It’s well known that the Native community and gaming industry have formed a very successful symbiotic relationship. Gaming has served as a key driver of increased Tribal revenues. It has added to the financial strength for many Tribes. This contribution guides their quest to achieve economic independence and self-sufficiency.
New Sources of Revenue
Although gaming is very successful, you may find yourself asking if a casino is the only option available when trying to increase Tribal revenue? Are there any other attractions or facilities that can be utilized to entice a different demographic? Can these other attractions – coupled with a successful gaming operation – add another entertainment option that can benefit your bottom line?
What are some other options? Encompass recently completed a project that gave us an opportunity to answer that question. We partnered with the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. They asked us to help them explore new sources of revenue for the Tribe. The results of our research provided them with over a dozen options. None of these suggestions were related to the gaming industry because the goal was to help the Tribe attract individuals with interests outside of gaming.
What to Consider
When looking into other opportunities, there are a few things you want to consider. We started by studying initial investment costs, annual operating costs, estimated annual revenue and preliminary return on investment numbers. It was important to not only provide the Tribe with ideas for a new operation, but to also supply them with financial numbers. After careful consideration, it was decided to build a state of the art shooting facility called Shawnee Skies Firing Range.
A Master Plan
The Master Plan for the property included building access roads, a 2,250 square foot clubhouse, a shotgun range with skeet and trap fields, a sporting clay course, a public 50-yard pistol range, and a 50-yard police qualification range. The new facility is ideal for the area because the use of firearms is very popular in that region. It’s also beneficial to local law enforcement agencies. This includes the Eastern Shawnee Tribal Police as well as the Seneca Police Department. Before construction of the range, many officers had to travel long distances in order to meet state mandated criteria which required them to range qualify two times a year.
The range not only benefits adults but children as well. New youth programs are now in place to help kids learn safe ways to handle weapons, shoot competitively, and learn how firearms can be put to good use. Instructors are available to teach children the proper way to clean weapons and take every possible precaution, so accidents don’t happen.
The complex also hosts tournaments and competitive shooting. Shooters from around the region come to Shawnee Skies Firing Range to participate in the events. The new attraction has been extremely successful, both financially and educationally. We love to hear comments like, “I want you to know how many compliments we get on the Shooting Complex and how many opportunities seem to be opening up. I think we have hit upon a gold mine there,” Chief Glenna Wallace, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.
At Encompass, John and his team strive to do their very best to help their partners reach their goals. If you are thinking of ways to expand your Tribal revenue sources – be it through gaming or other opportunities – please contact us for a free consultation.