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August 31, 2001

Ryan Announces Amateur Trapshooting Association to Locate in Randolph County

SPARTA -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the Amateur Trapshooting Association will relocate its national headquarters, museum and sport shooting complex to a 1,300-acre site in Randolph County north of Sparta.

Upon completing construction, the project will create 20 full-time and hundreds of part-time jobs related to the ATA's operations, training programs and events.

"This world class facility will showcase the storied history of sport shooting and provide the most advanced facility available for those who enjoy this exciting form of outdoor recreation," Governor Ryan said. "The Amateur Trapshooting Association is the premier sport shooting organization in the country, and I am delighted we were able to work together to bring the new ATA complex to Illinois."

Governor Ryan's Open Land Trust (OLT) program will fund 50 percent of the land acquisition for the new ATA complex. The land acquired through the OLT will be maintained as open space.

Illinois FIRST grants, secured by Senator David Luechtefeld (R-Okawville) and Representative Dan Reitz (D-Steeleville), will provide additional funds buy land and develop the site.

Linked Development funds, available through The Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA), will issue a $500,000 grant to Randolph County for public infrastructure needs related to the new Amateur Trapshooting Association facility.

The ATA will invest approximately $8 million for construction of a corporate headquarters complex, trapshooting facilities, RV campground, vendor mall with food court, museum and support facilities.

"The ATA is looking forward to our future in Illinois and is grateful for the support we have received from the entire state," said John Norris, ATA Executive Director.

The 54,000-member Amateur Trapshooting Association, founded in 1900, is the largest clay target shooting organization in the world, governing the sport's rules and regulations, sanctioning shooting events throughout the country through more than 1,300 affiliated clubs.

Events include the ATA's annual Grand American World Trapshooting Championships, a ten-day event attracting thousands of participants and spectators each August, enhancing tourism in Southern Illinois. It will be held in Illinois beginning in 2004.

"ATA's decision to locate its new headquarters north of Sparta will not only create new jobs, but enhance Southern Illinois' tourism industry. Through Governor Ryan's leadership, DCCA was able to provide the necessary infrastructure assistance to make this project a reality," said DCCA Director Pam McDonough.

"Thanks to Governor Ryan and his Open Land Trust program, Illinois and the Amateur Trapshooting Association are partners in bringing an outstanding outdoor recreation complex to southern Illinois," said IDNR Director Brent Manning. "Sport shooting enthusiasts from throughout the state, from across the nation and from around the globe will make the new ATA homegrounds a frequent destination, enabling them to enjoy southern Illinois' attractions and hospitality."


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