Sarasota-Manatee economic development officials have recently trumpeted the region's potential for sports-themed businesses.
Several local entities have embraced that challenge, especially Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, the developers behind Lakewood Ranch, a 30,000-acre master-planned community in east Manatee County. A soccer complex on SMR land, for example, has been a big draw.
The next target for SMR: A sporting clay course.
The course, the Ancient Oak Gun Club, is planned on 70 acres of undeveloped property within Lakewood Ranch. SMR recently received government approvals for the project, which could be open by February. The club will offer annual memberships and daily shooting for a fee. The course will be laid out with a dozen or so shooting stations of varying difficulty, according to the East County Observer, sister paper of the Business Review.
“We're going to have clinics for beginners and people who have never shot before to introduce them to the sport,” club manager Wayne Evans tells the Observer. “They teach them gun safety, gun fit, how to acquire a target and how to break a target.”
SMR officials hope to attract both beginners and sporting clay enthusiasts from across the state and the region.