Sunday, August 27th, 2017
Environmental impact study update
Right there, within our business plan is written the vision statement for the business. Yes I know most companies have them but I would suggest not all companies live by them….we do!
In there it is written “…….and at the same time to positively co-exist with the local communities and the environment”.
These are not just words to appease the township (I would never expect that the township would ever see the business plan anyway); and they weren’t written to secure the funding or score a brownie point with some other key role person of interest in the business. The words were written because we believe them and want to live by them.
Of course, this takes on its own life when it comes to the township and conservation authorities and how we connect with those folks as we get closer to the zoning application period.
As you can expect environmental concerns are absolutely paramount in a project like this and there are a whole host as scary aspects that any township would leap on, not least the conservation depts. and associations. Such things as lead, noise factors, interruptions with animal life, soil and water flow and quality are all on the table for discussions; then there are seasonal affects and migratory effect as well as even ‘historical’ – as far as first nation and early settler evidence. The environmental considerations are wide sweeping and all come into an expansive action of data and research called the ‘Environmental Impact Study” (EIS)
For sure this has been a learning experience for us. There are the obvious aspects that you would expect to work with such as not encroaching on wetland or marsh areas but did you know there is something called the Lake Simcoe Watershed and the Mitchell Lake Watershed boundaries. This is an area that the townships have agreed to minimize construction and commercial affects as a way to minimize the contamination potential to Lake Simcoe and Mitchell Lake. Considering that this boundary cuts across the lower end of the land area, we have to understand that and make sure to locate any construction outside of that region.
As it happens our build proposal doesn’t involve construction within that area but again we still have to provide data and mapping to show that detail.
Plant & animal
As part of the EIS data research we needed to gather up, prior to being able to submit to the township for our zoning allowance (changing the area from Rural general to zoning appropriate for our needs), we were required to performed what’s called a 3-season review. It is what it sounds like – we had to take various on-site reviews for various aspects throughout 3 seasons…..from March through September.
There is no short cut you have do the appraisals on site at very specific windows of opportunity
Being a data driven individual myself its hard to understand why we would base many key decisions on the single data point discovered on a specific day and not judge data over a series of years.
I understand and agree that we need to be as complimentary to the area as we can but I still struggle where we may have to move the club house location 100 meters south to accommodate bird nesting when the nest in question is basically seen on one day – who knows where the birds will nest the following year; if at all. Meanwhile, we may have accommodated for the bird or animal for the year that they were actually located in an odd location to their norm for some reason.
In my world I cannot take just one data point and project a statistical norm and base multimillion dollar budgets on such things.
Nevertheless, this is why we engage with subject matter experts whom we leverage their skills and knowledge.
For the EIS, there are a whole raft of skills to cover the zoning required data; and thank goodness we have those key role people. As for the plant and animal studies, we have one such expert who is guiding us through the minefield and with Skelton Brumwell are developing a map and plan of action which we will be presenting to the MNR in the next step forward very soon.
As any insurance actuary will tell you, the function and activity of a shooting range is not the giant killer; in fact its one of the safest activities – it’s the noise!
The acoustic trials are key to demonstrate to the local area residents that we can and will achieve the stringent sound limitations that a range is held to.
Now, for the uninitiated the sound levels for a new range is 45d. To me that doesn’t really mean anything until you make some various everyday comparisons. I recently measured thunder (all be it right over head) on the shooting range site while I was there at 72db; a conversation in a car could easily go beyond 45db if you still have your snow tires on; or if you are in my house when the internet goes out…100db for the kids crying they cant play Minecraft!
Seriously thought, this is the key reason we have 1350 acres ear marked for the range – simply to offer as much sound barrier to the neighbors as we could. Even though the current nearest neighbor is 4km away we can’t relay on that for the future. Again, we all must know a range that has had to spend an awful lot of money on re-soundproofing their ranges for new housing areas that encroach onto their area and complain about the noise.
We want to make this site future proofed and we have a very stringent build for the shooting ports and berms so that we will not be seeing any red letters from the township or CFO of course.
Our acoustic trials are planned on happening probably late September before it gets too cool and the weather starts to change. There are strict local area environmental circumstances that have to exist to allow for accurate readings of the sound so the longer we leave that it gets out of range of the metrics
We have secured the acoustic consultants and are looking forward to their results.
Archaeological and Roads
Our work with MHBC, that represent our interface with the key role people in the township, helps us keep on top of the next steps.
In a recent discussion, while we have succeeded in being able to deliver a lot of the required information, we still need to gather more. Most of this is either desk top data gathering such as the archaeological review of the area where they will review records to understand if there are areas of significant importance for history; or site plan drawings now that we have the layout to accommodate the various aspects of the EIS and beyond.
