Glendale archery range aims for October opening

Aug 16, 2016

Arrows will soon be flying overhead at Heroes Regional Park near 83rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road.
Officials are looking at a tentative Oct. 15 grand opening of a 16-lane practice and competition archery range, which began construction earlier this year at the 87-acre park.
“We are very excited about the archery range,” said Mike Gregory, Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services administrator. “What we want to do is provide a facility that is available to accommodate the experienced archer and people that are just learning.”
Glendale last week received back proposals from bidders interested in operating the range. Other outdoor archery ranges in the Valley include Papago Park and Ben Avery Shooting Facilities, both in Phoenix.
“It will be our hope that somebody will want to program the facility and provide programming for entry-level folks and maybe provide weekend events and tournaments,” Mr. Gregory said. He said it will take up to four weeks to assemble a team to review the bidders’ presentations.
The city will assume maintenance of the range such as weeding as it is part of the park. And the range uses pea gravel instead of turf, which cuts down on maintenance.
The fenced range also comes with a shaded spectator area able to accommodate up to 90 people.
The 47,000-square-foot project was paid for by grants — $7,000 grant from Arizona Game and Fish Department and a $49,000 grant from Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority — and donations in goods and sweat equity, according to Mr. Gregory.
For instance, Salt River Materials Group donated nearly 400 tons of gravel for the range and about three dozen volunteers helped spread nearly 1,300 tons of landscape rock in July, according to the city.
“It’s hard to put a number on it right now,” Mr. Gregory said for the value of the donated goods and services. “I image it would be pretty significant. I’m hesitant to put a number on it right now.”
That said, Mr. Greogry noted to build a similar range it would cost $150,000 to $200,000.
“It’s not just grading of a flat area and let the arrow fly,” he said. “In the industry there is an expectation of users, especially people who have been participating for extended time, they have expectations of quality. Arrows can cost up to $50 to $60 each. We want to make sure we build a facility that is not going to compromise those arrows. We are very strategic in our process when designing and developing it.”
The idea of an archery range first came up as an item of interest for the council in March 2014. The council directed staff to pursue the range but put stipulations in place such as it must not cost taxpayers and that there be community interest to support the project.
Support for the sport is growing especially since 2013 with the debut of the first Hunger Games movie.
“That really started the ball rolling,” Mr. Gregory said. “From my perspective it’s bit of a challenge. I kind of compare it with golf. Golf can be a difficult sport but when you hit that one good shot, it makes you come back.”http://www.yourwestvalley.com/glendale/article_356b3f14-63fc-11e6-88dd-8ff25f37009e.html