Arizona Archery Club is a family-owned, indoor shooting range in Northwest Phoenix, open to the public for shooting memberships, services and seminars. FishCampHuntHike.com had the pleasure to talk to Kenny and Tony Cuchiara, the father and son co-owners of the club. They are great guys with a wholesome camaraderie that carries them through the day at the shop.
FCHH: How did this club get started – is it a non-profit?
Kenny: No, we aren't a non-profit. We were into archery and there was nothing in the Northwest Valley for indoor archery. My son and I worked on the business plan for a year, and then got things in motion. We opened 8 months ago. Now, Arizona Archery Club is in the top 3 of the nation and the largest indoor archery range in the western United States. I started this business as a second career and was featured in Entrepreneurs Over 55 in The Arizona Republic's Business section in September 2012.
FCHH: What type of services does the Arizona Archery Club offer?
Kenny: We have Full Bow Service, an indoor 12,000 foot air conditioned Shooting Range, Retail Shop with Expert Salesmen, Weekly Target and 3D Leagues, Professional Coaching & Seminars, Authorized Dealer of Hoyt, Mathews and PSE – Persision Shooting Equipment
FCHH: What’s this place like on a typical weekend?
Kenny: Really busy. Also, when it rains outside this place gets full! We also have a lounge with wifi, a classroom and a large retail area.
FCHH: Is archery for kids or adults- or both?
Kenny: Everybody. I'd say you have to be about 5 years old to start.
FCHH: Is this an expensive hobby?
Kenny: No, once you have your equipment, you don’t have to replace anything. Arrows last years, I have some that are over 5 years old. Kids can shoot all day for $7, adults for $10. You can even rent equipment.
FCHH: How does someone join?
Kenny: There is a single membership, the patriot for military or first responders, family memberships and junior memberships. Yearly or monthly fee, 7 days a week, no lane charge and you can rent a bow if you don't have your own. Most of the more serious guys have their own bows and arrows. Click here for more information about memberships: http://www.azarcheryclub.com/memberships-i-54.html
FCHH: How many regular shooters come in?
Kenny: We have 380 members.
FCHH: When did you first learn to shoot a bow?
Kenny: I've been shooting 12 years. My son, Tony started about 14 years ago in college. We would hunt and shoot for sport until we opened this place- now it’s our livelihood.
FCHH: Can you tell us about some of the famous shooters that come here?
Dave Watson films the Mathews TV show for the Outdoor Channel at our facility. He lives locally in Arizona.
Also, the US Archery Olympian, Mark Penaz, we work with him the most. He is responsible for putting more people on the podium to win a medal than anyone as a coach. Here is a video from the Phoenix ISE when FishCampHuntHike.com spoke to Mark Penaz in February 2013.
Tony: Recently, a female archer from Seoul, South Korea, came in and shot in here. It was about 4 months ago. Her name is Soo Nyung Kim and she is the most highly decorated archer to ever live. She has 4 Olympic gold medals, a silver, a bronze and 4 world championships. Here's a photo of Soo Nyung Kim at the Arizona Archery Club taken by Tony Cuchiara.
FCHH: What was it like having her here?
Tony: “It was a real honor. It was her first time shooting a compound bow. She’s been shooting since 1982 and has always used a recurved bow.”
FCHH: What’d she think?
Tony: “It took a little getting used to.”
FCHH: Can you tell us about your programs?
Kenny: The Junior Olympic Archery Development Program (JOAD) state championship held here. We have three level 3 JOAD coaches. These kids range from 8-20 years old. It's held on Saturday mornings, Mondays and Thursdays.
FCHH: What kind of events do you put on?
Kenny:Spot Leagues, 3D League with large targets such as bears, elk, deer and other animals.