Letter: Cameo shooting center will help, not hurt, Meeker center

Dear Editor:

By now, many of you have heard about the outdoor shooting facility that will be built in Cameo, outside of Palisade, Colo. With a recent media blitz, the announcement came out last week that the Town of Palisade purchased property where the range will be built. At last account, the proposed build out timeline for the Cameo facility was 10-15 years, but could be soon depending on fundraising. This is an exciting time for the shooting sports industry in Western Colorado and this project will complement the proposed Center for Outdoor Adventure in Meeker, also referred to as the “Center”.

There are some definite differences between the Center in Meeker and this facility in Cameo, the first being outdoor shooting vs. indoor shooting. Meeker’s indoor range, while it may not have the extreme distance offerings of Cameo, offers year-round usage, state-of-art technological components, a controlled environment for target shooting and new product research and development, Olympic style archery shooting lanes, multiple classrooms that will easily accommodate a variety of trainings, classes and other opportunities, a pro-shop retail space that will provide a full line of products including new products being tested at the Center, and it will serve as the “one stop shop” to connect people with everything there is to do in the Meeker area (for example; survival skill classes, law enforcement training, fishing tours, ATV/Snowmobile rentals and tours, horseback tours, backpacking expeditions, painting classes, photography classes, the list can go on and on). I see the Cameo facility as a complementary shooting range to the Meeker project. Also, we have been in conversations with state and national associations, such as the National Field Archery Association, that have expressed preliminary interest in utilizing the Center both for training and competitions. The Meeker Center is also more diverse, offering gun, archery, fishing, backpacking, and other outdoor recreational offerings that will utilize the beautiful White River National Forest and the Flat Tops Wilderness.

That being said, another primary difference is the operational structure. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be the primary operator of the Cameo facility while the Meeker project will be operated by a private business. Private business has a historical record of doing business activities better than government operated offerings… primarily in the efforts of making a profit and providing greater business offerings. Since private business is profit driven, it usually lends to more creative thinking for facility usage, incentive to host more competitions, etc., and simply put, greater success for operating a center like this will be achieved through a private business operator.

Each facility is unique in its own right, and we are excited for the greater emphasis on shooting, firearm/hunter/archery education, competitions and research and development that is happening on the western slope of Colorado! This can only make the industry more prevalent here! If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you,
Katelin Cook

RBC Economic Development Coordinator

Email: katelin.cook@rbc.us

Phone: 970-878-9474