Everyday, it is on our minds of when we can get the zoning application into the township. Its getting closer with every data point but we cant shortcut the process. A missed study here or there could mean we would have to wait a complete year to be able to gain insight of a particular plant, animal or bird of interest.
Methodical is the name of the game right now – sadly patience is not my middle name and that leads me to frustration.
It seems I am learning more than just wildlife studies on the path forward; although I am not sure I will ever learn to be as patient as I need to be.
The big news will come soon enough and you will hear us singing loud and proud that we have submitted zoning to the township….so keep your ears open!
Wednesday, July 5th, 2017
Having a plan of action that works towards the end goal…and employing a focused efforts in that plan are the keys to success.
If you haven’t read this book you are missing out on some serious self directed focus of energy that emphasizes having a plan of action and employing a dedicated execution of that plan!
These are two ex Navy SEALS that have redeployed the leadership skills they learned in training and in battlefield conditions to the business world to amplify the efforts being employed by the leadership to see faster more productive end goals.
The reason I mention this is not because I think I am some super hero, special forces guy…quite the opposite – I am more the data driven geek…. But I am a leader. A leader is someone who continually adapts and adopts techniques and information to move forward to the end goal; who gains the confidences and support of the team through action; who maintains the direction of the team and clearly and concisely shares what the end goal is and why, so that they can confidently impart leadership to the team members themselves knowing they are all working in the same direction. Continue reading “Prioritize and Execute towards the end goal” »
Monday, July 3rd, 2017
Membership has its privilege.
We have always said that The Founders Club is a select, limited, inspired team of front leaders that understand that being a member of the Premier Shooting Center facility has its privileges but having the foresight to step up and be one of the elite Founders’ Club, within that discerning group, garners its own special recognition and rewards that only we can offer
To highlight the type of privilege you will receive and to show we stand by what we say in recognizing early adopters, we have identified with two key players that are well known in their own rights and in their own worlds, to bring you a chance to win something extra special and in step with the quality and cache we want to offer: Continue reading “The only $10,000 gun give away!” »
Sunday, June 18th, 2017
The Founders’ Club Membership Level
This month’s newsletter is basically just one topic :
The major milestone we have achieved – being able to officially offer the Founders’ Club pre-memberships investment Continue reading “Premier Shooting Center – Founders’ Club Pre-Registration Open !” »
Sunday, May 7th, 2017
PSC – News and Updates
The buzz words for this month are: Founders’ Club !
There is always a lot going on below the water line here but we are pleased to share about a huge topic that has gained enough background work that we can now share some detail.
In this case its all about the Founders’ Club preferred level membership Continue reading “Special Report – The Founders’ Club Membership” »
Sunday, May 7th, 2017
There are two common questions we get inquiries or questions about all the time….
“Where are we located in Ontario?”….and….”how much is a membership?”
The former question has been fully answered here and gives the full GPS location and even a description of what your drive to the facility will be like when we open. If you don’t already know where in Ontario we will be then call on over to the website now and come back to read more about the membership costs.
(I’m thinking you will be straight back when you see all that you can do at the facility) Continue reading “Special Report – Membership Fees” »
Friday, March 10th, 2017
Roads – The last words on this topic:
If you have been playing along with this game show you will know we have mentioned several times that there are township by-laws that dictate the quality of an access road condition to any commercial location. Not unreasonably, as we would all expect for us to be able to gain access; that we would expect to be safe; and as a business owner I would expect emergency vehicles to be able to navigate the access road to be able to do what they need to do in the event.
However, from a business owner’s perspective the questions have to be asked of if the road construction requirements are reasonable; cost restrictive; equitable across all situations.
As you will have read previously we have suggested that the existing road construction requirements are cost prohibitive to our progress and this was the key issue we needed to flush out before moving forward.
We have been working with the help of MNBC urban planners who are fluent with the regional by-laws and regulations as well as prior options that have been employed under other circumstances and also with Skelton Brumwell Associates who bring years of experience in their understanding of road construction engineering requirements as well as geological and topographic understandings and how they all marry together.
Since the road issue is a hard stop in some ways, we have been waiting to release this month’s news update because of a scheduled meeting which took place on March 6th as we wanted to share the latest position.
I am able to share now that MHBC is “comfortable there is a way forward”, which is political speak for ‘we have a way forward that can meet everyone’s needs but we have to get final assurances and signatures’.
The last meeting, which the saw Mayor Andrew Letham call in at the end and ask if we had sorted things out, was productive.
The outcome was in deed very productive. The Kawartha Lakes township will be presenting to council an update of their policy of Limited Service Agreements which is in essence what we are proposing for the access road we are looking at. The LSA, although in draft form until they have presented to Council at the end of this month, will suggest that for un-assumed roads the council will be looking for a commitment of maintenance; a minimum standard of construction which would be less than assumed roads; a level of liability assumption for the un-assumed road; and full access for any road user and would not be classed as private. Naturally there will be some serious input from the township legal support to finalize but this in its raw form does offer us a way forward.
