Four years after opening Ancient Oak Gun Club, and a year after hosting the Florida State Sporting Clays Championship, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch confirmed this week it plans to shut down the gun range effective June 30.
The news follows by just a few days Lakewood Ranch developer SMR’s offer to sell the 127 acres of Premier Sports Campus plus another 36 acres for a new swimming pool to Manatee County government for $5.2 million.
“The two are completely independent decisions. They just happened to converge in the same week,” Laura Cole, vice president of marketing for SMR, said Saturday.
“It is in line with future plans for the Northeast Quadrant,” Cole said.
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The property will revert to agricultural uses until future development plans are finalized, Cole said.
Premier Sports Campus, with 22 fields, is located at 5895 Post Blvd. It has become home to a variety of youth sports events, as well as concerts, and the Thunder by the Bay biker rally.
The campus opened in 2011, and SMR gradually added amenities, including field lights, restrooms, and a 3,000-seat stadium.
Rex Jensen, chief operating officer of SMR, wrote County Administrator Ed Hunzeker June 12 offering to sell the property for its development costs of $5.2 million.
Hunzeker call the offer intriguing, noting that the land is worth $20 million, The Herald previously reported.
“SMR advanced this proposal to ensure the continued use of this parcel as a major recreational asset for the community and a growing driver of tourism dollars for the county,” Cole said of Premier Sports Campus.
“In 2017 over 200,000 visitors are expected to attend athletic and entertainment activities at the PSC. Historically, county or municipal recreation departments develop and operate these type of recreational facilities. SMR was pleased to invest in the PSC early on, but now The Manatee County Parks Department has the opportunity to leverage this successful sports complex and enhance its offerings with amenities such as the aquatics center being considered for this site,” she said.
Ancient Oak Gun Club, located at16800 S.R. 64 E., has posted a notice on its web site about its closing, noting that all facilities will be closed July 1-9, and that it will process refunds for membership cards, gift certificates and prepaid targets only the week of July 10-14.