Bow hunter Ryan Barkdull was simply looking for a place to practice when he added an archery range to a building he bought for his Midwest Turf & Construction six years ago.
“The archery pretty much kicked us out of there years ago,” he says.
“Six years later, it’s a very established pro shop.”
Now, what became Diamond Archery is going to move from 926 W. Harry to a new 12,000-square-foot building Barkdull plans to build at the end of East 26th Circle North just west of Greenwich.
“We’ve completely outgrown the building,” Barkdull says of his existing 7,300-square-foot space.
The move will allow for a lot of upgrades, he says.
“The new building is in a much better location,” Barkdull says.
He says it’s in a newer part of town and has better streets and lighting around it. Plus, it’s not in a residential area.
Construction will start in the next couple of months.
“I’m hoping to get in before the end of this year,” Barkdull says.
There will be space for two 20-yard shooting ranges, one for classes and one for open shooting.
At his currently facility, Barkdull says there’s been an issue between classes and leagues versus open shooting since there’s only one 16-lane range.
“The normal customers were becoming neglected, if you will,” he says. “It was interrupting that a lot.”
At the new building, there will be 24 lanes on one range and 10 on the other. For tournaments, the 24-lane range could accommodate 48 shooters.
The service area also is growing.
“It’s going to double in size,” Barkdull says. “Our staff was just getting crammed.”
The retail area also will double.
“We’ll be able to carry more of the product we have in different sizes,” Barkdull says. “We’ll broaden our inventory with more products specific to bow hunting as well that we just couldn’t accommodate with our smaller showroom.”
There also will be outdoor ranges at the new building, which will sit on almost three acres.
There will be an outdoor range of up to 100 yards and another outdoor range with three-dimensional animal figures to shoot.
Craig Simon of Landmark Commercial Real Estate handled the deal. As a bow hunter – as are several people in his office – Simon admits this location is ideal for him. He says it’s going to be great for Barkdull as well.
“There’s so much synergism up there,” he says of other businesses, such as the nearby Cabela’s at Regency Lakes and the future field house at K-96 and Greenwich.
“It was a great fit,” Simon says. “It was fun putting that thing together. A lot of people are excited about him opening up another facility.”
Barkdull, who was an All-American pole vaulter at Wichita State University, says he’s been bow hunting since he was 14 and that having programs and events for kids is important to him.
That’s even though he never meant be in the archery business.
“It wasn’t the intended goal at first,” Barkdull says.
“We didn’t have a place to shoot,” he says of himself and friends who like the sport.
They started gathering at Midwest Turf’s new building.
“Slowly, word got around town that there was shooting going on there,” Barkdull says.
As it gained in popularity, Barkdull gave it a name and “decided we should pursue maybe a pro shop.”
For the first few years, the two businesses shared space.
Even once Diamond Archery squeezed out Midwest Turf, Barkdull says the range wasn’t big enough, nor was the parking.
By not having what he needs in his current space, Barkdull knows just what he wants in the new one.
He says the Diamond Archery’s fast-growing last few years have taught him something else as well.
“We decided … it was a very needed thing in Wichita.”