When it was first announced, all the way back in January, the Frisco Gun Club billed itself as the nation's largest indoor shooting range. Nine months later, as club prepares to open this month, it has dropped that claim, focusing instead on its luxurious VIP lounge and culinary offerings.
There's a reason. In July, it became clear that the Frisco facility, at 43,000 square feet, would be dwarfed by a 100,000-square-foot shooting range and gun shop planned for Colorado. Turns out, it won't even be the biggest in Dallas-Fort Worth.
That claim is being staked by the Caliber Shooting Center, a 147,000-square-foot behemoth set to open in the summer of 2014 in the vacant Home Depot Expo shell in North Richland Hills. The City Council unanimously approved the project last month, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.[jump]
Allen Kreag, the Army vet and private-security firm owner behind Caliber, is quick to differentiate his project from the one in Frisco, which is aiming for a high-end, country-club feel. He describes himself as "just a regular guy" who says he is less concerned with creature comforts than with offering realistic, top-notch training.
"For individuals who want to get training...it's really easy to go get a CHL and get a gun and carry it around on your waist or in your purse," he says. "It's another thing to be prepared and ... comfortable."
That's where Caliber's 10,000-square-foot "simulation city" comes in. It will feature mockups of buildings -- homes, offices, banks, ATMs, a restaurant -- where visitors can test their skills in real-world scenarios. There will also be a good chunk of space devoted to a virtual-reality training center offering law enforcement-caliber training via wraparound 3D screens. (These use real guns, but the kick is provided by CO2 cartridges, rather than bullets.)
All of this is in addition to 60 traditional handgun lanes and two rifle bays, plus classrooms, a cafe, and a large, open retail area.
"Imagine an Apple Store, but without the iPad," Kreag says.
All of this leaves libtard gun skeptics scratching their heads over a lot of things, namely why there seems to be a sudden urge to turn gun ranges into massive, full-service amusement parks.
For Kreag, the better question is why not. He's betting that there are a huge number of North Texans who would love nothing more than to spend their Saturday pretending to gun down would-be muggers, then calmly moving to the cafe to sip an iced latte while they browse the new arrivals.
He's probably right.