With inspiration provided by his eight-year-old daughter, a former Hewlett-Packard executive and current Lake Mary resident is out to create Seminole County's only indoor archery range and the sole one located within a comfortable driving distance of Orlando.
Dave Anderson has found a second career as an entrepreneur and is working with county planners to locate the facility—Family Fun Archery—in Sanford. To put the 13,000- to 15,000-square-foot archery range on an 8.5 acre planned development zoned parcel, Anderson is seeking a permission from the county for recreation or amusement use of the land.
The request did not get rubber stamped at a meeting of county planners Wednesday morning. To get approval for recreation or amusement use the whole planned development would have to be reopened and go before County Commissioners, said Matt Davidson, the county planner overseeing the proposal. One option would be finding space at a retail site, Davidson said.
Anderson said he is not interested in retail sites because of the amount of glass they have and the higher per square feet rents they carry than the industrial and warehouse areas he is looking at.
He said the site he has chosen, at the southwest corner of Monroe Road and Church Street, would work given its proximity to highly populated areas of Seminole County, like Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Longwood and Winter Springs.
But he also said he could be flexible and, in fact, is looking at another site in Sanford, the location of which he declines to disclose.
Anderson envisions a 20-lane range with distances of nine, 18 and 25 meters in a building that does not have indoor columns holding it up.
He is shooting for a March opening and declined to discuss starting costs.
Anderson's desire to create an indoor archery range began when his daughter, April, said she wanted a bow and arrow for her birthday. He had left Hewlett Packard where he was a programming manager after flying his millionth mile of business travel and wanted to spend more time with his family and pursue its interests.
He said he found the closest indoor archery ranges to Orlando are 45 miles away in Mims in Brevard County and 120 miles away in Newberry in Alachua County.
There is an outdoor range in Geneva, in east Seminole County, right before Brevard, but Anderson said that is quite a hike for people in this area.
Plus, Central Florida is too hot and rainy to have a quality outdoor range that will be well used, Anderson said.
While he seeks sites he acknowledges the cities in Seminole County or those who oversee its unincorporated parts will have the final nod. But he remains optimistic about what he calls "a center for family fun."