Construction begins on northern Minnesota’s first indoor shooting range

Laura and Chad Walsh display plans for Dead-On Shooting Range in Cloquet at a Thursday news conference.

Construction recently began on the Northland’s first indoor gun shooting range. The $1.9 million Dead-On Shooting Range will open this fall at 6552 U.S. Highway 2 in Cloquet.

Chad and Laura Walsh, who also own Advanced Services, Inc. (adjacent to the new shooting range) are constructing a 9,600-square-foot facility to accommodate 10 lanes for target practice. Dead-On Shooting Range will also sell guns and ammunition, while offering training related to general gun safety and conceal and carry permits and more.

“Laura and I are looking forward to providing hunters and other shooting enthusiasts a clean, safe, indoor facility in which they can receive training and try out guns before purchasing them on a year ‘round basis,” said Chad Walsh. “Our facility will be available not only to the general public, but also to law enforcement and the military.”

The couple met with Curt Walczak at the UMD Center for Economic Development, who helped them secure financing and launch the project in a successful manner.

“Then several key financing organizations partnered with us to bring this project to fruition,” said Laura Walsh.

Walczak is a business consultant with the northeast regional Small Business Development Center, which is part of the UMD CED. Others who played key roles in making Dead-On Shooting Range possible were Mike Gay of Frandsen Bank in Cloquet, which handled most of the loan; Bob Palmquist from the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, which provided gap financing from its revolving loan fund; and Michael Colclough of the Northland Foundation, which provided additional gap financing.

Fees to use Dead-On Shooting Range, hours of operation and other details have yet to be finalized. The couple plans to open with five employees, growing to as many as 10 as demand increases.

“We’re looking at this as providing a service to many in the region, so we’re going to work hard to give them what they want,” Chad Walsh said. “We know there’s a lot of interest out there. We’re anxious for opening day to get here.”