XCAL Shooting Sports and Fitness – A Family Business

In 2012, my son Jason approached me about an idea he had for a new business. Jason is an entrepreneur, so a new idea was nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, this idea had been brewing since 2006 when he first attended the Range Development Conference, in Orlando, Florida.

This concept however, for building an indoor gun range and later combining it with an upscale, multi-function fitness center was by far the most complex and ambitious ever. He wanted to challenge established norms in both industries, focus on “the experience” for the members and build a facility, right out in the open with other entertainment focused businesses. Most importantly, he wanted to design a range and fitness center to be safe and welcoming to both new and seasoned shooters and fitness enthusiast.

It took Jason over two years of hard work, research, and collaboration, to build a compelling enough business plan to convince me to move forward with him. So, in 2014, Jason packed up his family and moved to Virginia so we could begin the work together in earnest as both father and son and as business partners.

Working on this together with Jason, and then later with his brothers Eric and Jack, has been special. In 2004, I retired after a 32-year career in the Navy, which by default meant time away from family. In 2019 I finished a second career with The Boeing Company in which I also spent a great deal of time on the road. So, as we began this journey together as business partners, there was a side benefit of doing it with my sons. A cherished benefit indeed.

The six years leading up to the start of construction in September 2020, was exciting and fun and filled with plenty of highs and lows. Anyone who has started a new business understands the challenges of closing on equity investors, securing bank financing, finding just the right property, and establishing relationships with all the right partners. While there have been “moments” and many challenges we have approached each keeping our end goal in mind – Opening XCAL Shooting Sports and Fitness in Ashburn and welcoming you and your family into our family business.

See you in October 2021

Midway Café – What’s in a name?

Providing great food for our members and guests has always been a key component to our overall business and operating plans. Whether you are swinging by the café to grab a quick coffee, espresso, smoothie or juice or plan to enjoy a burger and fries after a fun afternoon in the range or a healthy light meal after a kick-ass workout, our café is designed to provide you with a memorable experience.

Up front however, we needed a name. Something with a hook or a connection. We decided on Midway Café’ and the hook is with me and has three components.

First, I grew up in New Jersey and went to the Jersey shore every summer with my family. The beach we went to and still go to today, is Midway Beach.

Second, I served in the U.S. Navy as a Navy Cryptologist from 1973 until I retired in 2004. The U.S. Navy’s victory over the Japanese Navy at the Battle of Midway was the turning point in the War in the Pacific and Navy Cryptology contributed significantly to that victory.

Finally, the first Aircraft Carrier I served on was the USS Midway CV 41.

Looking forward to serving you at the Midway Café

Surf’s Up Shipmate

XCAL Shooting Sports and Fitness – A great team!

In my opening Blog I pointed out that Jason and I worked hard on establishing close working relationship with key partners. While at the core our relationship with Architecture, Inc, UNWEST Construction, and Rushing Ranges are business relationships we consider each true partners and friends.

We first met Chris Comeau, VP of Architecture Inc., at their Reston Headquarters in October 2016. You sometimes simply just know when a partnership is going to work, and Jason and I knew right away this was the real deal.

Chris and his team, John Elliot and John Granholm had impeccable credentials but what impressed us most was they listened and freely and constructively collaborated. They took Jason’s rough sketches, clipped ideas, and conversations and turned them into what is being built today at the Ashburn construction site.

We also met Michael Collier of UNIWEST Construction in late 2016. Jason and I first visited Michael and his team, Gary Johnson and Tina Engley, at their Headquarters located at 9191 Strawberry Lane, in the heart of The Mosaic District of Falls Church, which UNIWSET built and developed. Could not have asked for a better reference.

Like with Architecture Inc., the relationship with UNIWEST was comfortable and natural from the start. Michael jumped in early and collaborated frequently with Architecture Inc and us, providing valuable input as we strengthened our concept, design and plans. He provided sage advise as we navigated permits, and bonds and engagements with state and county officials. Michael did all this work well in advance of receiving a formal construction contract. Trust, respect and loyalty are the hallmarks of UNIWEST and we are blessed to have them as our GC.

Finally, we have an entrepreneurial kinship with The Rushing Ranges team. From the very beginning the Rushing team helped us design and develop what we wanted, and Jason wanted a lot. I’m not kidding here. Most companies try to sell you what they have or what they are developing but Kara understood Jason’s vision and worked tirelessly with him to bring it to life. Brian, Jay, Kara and Tyler are not only the best in the business, but more importantly an extension of our team. Jason and I will forever be grateful to have Rushing Ranges in our corner. Our journey has been a long one and they have stuck with us all the way. True friends and partners.