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Alexandria Shooting Park has new owners

It was purchased by Zach Johnson, Steve Gould, Garrett Streitz and Tyler Notch.

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Alexandria Shooting Park was recently purchased by a group of four men and their families, including, from left, Zach Johnson of Lowry, Steve Gould, Garrett Streitz and Tyler Notch, all of Alexandria. Johnson, known as the Millennial Farmer, is a farmer. Gould is a professional trick shooter. Streitz owns Alex Pro Firearms and Notch is the executive director of Grand Arbor.
Contributed photo
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ALEXANDRIA — What does a YouTube-famous farmer, one of the nation’s top trick shooters, the executive director of Grand Arbor and an owner of a gun shop have in common?

They're now partners in ownership of the Alexandria Shooting Park .

Zach Johnson of Lowry, who is known as the Millennial Farmer , is the farmer. Steve Gould of Alexandria is the shooter and does professional trick shooting with his brother, Aaron. They are known as the Gould Brothers . Tyler Notch of Alexandria, an avid outdoorsman, is the executive. And Garrett Streitz of Alexandria is the business owner. He owns Alex Pro Firearms .

On Nov. 23, Johnson made the announcement on his Facebook page. As did Gould, whose Facebook page is Target Focused Life .

Connections

So what prompted this group of four to purchase the Alexandria Shooting Park and how do they even know each other? Gould and Johnson explain.

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Let’s start with how they know each other.

Johnson said Gould is the one who brought them all together.

Gould said that he, his wife and Johnson’s wife all graduated together from Long Prairie and that his wife and Johnson’s wife have been close friends since grade school. Johnson said they all go back about 20 years.

Gould and Streitz met at a shooting event about 10 years ago. Johnson first met Streitz last January at a “shot show” in Las Vegas. Gould was also there and introduced the two of them.

Johnson said he didn’t know Notch up until a few months ago when the ball got rolling on the shooting park deal. Gould ended up meeting Notch while playing basketball at Discovery Middle School in Alexandria one morning.

“I invited him and his family over one night to shoot some bow and we have just built a relationship from there,” said Gould, who noted that Streitz and Notch have known each other for some time as their wives are first cousins.

“I think we have a good, dynamic group of people involved that can continue to make this a successful venue,” said Johnson.

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Making the purchase

Gould said it has been an interesting journey to get to this point.

As a professional shooter, he said he’s been to a lot of different ranges across the country and often, he has thought about the fact that he would like to have his own venue at some point. He said that he and Johnson have talked over the years about wanting to create an indoor shooting range and that he and Streitz have also had many conversations, dreaming about having their own shooting venue.

“After bringing the idea up to Tyler one time, he said he was all in,” said Gould. “We had nothing more than a broad vision, but we started talking more and more.”

Johnson said when Gould approached him with the idea, he was very interested.

“Obviously, I wanted to sit down as a group and really get everyone's feelings on it,” said Johnson. “Once I got to know Garrett and Tyler more, I felt confident that we had a good group together. We all have slightly different backgrounds and I feel like we all bring different beneficial things to the table.”

Johnson said that Gould has been involved in shooting sports successfully for many years and has made a ton of great connections. He said Notch has awesome leadership abilities and a real passion for archery and the outdoors. And he said that Streitz is heavily involved in the firearm industry with his business, Alex Pro Firearms and the APF pro shop.

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The Alexandria Shooting Park is located along County Road 87 in southeast Alexandria.
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Gould said, “Knowing that I had a group of guys that were excited about the idea, we started looking for ideal locations for down the road. We knew we wanted to stay in the Alexandria area and we wanted to be conveniently located.”

As he scoured the maps and available properties, the Alexandria Shooting Park kept jumping out as a great location that was already up and running as a successful venue.

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“We just decided to reach out and plant the seed that if they were ever interested in selling, we’d be interested in buying,” said Gould. “Much to our surprise, the current owner at that time said they would sell it to us. We just thought we were planting the seed for down the road, but this was all of a sudden happening.”

Plans for the park

Gould said the foursome have a big vision for the park, but they also know they have to “walk before they can run.”

“We are super excited to have the opportunity to build on the amazing success that the prior owners built,” said Gould. “Currently, the Alexandria Shooting Park hosts the largest shooting event in the country, not Minnesota, the country.”

That event, he said, is the Minnesota High School Championship Trap Shoot, which spans nine days with around a million shots fired and nearly 30,000 people coming to the Alexandria area. The park also hosts the Minnesota State Trap Shoot, the Youth Outdoor Activity Day and 4-H events, to name a few.

“We see ASP as a huge asset to the Alexandria area and we want to create even more opportunities beyond trap and skeet shooting,” said Gould.

Johnson said right now, they want to make sure they can maintain the range and the existing events. For 2023, he said, they hope to add archery, 5-stand and hopefully a pistol/rifle range. Gould also added they hope to add a 3D archery course.

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The new owners of the Alexandria Shooting Park are, from left, Steve Gould, Garrett Streitz, Zach Johnson and Tyler Notch.
Contributed photo

“We have some big plans and hopes for the future to include being open year round with indoor shooting, etc., but we want to make sure we get a good feel on the business as it is first,” said Johnson. “We also have a banquet room that we would like to utilize more and have open and available year round.”

Gould said sporting clays are another item on their list of things to add that will hopefully be added in year two or three. Down the road, he said their goal is to have opportunities for shooting all year long in addition to maybe even adding a sporting goods retail shop with a try-before-you-buy demo guns on site.

Both Gould and Johnson said the RV park that is part of the shooting park will remain. Gould said the RV park is not just for people who are using the shooting park, but that all campers are welcome.

“But you might as well shoot a round while you are here,” he said.

Johnson said the RV sites are used heavily during the big events, but they would love to see them full all the time.

“The space is there, along with the power hook-ups and dump station,” Johnson said. “We would like to utilize those sites as much as possible!”

Who's running the park?

Gould said he has been selected by the group to be the “point man” on getting their venture up and running as smoothly as possible as well as initiating their new projects.

“We are still working closely with the Tom and Cindy Townsend family, who have been managing the park for the last several years,” said Gould. “Katie Kalina, who has been the ASP assistant manager for many years, is going to be part of the team and will be vital to the continued success of ASP.”

Johnson said he doesn’t expect to have his “physical boots on the ground” at the park as much as the others.

“We have a very active farm and our social media business has become a full time job as well,” he said. “I will definitely be spending a good amount of time there, especially next summer when we open back up, but I don't plan to be heavily involved in the day-to-day operations myself.”

The four new owners are looking forward to being able to take their vision for Alexandria Shooting Park and turn it into a reality in the community they all love.

“We cannot say enough about the job the prior owners have done to build ASP into what it currently is and we now have the opportunity to continue to grow this place into a destination for shooters, hunters and beyond,” said Gould. “We see ASP as an asset not just for shooters, but for people to gather and have memorable experiences with family, friends and soon-to-be friends.”

He said that even though the four of them have bought ASP, it takes a community to make it run and for their vision to become a reality.

“If anyone wants to help us make this vision possible or would like to help out with some of the events throughout the year, please reach out to Steve Gould at steve@shootasp.com,” he said.

Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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