Sporting goods retailer pulls trigger on gun range purchase

Winding Brook Indoor Shooting Range sits right across Lake Ridge Parkway from Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. (Photos by Mike Platania)

A longtime Hanover retailer is now the third and latest owner of a gun range that opened in the county less than three years ago.

Green Top Sporting Goods has bought Winding Brook Indoor Shooting Range at 11547 Lake Ridge Parkway. The gun range is located about two miles north of the hunting, fishing and outdoors shop at 10150 Lake Ridge Parkway.

The seller is Winding Brook Range LLC, a group that includes local businessman Robert Alvarez, who reopened the range as Winding Brook Indoor Shooting Range while a lawsuit related to the property played out.

The range will go under the Green Top brand in November. (Courtesy Green Top Sporting Goods)

Northern Virginia-based Blue Ridge Arsenal opened the $5 million range in November 2016 as a second location. It closed months later, and Alvarez sued Blue Ridge Arsenal, claiming it owed over $150,000 in unpaid rent and other fees.

In September 2017, a judge ruled in Hanover General District Court that Blue Ridge Arsenal owed Alvarez and his group over $770,000.

Green Top CEO Blaine Altaffer said the landlord group approached him about buying the range about a year ago.

“The landlord came to us feeling that we were well-positioned and had the expertise,” Altaffer said.

The deal closed last week. Terms were not disclosed.

Green Top has been open at various locations in the region since 1947.

Green Top will take over operations on Oct. 4. Altaffer said nothing will change for current members of the range. Green Top is buying only the business and has a long-term lease on the 24,000-square-foot building.

Altaffer said buying the range is a way Green Top – in business since the late 1940s – can continue to adapt as a retailer.

“We think experienced-based retailing is the differentiator for Green Top. It’s using the gear, putting gear into people’s hands and letting them try it. It’s the reason why we put a kayak pond in our parking lot so people can try it before they buy it,” Altaffer said. “It’s something the online community can’t do and we think that big-box retailers struggle with.”

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David J. Kupstas
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David J. Kupstas

“Pulls trigger.” You just had to, didn’t you?