Orlando will soon be home to one of the state's biggest gun stores, as Shooters World plans an 82,000-square-foot superstore at the intersection of Florida's Turnpike and S. John Young Parkway.
Ground is expected to be broken on the site this summer. When complete, the store will have over 3,000 firearms--from handguns to machine guns--and a 54-lane shooting range, including ten 100-yard lanes inside.
Shooters World will serve as its own general contractor. The store should be open by year end, in time for Christmas, said General Manager Bruce Kitzis. Kitzis declined to give a cost for the project. People close to Shooters World Orlando say it will cost about $10 million to build and outfit.
The Orlando location will be Shooters World's second and its biggest. The first store opened in Tampa in 2012 and is 65,000 square feet.
The giant Tampa store's success contributed to the decision to come to Orlando, Kitzis said.
Orlando was also chosen for its growth, he said. "Our store is a destination location, and with the population and tourism growing in Orlando, it is ideal for us to be here."
Shooters World is owned by Tampa ophthalmologist Greg Henderson and Bing Kearney, owner of Kearney Construction in Tampa.
The notion of creating a firearms superstore was borne of necessity, Kitzis said. "There are many mom and pop shops in the marketplace, but nothing that caters to the family and women and first time shooters."