Our journey to opening our very own world-class archery center will finally end this weekend, when Archery Addictions opens its doors in Walnutport.
It’s been a long, strange, fulfilling trip. And it’s one that, quite frankly, started as a joke.
Around two years ago, I was still relatively new to the competitive archery scene, but I’d fallen for the sport — hard. My friends and I spent weekend after weekend criss-crossing the Mid-Atlantic, traveling from tournament to tournament and contest to contest. It was a ton of fun, and I was having a fair bit of success, results-wise. But there was something missing.
Summer is the heart of the competitive archery season, and most contests are held in spartan ranges. Combine a 95 degree day, a few hundred archers and a building with no AC and you have the recipe for a pretty uncomfortable time.
Finally, after sweating my way through an August tournament two years ago, I turned to my friend A.T. Gillespie and said what I thought at the time was a joke:
“When I open my range, it’s going to have air conditioning.”
I laughed. He laughed. But on our two-hour drive back, we started talking about it. There were archery centers everywhere, but few truly great ones. Finding a top-tier range, a well-stocked pro shop and a comfortable environment all in one place was pretty much impossible. There was an opening — and archery was what we loved. Maybe starting our own facility — with air conditioning — really was possible.
A.T. and I spent months more mulling it over. Finally, in May of 2010, we made the leap, signing the papers to purchase a sizeable piece of land on Riverview Drive in Walnutport. It had everything we needed to create our dream archery center. And after months of prep work, we were finally able to start construction last fall.
As building began, our dreams crystallized. Archery Addictions couldn’t be just any shooting range. We envisioned it being the best around, and we did everything we could to make sure that was exactly what turned out.
By the time construction wrapped up this spring, we were thrilled.
It all starts with the main building, a massive complex housing 16 20-yard shooting lanes, a 3D range and a virtual video hunting range. Under the same roof is our 2,700-foot pro shop, a post-shoot lounge area and a supervised room for the kids to play while Mom and Dad are shooting.
(And yes, it’s all climate-controlled.)
Outside is another 3D range, nestled in a wooded area on the property.
Walking around the facility today, I can still barely believe it. It wasn’t that long ago that I was spending hours driving to contest after contest held in hot, sticky building after hot, sticky building. Now I have my own archery center, and it’s a true showcase for the sport — one of the biggest, and certainly among the most comfortable and inviting, in the nation.
To say I’m proud would be an understatement. For A.T. and I, Archery Addictions has been a labor of love. And I’d love for you to see the finished product. Whether you’re an experienced shooter or you just want to learn, Archery Addictions is the place for you.
Our grand opening is this Saturday and Sunday at 1089 Riverview Drive in Walnutport, just a bit north of Allentown. We’ll have staff on hand from some of the top brands in the industry, a pig roast catered by Lorah’s, free hats and T-shirts, activities for the kids and more. Come on by and see what we’ve built.
And if it’s hot out, don’t worry. Remember, my archery center has air conditioning.