Yes, there is some level of risk; not that the shooting facility would not be allowed but that the risk is the level of Limited Service Agreement could be watered down which ultimately changes cost potentials. If that were the case the fallback position is that there is the conversation of building in trigger points in our development to move to higher levels of construction ie 30 cars a day could allow for an initial step of construction and when we get to 100 cars or 300 cars a day then it triggers the next level of build for the roads. This way the cost impact is aligned with our own growth development
The short version from our point of view is that if we are going to present a polished, elevated experience at the shooting range we feel, and have mentioned in the council meeting, that our members experience should begin when they turn onto the road to the facility and no just when they enter the gates. The last thing we want is to have vehicles negotiating pot holes….or suffering a paint chip.
Rest assured though that when we open, you will be able to drive safely and comfortably either in your jacked-up F-150 or your low ride R8
Keep up with the regular casual news bites of what we are up to then follow me on twitter here
Monday, January 30th, 2017
2017 SHOT show – A business perspective
Lets face it the SHOT show for all of those that attend is basically Disney for all things that go pew-pew. Add to that all the toys that connect, light up and look damn cool. I won’t try to set myself up on a pedestal and suggest I am all above that and that I am just business focused all of the time because let me tell you: there were more than a few weapon systems that have my hot sticky hand prints all over at the show…..not least the full autos, long range rifle systems, belt fed machine guns and 40mm launchers that I had the chance to get behind on the Monday Range day. But in fairness I did have a mission and goal very clearly in mind in attending the 2017 SHOT show
I have made it clear that for me the SHOT show is all about making connections. As a startup we recognize that we can not achieve our end goal solely under own steam, no company can. It’s about making connections and talking through problems and learning from others lessons learned and taking on board their words of advice and then determining the best ways forward
The shot show represents manufactures and suppliers from all over the world and the great thing about the show is that it offers open access to those big players and companies who can offer advice and words of support to guide a small up-and-coming operation.
There were major opportunities for me to connect with top level media, business development and marketing directors. To have the chance to speak directly with VPs and Presidents of some significant companies who were open and amiable to conversation is something that their gate keepers generally prevent out in the everyday real world. As it is early in our connection so I believe it would be inappropriate to comment on whom I actually did chat with at the show but for sure there were representatives of some of the larger manufacturers of firearms and scopes to name a couple of areas. It has to be the only show where presidents and VP’s are all available to chat. They are all very approachable and easily engage in conversations. I was genuinely impressed that after their arduous days on the stands they were still actively engaged in our conversations and in many instances were thrilled to hear what we were trying to achieve
After sharing the over view of our shooting facility I bounced the question toseveral of these major players and asked simply whether they would be able to offer written words of support or words of awareness for our efforts in establishing a shooting facility in Ontario to support both the average shooter, the industry and sport in general, to ensure that we move forward in our rights to own and use firearms. I don’t believe I came across one member there, as you would expect, that didn’t say ‘yes we would love to support that cause’ in some way and I look forward over the next few weeks in following up to connect back with them and finding out how exactly we can get those words of support and words of awareness out to the industry such that it’s an added level of gravity to our cause in setting up this facility.
It could be questioned as to what level of importance a simple letter of support could be. Well, the support is key but it also lends weight to our efforts. When working with our township it offers the weight that there will be industry excitement, jobs, competitions, sales, tourism. For the industry members it helps them understand that if the ‘big boys’ have seen the over view and have been allowed a peek behind the curtain then there must be something of interest; and for investors they understand that key players would not become involved if this wasn’t real and happening. There are always some out there that instantly jump to ‘scam’ when something like this is announced; which is disappointing but in balance I get it. We are breaking new ground for the shooting industry in Canada and so yes I would agree the odds are stacked against us but this is an all-in effort to succeed. To me the large industry players offering advice, words of support and awareness is a way to legitimize our goals and effort and if we can leverage that into a sound bite or news segment, interview or investor conversation then I believe the connection is well worth it.
As a side bar, amazingly, according to my cell phone, I managed to cover just over 9 miles on Tuesday and Wednesday. While moving through the heaving crowds I did manage to meet and chat with some key figures in the industry and sport I also happened to bump into some personal heroes and icons in the shooting world – which by the way I wont pretend that I was absolutely thrilled with and didn’t pretend to hide my enthusiasm…..I have never said I was cool !
