BULLSEYE: Present at the announcement for the United States Shooting Academy are, from left, Bill LaFortune, Tulsa mayor; Michael Voigt, president, United States Practical Shooting Association; Mike Dodson, executive director, Tulsa Sports Commission; Suzann Stewart, Tulsa Metro Chamber; Thomas L. Fee, President and CEO, U.S. Shooting Academy; Darcy Melendez, Tulsa Metro Chamber; and Michael Seeklander, USSA Training.
MATT GROSS for GTR Newspapers
Tom Fee, president of Fee Oil and Gas, Ltd, announced today the purchase of a 90 acre site at the Cherokee Industrial Park to construct a shooting range and training facility called the United States Shooting Academy.
With an initial investment of $1.5 million, the USSA will be the largest law enforcement training and competition facility in the United States. The facility will contain more than 30 ranges for use during pistol, rifle and shotgun competitions and can accommodate matches with approximately 1,000 participants for a total of 10,000 to 12,000 each year.
“We have five major matches scheduled in 2006 and nine more in 2007,” said Tom Fee, president and CEO. “The USSA will be a world-class facility and the center of shooting sports.”
The USSA will also serve as a training site to both local law enforcement and federal divisions.
“The Tulsa Police Department, Tulsa County Sheriff’s office and other local law enforcement agencies can take advantage of enhanced training opportunities available no where else in the U.S.,” said Fee. “The Federal Training Division will include training for all branches of the U.S. Military, such as special operations units, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.”
National matches already scheduled include: the United States Action Pistol Championships; the National SWAT Challenge; the USSA Handgun Championships, the Triple Crown Challenge; the USSA Extreme Steel Shoot-off; and the premier event USPSA Factory Gun Nationals.
The estimated economic impact of the scheduled competitions and training is $5-6 million the first year. The USSA will employ more than 100 people through local staff and adjunct instructors.
“We’re so excited that one of our young entrepreneurs has committed to this type of investment in our community,” said Suzann Stewart, senior vice president, Chamber’s Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Tom’s interest in this sport has moved from “avocation” to business and is creating a substantial point of destination in Tulsa. His effort to support economic development in Tulsa by attracting major competitions is commendable.”
Each year, the tourism industry provides Tulsa a $1 billion economic impact and supports approximately 24,000 jobs annually. Together with partners in the hospitality industry, the Chamber’s Convention and Visitors Bureau regularly provides a positive economic impact to the Tulsa area economy through attraction of meetings, conventions and major sporting events.