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