This week in 2010, NRAblog met the Bohns of South Dakota. They were in North Carolina for the Range Development and Operations Conference. Once again, here's their story:
Members of North Dakota's Fun Mart Cycle Center are looking to start an indoor range.
Charlotte, North Carolina - Tammy and Justin Bohn and three of their employees are attending this weekend’s NRA Range Development and Operations Conference in Charlotte, NC. The North Dakota-based couple were eager to tell NRAblog they have been blessed. “We have a very successful motorcycle dealership with 16 full-time employees,” Tammy said. (Check out their website: KTMhutt.com.) The couple are proud to have a close-knit staff at the dealership, including several nephews and other family members. “We even moved Aunt Linda up from Georgia to help with the store,” Tammy said.
Through casual conversation, the Bohns noticed their employees were interested in handgun shooting. “Almost all the guys own handguns,” Tammy said of her employees. Through a written survey of the store's customers, the Bohns learned something even more interesting: 70% of people who own motorcycles and dirt bikes shoot handguns.
The Bohns own property in Sturgis, South Dakota, and say the area lacks shooting ranges. “The Black Hills need an indoor shooting facility,” Tammy said, noting that “South Dakota is very pro business and pro gun.” (Read NRAblog’s coverage of South Dakota at this year's SHOT Show.)
In addition to serving the area’s residents, the range will be able to accommodate those who attend the Sturgis Rally. Tammy said. “Sturgis is heavy on visitors, seeing some 8,000 people in one six-week period.”
“We want to build a facility that is impressive,” Tammy continued, mentioning their ideal range would have an attached retail area with guns for sale and rent. “If we can get people to the range who are new to guns, we can educate them (on firearms).”
Tammy hopes to have things up and running in 2010. But she’s “realistic,” Range Coordinator Kara Schlifke notes.
“It’s going to take some time, especially because we’re running the motorcycle dealership (concurrently),” Tammy said.
“We very much believe we have to take the employees and kids with us and let them learn along with us,” Tammy said, nodding to the trio of employees standing near her husband. “My husband and I want to be able to be wrapping things up at age 55.”
Luckily for the Bohns, their employees are eager to dive in to their newest venture.
“We’re just here to learn everything we can,” Cory Gabbert said. “We need to learn the laws.” Cory, 33, who says he's “brand new” to the concept of range construction, has been working at the Bohn’s shop for 3 years.
Derek Schaff, 21, has been working at the dealership for two and a half years and spends equal amounts of time on dirt bikes and on the range. Nick Klusack, 23, is one of the mentioned nephews. "This range is definitely going to be a 'family affair,'" Tammy said.