Business

Thunderbird Tactical gun range closed less than a week after bank seeks foreclosure

Simmons Bank filed foreclosure papers against Thunderbird Tactical last week. The business, at 2831 N. Greenwich, closed Sunday.
Simmons Bank filed foreclosure papers against Thunderbird Tactical last week. The business, at 2831 N. Greenwich, closed Sunday. The Wichita Eagle

Less than a week after a bank sought to foreclosure on Thunderbird Tactical, the Wichita firearms shop and indoor shooting range is closed.

Ryan and Jennifer Pennock, in a Facebook post this weekend, said they made the decision to close their business on Friday. The 27,000-square-foot complex is located at 28th Street North and Greenwich.

"We don’t know exactly what is to come in the days, weeks and months ahead — but for the time being Thunderbird will close its doors," the Pennocks wrote Sunday on the business' Facebook page.

"This weekend’s sale is our first phase in fighting to restructure our business in hopes to settle with the bank and come back stronger and better than ever. We are excited for what our future can hold; how we can better serve our members, and the Wichita community."

Simmons Bank filed foreclosure documents in Sedgwick County District Court on May 14, demanding the Pennocks and Thunderbird immediately pay off three $6.7 million in loans, interest and late fees — or risk losing the property and thousands of dollars in personal assets. The couple, which originally opened Thunderbird in Wichita's Delano neighborhood eight years ago, embarked on a $5 million expansion and opened the complex at 2831 N. Greenwich in 2015.

The company bills itself on its website as Kansas' largest indoor gun range and the largest self-defense training academy.

In a second Facebook post Sunday, the Pennocks said their business model "was designed around" customers buying memberships to the range. They needed to sell about 500 more memberships to produce enough revenue to pay the mortgage, the post said.

Memberships, which cost as little as $240 annually, won't be refunded now, the Pennocks said in the post.

"We did not make the decision to close until Friday. At that time we stopped the billing," the Pennocks wrote on Facebook.

"The bank filing forced a hand and was a complete blind side move by them. I assure everyone that our motives, morals and ethics involved in our business are of the highest standards and are above reproach."

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Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker
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