Budgeting for Gunsite/Valhalla/TR course

This is a discussion on Budgeting for Gunsite/Valhalla/TR course within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I made a thread about this before but I can't find it, and I have a new question on the same theme anyway, so here ...

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Thread: Budgeting for Gunsite/Valhalla/TR course

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Budgeting for Gunsite/Valhalla/TR course

    I made a thread about this before but I can't find it, and I have a new question on the same theme anyway, so here goes...

    My Father-in-Law turns a youthful 60 next year, as a gift I am taking both of us to one of the main training sites.
    Can anyone give me a heads up on all the hidden costs so I can budget for this, I'm not trying to lessen the experience by cost cutting, I just want to budget for it.

    I figure flights, car rental, hotel, food, ammo, and possibly souvenirs.

    Anything I missed?

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  3. #2
    Member Array Harold Green's Avatar
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    I’ve not been to Valhalla but, have been to Gunsite a couple of times. So, I’ll focus on expenses at Gunsite.

    As you live in Tennessee, I would guess you’ll be flying rather than driving. If you fly, you won’t be able to carry all the ammo you’ll need on the plane. Gunsite offers each of their classes bundled with an ammo package that provides all the ammo you’ll need in the class. Look on their web site for the prices associated with these bundled classes.

    If you plan to stay at one of the bed and breakfasts in the local area, you’ll need a rental car. All but one of these establishments are several miles from Gunsite. There is one just outside the gate, but it’s a good mile or more form Gunsite’s main quad. If you walk, you’ll be carrying a pretty heavy load of ammo and equipment for each day’s activities. You can drive to Gunsite’s main quad, and park there. From there you can walk to nearby ranges. If you shoot at ranges farther from the main quad, Gunsite provides transportation.

    Call Gunsite for recommendations concerning which of the bed and breakfasts are the better ones, and plan to book one well in advance of your visit. They tend to fill up well ahead of time. If you’re lucky, you may find one for as little as $70 a night.

    The bed and breakfast will provide your breakfast, and Gunsite will provide your lunch each day. However, you’ll need to include your dinner meals in your budget.

    Plan on cleaning your gun(s) each night after class. You may want to buy cleaning solvents at the Gunsite Pro Shop. The prices at the pro shop are reasonable, but a bit higher than you’ll find at your local neighborhood gun shop. You may want to budget a few bucks for hats and shirts at the pro shop as well. You can look at prices on Gunsite’s web page.

    Gunsite has a gunsmithy available to their students. If you need work done on your gun, they can often do it during your lunch hour, or during the evening after class. You may want to budget a little money in case you’d like to make modifications to your gun(s) or need to have repairs made.

    Gunsite provides Gatorade at each of their ranges, but you may want to bring a few quick snacks with you. You’ll be engaging in a good deal of physical activity all day, and may want to have something with you to help fuel this activity.
    "A gentleman will seldom, if ever, need a pistol. However, if he does, he needs it very badly!" -- Sir Winston Churchill

    "He who goes unarmed in paradise had better be sure that is where he is." -- James Thurber

  4. #3
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Unless the trip is for scenery as much as training i would honestly reccomend against Valhalla . Not that the training is bad there , but they structured themselves as a " high market " facility . Other options may well be more cost effective for you if that is a consideration . Be shure and budget for any repairs that may come up on your handguns/rifles too ( many guns will go down when you run them hard and most fixed facilitys have someone avalable to get you up and running with most common type of firearms ) . A new BCG ( for an ar ) or quick and dirty reliability package for an auto for example can put a crimp in other things you had in mind for the trip if not budgeted for .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Array Sweatnbullets's Avatar
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    If I was worried about a budget I would just buy four days at Frontsight for $100.

    After that, everything else is gravy.

  6. #5
    Member Array Rob Pincus's Avatar
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    Not sure what "high market" means.. I didn't take it as a bad thing though....

