Utah's most high-tech indoor shooting range is under construction here, with plans including an interactive system for police training, moving targets and educational classes for the public.
Rangemasters of Utah, L.C., will feature 16 shooting lanes in its 10,000-square-foot facility located at 712 W. 1300 North in Spring-ville's Spring Creek Industrial Park. Michael E. Stilwell, who owns the range with his wife, Kellie, said he expects the range to open the first part of November.A state-of-the-art interactive system is being installed that will allow up to three shooters to simultaneously shoot at a screen on which images are projected from a laser disk. The system will keep track of each shooter's hits, misses and scores. The laser disk includes scenarios for police training, allowing officers to gain more experience in judging when to shoot.
"It's a true interactive system," Stilwell said. Behind the scenes, a person can change the situation on the screen via computer. Other scenarios are available for use by the public, such as moving target practice.
"We're the first one in Utah to offer this," Stilwell said.
The idea for the range came two years ago after Stilwell had found a lack of places to shoot his own gun. Some people have gone into the foothills to shoot firearms, but those areas are becoming unavailable as new housing encroaches on them, he said.
He made a lot of calls and visited a lot of ranges in preparation for building his own. In talking to police officers about his idea, he discovered a need for a place for officers to train.
"It's really filling a big need and a community service by us being here," Stilwell said. Some people have legal firearms but are not properly trained because there is nowhere for them to shoot, he said.
Range patrons will also be able to use a "running man" system, or target that goes back and forth on a track, as well as stationary targets. One shooting lane will be available for rifles.
Security and safety have been major concerns during the design and construction of the range, Stilwell said. Stalls for the shooters will be separated with bulletproof glass so instructors can see down the line and check on how students are doing. Each stall will have an intercom linking it with the front desk so shooters can inform personnel of any problems, such as a jammed gun.
Courses relating to concealed firearm permit, hunter safety and other classes will be taught at the range. Patrons who don't own a weapon will be able to rent one for use at the range. A full line of handguns, rifles, safes, ammunition and holsters will be available for purchase. Stilwell said he expects there will be leagues and competitive shooting as well.
"We're going to cater to everybody, basically," he said.
Various membership plans will be available at the range, including individual, corporate and lifetime plans, with each offering various perks and discounts. A basic membership will cost $250 yearly, while a premier membership will cost $500 yearly.
For more information on the range, call 491-0909 or visit the facility's Web page at (www.rangemasters.com).