An Archery Center Near You – By Robert R. Romero
I recently had the opportunity to visit two Archery Centers in the Dallas area and I thought I would share my experience with you. I will be writing a series of articles regarding successful Archery centers around the country as I visit them in order to showcase what groups can do.
My initial visit was to the Texas Archery Academy indoor archery center located at 600 Accent Dr. Plano, Texas 75075. www.TexasArcheryAcademy.org
The Texas Archery Academy has ties to the old Texins Archery Club that was once located on the property of the Texas Instruments facility in Richardson, TX. Texas Instruments decided to close down the Texins range so the archery club was forced to find another location. Through the efforts of Clint Montgomery, another outdoors range was located at the 500 acre Elm Fork Shooting Complex www.DallasArchery.com, and a 30,000 sq.ft. Indoor facility was acquired, Texas Archery Academy – dedicated to archery instruction. This center is run by Tony Fontana, a level 4 USAA coach. He has been instrumental in developing the programs at the center and is teaching the USAA National Training System to the club members. The club changed their name to the Texans Archery Club and were off and running. Members have the benefit of paying one membership fee for the use of multiple ranges. The club has three ranges now, and two more in development for 2013.
You may be asking yourself, ‘How are they able to keep such a large facility open?’ Clint will answer this question simply, “Just make archery accessible to the public. Through family affordable programs, and value, membership growth takes care of itself.”
This center is primarily supported through a large membership who pay annual fees and are also required to work one hour of service work per year to help out and to create a stronger connection to the center. The center uses social media to promote the usual birthday parties, leagues and walk-in customers, which also helps keep the lights burning. They use a small staff and members are often used as Range Safety Captains.
The center can be divided up into several indoor ranges merely by pulling arrow stop curtains open or closed. With all curtains in the open position, archers can shoot at least 50m indoors, allowing them to tune their bows without the influence of the wind one encounters when tuning outdoors. The center also has a moving target range as well as a separated 3D range with moving and stationary 3D targets. This range has the impressive ability to change lighting conditions to simulate dawn, dusk and moonlight. There is a small lounge, restrooms and a lending library for use by the patrons. You will have to visit a nearby archery dealer if you want to purchase equipment and accessories, as the facility does not have a retail component.
Clint and Tony (Executive Directors) are dedicated to growing the “Sport of Archery” throughout the state by hosting tournaments and reaching out to other commercial, city, state and national organizations. This is in an effort to increase the public’s access to ‘Discover Archery’, and to gain recognition for archery as a sport (like baseball or soccer) and not a hobby.
The Dallas Metroplex is fortunate to have, not only the Texas Archery Academy, but also the Cinnamon Creek Ranch Archery Center, which I will be writing about in the future. So stay tuned…