By Vince Olivia
Knob Creek, the Mecca for NFA enthusiasts, is the ultimate semi-annual reunion. Owners and operators Kenny and Tracy Sumner have implemented major improvements into the Creek. Beginning construction in February 2004, the Spring 2004 Creek visitors were greeted with a new addition to the back half of the pole barn that accommodated more tables for vendors.
After the initial expansion, Kenny decided to tear the original down with the vision of an entirely new structure that would be a whole new protected and accommodating environment for the vendors and event attendees. Construction continued in August 2004 for the second half (front) section of the pole barn.
New facilities were also constructed to the side where a number of ammo vendors set up. Plans for future construction include extending coverage from the pole barn all the way to the clubhouse.
The new pole barn structure measures 120×350 feet. That’s 42,000 square feet with an additional foot in height. The old pole barn measured 116×220 feet, or 25,520 square feet. Although the square footage has grown 16,480 feet, the number of vendor tables has remained the same. For safety and comfort of the visitors, Kenny has expanded the two main isles down the length/middle of the building to ten feet and the numerous side isles to six-feet apart from the tables. This allows plenty of room for visitors to navigate around the tables.
In the past, viewing merchandise to determine condition and detail was especially difficult in the evenings and on dark overcast days. An improved, well-balanced florescent lighting system was installed that greatly alleviates those problems. Additionally, a new speaker system has been installed and is very audible throughout the building.
Previously, in the early morning when the frost started to melt off the pole barn roof, moisture accumulated under the tin roof and dripped on everything. A vapor insulation barrier on the underside of the new roof was installed that now alleviates that irritation.
Other improvements include a small pole building at the lower range for machine gun rentals and a new attachment to the side of the clubhouse.
A closed circuit TV system has also been installed. Not only can office personnel view the firing line, but visitors can view the action with three TV’s in the Dining Facility. Additionally, new dinning tables have been added to improve the seating replacing the old folding steel chairs.
Additional transport carts have been put into service to and from the parking lots for improved comfort of the physically impaired and to assist people carrying heavy items.
Knob Creek is not only a large business; it has evolved into a labor of love for Kenny and Tracy that is shared with all – to bring enjoyment and friendship to the NFA community. The next Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot is scheduled for October 14-16, 2005. Please visit Knob Creek’s website for updated information at www.machinegunshoot.com.
|This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V8N11 (August 2005)