CAMEO, Colo. -
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is teaming up with Palisade town administrators to turn thousands of acres in Cameo into a large shooting complex.
Project officials say they've already presented the plan to the Department of Interior and have gotten support from many community agencies such as the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce and the city of Fruita.
They say this type of complex would be the first of its kind built in Colorado and is aimed at benefiting the area's recreation, economy and through building added training facilities for law enforcement.
"There's really no where in Western Colorado that you can go to do all of the various shooting sports: archery, hand gun rifles etc," said Kreat Lewis, a business owner and competitive shooter.
Lewis like many others involved in shooting and archery sports in the Grand Valley have to travel to compete. That's something officials are hoping to change with the construction of a new multi-use shooting complex where the old Xcel power plant in cameo is.
"The economic impact of this for the Grand Valley, not just Palisade but the Grand Valley, are looking at lodging, restaurants and sporting stores for bringing in several hundred shooters for three or four days at a time [for competitions,]" said Lewis.
Palisade administration says not only would this help boost the local economy during their slower tourism months, but help relieve some of the strain on local ranges.
"Right now we have a hunter education classroom, we have an indoor range and it's the only indoor range in Grand Junction and it's pretty much booked every night of the year and every weekend," said Franke McGee, the District Wildlife Manager of Palisade for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Organizers hope to add classrooms for education and safety training classes for the community.
"The plan right now would be to have a building that would be used by the 4H, by District 51, by hunter education and by concealed carry," said Roger Granat, Mayor of Palisade.
Parks and Wildlife will be collected letters of support by the community for the next few weeks before presenting them to Xcel. They say they will be posting an online survey to their website
The total project is estimated to cost around $8-10 million, although officials say the complex is very much so in a conceptual phase right now.