Weapons campus planned at center

Executives at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center are taking steps to lure more weapons manufacturers to the large industrial park east of Reno.

Kris Thompson, transaction coordinator for Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, says plans are in the works to develop a weapons-manufacturing campus on several hundred acres near U.S. Ordnance’s 90,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on West Sydney Drive. TRIC also is developing a live-fire range near the site that would be a crucial recruitment tool for weapons makers, Thompson says.

The range, near an already-established range used by U.S. Ordnance and the Storey County Sheriff’s Department, is situated in a box canyon with three fingers, Thompson says. The site provides a natural backstop for ammunition and would accommodate handguns, shoulder-fired weapons and machine guns.

“We have talked to Beretta, Remington, Colt, and everybody likes the idea of a live-fire range,” Thompson says. “The idea is that we will operate this range in the near term, and once enough users come out here we will turn it over to them.”

Most gun makers either have to test-fire weapons at enclosed facilities housed inside their sites, which requires a steep capital investment for equipment to stop high-powered bullets and keep workers safe, or travel to ranges on military posts, says Thompson, who spent 22 years in the Army.

Work has begun on the firing range at TRIC, but firing lines still need to be leveled off and gravel laid on the access road. TRIC also plans on getting power and fiber-optic cable run to land designated for its weapons campus in the future to speed up the build-out process for prospective companies.

“This is a key industry we think is huge, and we have been in contact with number of national and global arms makers,” Thompson says. “A user coming in here doesn’t have to worry about zoning or planning commissions.”


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