During this ‘march of penguins’ through the show stands I happened to bump into several folks I knew and in one conversation the question was asked of “what was the highlight” moment for me. A tough question but it came down to probably two instances:
The invite out to the range day at Nellis AFB by Cadex Defence has to be one highlight. Settling in and being able to comfortably hit the ~650m steel with their new Kraken multi-bore rifle system with Nightforce glass on top and then also out to the 950m steel with a Barrett and Schmidt Bender scope was a high for me. Having too many years in military sighting system development and manufacture I have a personal love of those two scope manufacturers and the quality they offer……oh and on top of that did I mention having Rob Furlong and Todd Hodnett spotting was a massive personal highlight. Thank you gents, you helped me not look an idiot out there haha
The Canadian Industry evening organised by CSAAA & CSSA has to be the real highlight though from a business perspective. It was my first time attending this event which was very well organised by the team. For me it offered me the direct face to face opportunity to meet and share what we are trying to set up with Canada’s most influential industry players. Again I was really impressed that everyone there was very approachable and open. I’m sure the established industry folks were looking forward to meeting long time friends and acquaintances but they all were very gracious. I was genuinely surprised in a couple of instances where they remarked that they had been in conversations about Premier Shooting Center within their own circles and that it was good to put the face against the name. The CSAAA & CSSA and all those within the team that set up the event have to be congratulated as I fully understand the work that goes into such things. It is appreciated.
Ultimately I came from the SHOT show with several connections who genuinely understood our goal for the shooting range and I look forward to following up here at some point with any good news events and details percolating from the 2017 SHOT show
Just as a humorous foot note I would share that I had the inevitable flight delay coming out of Las Vegas which caused me to miss my connector flight in Calgary. Apparently nothing happens in Calgary airport after 12.30am and everything closes up and the whole airport is quite desolate; with the exception of the occasional lost soul in similar hold pattern. I managed to sort out a good bunk to catch some sleep and I thought that this location spelled out how I approach life and business…..maybe some life lessons are worth the journey…even to Calgary
Wednesday, January 25th, 2017
THE YEAR AHEAD
It seems as if we’ve been off the grid and quiet for a while due to business travel, taking a break over Christmas and recently, the SHOT show attendance. However, now the New Year has come and gone and it’s time to get back to the grindstone.
I wouldn’t disparage anyone for their January 1st New year’s resolutions as I’m sure they have all earnest in mind for their goals at that time. However, my belief is that we all have the opportunity to set goals and work towards those goals on a daily basis – a new year’s day every day so to speak. For the Premier Shooting Center this means that every day we re-group and re-focus on the goals towards establishing the range facility. It energizes us and engages all those involved.
With this said we have a renewed focused energy towards key goals. We have made it open news that we have 1300 acres ear marked for this facility with a deal worked out with the owners. The land offers so many positive features that will promote the success of the facility – access routes; geography and topography; acoustic barriers; cost; and a township leadership that supports the efforts in their region.
So, our primary goals are simple and obvious: secure the funding for the land: and fully define zoning requirements.
With regard to the zoning, we have the complete picture of the various surveys, acoustic requirements, lead mitigation aspects etc etc but beyond this we have mentioned before about our efforts of understanding what is required and what we are able to do, in regard to the road access. Just this last week we received our final Engineering report from the bore hole samples taken along the existing un-assumed access road and together with our friends in Skelton Brumwell Engineers who are compiling the data package and our urban planning friends in MHBC we intend on having a conversation within the next 4 weeks with the township planning dept. to present our proposal.
The road represents a major cost implication and as such a major turning point in the project. We want to project our best efforts in working alongside of the bylaws of the region but at the same time we know that the township appreciate that each circumstance should be evaluated by its own merits in order to be successful for everyone.
In regard to the primary goal of securing the complete funding for the land we will be contacting several key interests within the shooting industry in this quarter to share our vision to support the industry, the sport and the enthusiast. Our hopes are to also begin our more public awareness program. Part of this will see advertising, reports, interviews, direct contacts and simple outreach to the general shooter. For the industry players and club level board members there will likely be an invite to attend an all access meeting that offers the opportunity to gain full insight into the business model.
So for the New Year expect to see more updates to fill the gaps as events unfold and mature. Follow along with this journey and pledge to secure the land and set that first shovel in the ground of this development.
We have spent over 3 years working the back channels on this project so we very much look forward to becoming far more evident in the market place with a continued commitment of being equally open and visible in 2017
We appreciate the support and well wishes
Saturday, October 8th, 2016
I’ve Stared (the BLUE SCREEN of ) Death in the Face…..and Survived !
If you follow our postings on https://twitter.com/1km_rifle_range you will know already that I had a serious issue with my computer at the end of September where there was quite some effort applied to retrieve the business data. Well, we are back up and running and I believe the fantastic IT folks managed to do their magic and gain back the mass amount of key information. I want to give a nod of appreciation to Dario for his help not only on the tech front but also managing to keep me sane at the time.
Continue reading “PSC News and Updates – September (late edition)” »