers said they will re-work the pre-proposal draft based on the task force discussion and send it to the co-chairs for final approval before publishing it next month.
The next task force meeting is scheduled to take place Nov. 17 in Powell.