$5 million SafeSide Tactical firing range to open in Lynchburg

By Rachel Lucas - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) – A $5 million construction project is underway in Lynchburg at what will soon be SafeSide Tactical's second location. The announcement was made Friday, although plans have been underway for several months. The business will add at least 35 new jobs

Brothers Mitchell and Matthew Tyler first opened a small family-owned shop in Vinton. That business, featuring hand-crafted weapons, quickly turned into a booming business. The Tyler’s just expanded their business in Roanoke. That location features a 101-yard indoor shooting range, the longest east of the Mississippi.

"This is just an amazing time. We just opened our Roanoke location about 6 months ago and we are already this far under construction with the next project,” Matthew said. "It's really a blessing to see this much progress and this big of a project happen so quickly."

The Tyler’s say business is doing so well in Roanoke, that it was once again time to expand. Matthew said it’s still hard to believe just how far the family has taken the business. "Starting out, dreaming we would do this in our garage, this is a big step. Many steps from there,” Matthew said.

The Lynchburg expansion was made possible by an investment group that reached out to the Tylers and will also own the Lynchburg location.

"It's a really great time for our industry and indoor firing ranges in general. We've been told by one of our suppliers that indoor firing ranges are opening more frequently than a Starbucks this year. So, we will see if that tests out true or not. We are definitely in a vain right now that if you build a high-quality facility, the people will come to it."

Once fully opened, not only will the Lynchburg location offer the same services and merchandise as the Roanoke location, it will also house even more indoor firing ranges, including the 100-yard bays.

Mitchell says the construction of the building alone is a boost to the local economy.

"Long term what we are looking at impacting is 30 to 40 families by employing a staff here. That includes range safety officers, instructors, our retail folks, even janitorial (staff)."

Tyler says based on Roanoke projections, the added tax revenue will make a big impact on the city.

"When we look at our sales tax, our personal property tax, and our business licenses we will effectively be able to fund an entire position in the city of Lynchburg just from the tax revenue in this building. It's a community we want to be a part of and we are so happy to be here."

The gun range is expected to open in July of this year. Retail is expected to open soon after. A second phase of the project will feature additional firing ranges that can be utilized for training. Early estimates for completion of phase two is early 2018.

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