Bill Wenman (left) received the first big donation toward the purchase of the Casino Gun Range earlier this year when Vern Blair gave $1,000 on behalf of his deceased brother Don Blair, an active user of the range.(Submitted photo)

Association on track to purchase Casino Gun Range

The business plan is starting to take shape

Going from warden to owner of the Casino Gun Range is the end goal of a business plan that is starting to take shape.

Previous: Trail Wildlife Association aims for gun range purchase

Previous: Casino Gun Range a hot topic at AGM

Range manager Bill Wenman says a Teck representative made a site visit a few weeks ago, and provided guidelines in terms of writing a proposal for the company to consider.

“I would say I am cautiously optimistic,” Wenman told the Trail Times. “I have done business plans before and Teck has said to give them the concept first, so it’s a great working start.”

The Trail Wildlife Association (TWA) took the lead in talks with Teck over buying the company’s land, rather than continuing to lease it, after three branches of range memberships reached a consensus earlier this year.

The topic surfaced again this weekend when a sanctioned shooting competition at the Casino Gun Range drew more than 50 people from all over B.C. to this region.

The IPSC event (International Practical Shooting Confederation of Canada) is the only one of its kind in the West Kootenay. The turnout of competitors, some coming from as far as Vancouver Island, illustrates how the gun range is good for tourism, and shows how it can fit in as a long-term economic driver, Wenman pointed out.

“This is more proof of that,” he said. “(Like the golf courses), it does bring in tourism, but it also increases their willingness to stay.

“I’ve talked with three people who were looking at the Okanagan (to re-locate) … but they like the swimming, the skiing and they like the golf courses that we have. When they saw the gun range, they said that made their final decision to stay here.”

This latest competition is also an example of why the memberships chose to join forces to buy the land from Teck over continuing an annual lease of $150.

The intent of the Trail Wildlife Association, West Kootenay Marksmen, and West Kootenay Archers, is to financially invest in the range as a landowner, not as a leasee, and preserve its use for perpetuity.

“The reason we want to purchase the range is that we want to do capital improvements,” Wenman said. “So that we can increase the capacity of the usage.”

While he declined to give a dollar-value of what the offer might be, Wenman did outline options of paying for the land.

“One idea would be for Teck to gift it to us,” he said.

“Another option is where we would create a mortgage between us and Teck, then pay off the mortgage from the price of the land over many years.”

A legacy loan from Columbia Basin Trust is another idea Wenman suggested, whereby the money would be borrowed at a low interest, or zero interest rate, over many years.

“Then, another option is outright buying it at a higher pace, which would mean having to substantially increase the fees to use the range,” he said. “But I would say 20 to 30 per cent would not be able to afford that, and then if the cost becomes prohibitive the problem is they’ll go target or bow shooting somewhere out in the wild where it’s not as safe,” he added.

“So there has to be that fine balance.”



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Take BC SPCA’s pledge to keep pets safe this summer

For more info visit the BC SPCA website

Trail affordable housing complex takes shape

Columbia Park will house nine households of various sizes in spring 2021

Reflecting on former Kootenay MLA Ed Conroy’s legacy

Former BC cabinet minister and Kootenay MLA Ed Conroy passed away June 26

Conserving all-Canadian wildlife just one part of the puzzle

“Canada plays a critical role in protecting many of these plants and animals.”

Salmo RCMP arrest three, seize $15,000

The three adult men have been charged with “Conspiracy to Commit an Offence.”

Camping offers a great pandemic escape, for less money than you might think

But for many first-timers, knowing what to bring can be a challenge

Turbulence in Canadian opinion on airlines COVID-19 response: poll

Thousands of people have beseeched Transport Minister Marc Garneau to compel airlines to issue refunds,

Police issue warning after baby comes across suspected drugs in Kamloops park

The 11-month-old girl’s mother posted photos on social media showing a small plastic bag containing a purple substance

Collision results in train derailment just east of Golden

The derailment occurred Sunday night, according to a statement from CP

Lower Mainland woman says llama farming neighbour shot her 11-month-old pup

Young dog was on owner’s Maple Ridge property when it was killed on June 21

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. highway widening job reduced, costs still up $61 million

Union-only project scales back work to widen Trans-Canada

Most Read