    I don't think you'll find "hidden costs" at any of the three facilities you mentioned... here is the breakdown for a 2 Day Combat Focus Shooting Course and 3 Day Advanced Concealed Carry Tactics:

    CF Tuition $400
    ACCT Tuition (10% discount for booking courses together) $585

    Ammuntion:

    We only allow Frangible Non-Toxic ammunition from specific manufaturers for safety reasons that mostly have to do with our ventilation system and the odd angles and close targets found in the 360 degree scenario ranges, so this can get expensive. If you can bring your own cheaper, we allow that, once the specific ammo is approved, but most people find it easier to buy from us.. especially when flying: Total for both courses (approx 2000 rnds) would be about $7-800.

    Airfare is Airfare... I fly my daughter from Nashville to Montrose for about $4-600 depending on advance ticketing and time of year.

    Lodging/Food: Oh, THIS is what he meant by "high market"..... ;-) .
    As has happened many times on the internet, people confuse training at Valhalla with staying at Elk Mountain Resort.. a very high end place with incredible rooms and world class dining. That can get pricey, but discounted room rates are extended to students in VTC courses ($149/night). Before you get revolted, keep in mind that that rate is for a 5-star level room and it includes ground transportation to and from the airport (18 miles away), which means you don't need a rental car, etc., if you fly in.
    If you don't want to stay at EMR, there are the Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn and various other places in Montrose from $45-$100/night. Expect a 30-40 minute ride to and from the training site, and there are plenty of inexpensive places to eat in town, including the typical chain restaraunts.
    If you're staying off-site, you can still eat lunch and/or dinner on site, or bring your own.
    BEFORE discounting the EMR option, I encourage everyone to read the article that Kevin Davis wrote for a recent issue of Tactical Response that explains the advantages and value better than I ever have.

    Extra Equipment: If you need an extra Glock/1911/S&W/whatever mag or magazine holder, and we have it, we'll loan it to you. If you're gun breaks, we'll help you fix it or loan you another one.

    Souvenirs (10% off on the last day of the course): VTC T-shirt: $20, Copy of my book: $17.95, VTC Coin: FREE to students, The Knowledge and Increased Skills: ???


    Let me know if you have any other questions.

    -RJP
    Last edited by Rob Pincus; April 27th, 2007 at 01:18 PM.

  7. #6
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    sweatnbullets -
    From my original post:
    I'm not trying to lessen the experience by cost cutting, I just want to budget for it.
    I am not on a budget, I am just trying to know how much to put aside for this.
    Thanks Harold and Rob, good information.

    Rob - that lodging sounds great, I've got to the stage in life where a good bed is worth the money, 10 years ago I was staying in 20 cents a night flophouses in Laos, now I stay in suites at the Marriot. I assume I will especially appreciate a good bed after a day or two doing the course.

    Harold - How much did you spend all told at Gunsite per visit, ballpark?

    Based solely on what I have read and seen on PDTV my preference is Valhalla, Gunsite and then TR. Anyone wanting to opine to the contrary is definitely encouraged to do so, all input welcome.

  8. #7
    Member Array Harold Green's Avatar
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    I’m not sure that a breakdown of my travel and lodging expenses would of much use to you. On both visits I drove from Salt Lake City to Gunsite and stayed in their campground. I bought groceries and prepared my meals on the stove in my camper. Oh well, I guess I’m pretty pedestrian when it comes to those kinds of things.

    It sounds like you’ll likely fly in and stay at a motel or bed and breakfast. When I checked on lodging expenses, they ran between about $70-$120 a night, depending on where you stay. If you fly in, you’ll probably land at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, rent a car, and drive to Gunsite from there. As I recall, this is about a 2.5 – 3 hour drive. Paulden is the town closest to Gunsite, and is really small. Chino Valley is about a 20-minute drive, and isn’t much larger. Between these, there are a few places to eat, but mostly burger places and chain restaurants.

    I’d really recommend you call the office at Gunsite and talk to them about this. The folks there are very friendly and will be able to give you a better feel for what your expenses should be than I can.

    On another note, I saw a few segments on PDTV about Valhalla, and it looks like they have an exceptionally good indoor shooting facility. From the segments shown on PDTV, the training they offer appears to be very professionally done, as well. My impression is that you would get a good value at either Gunsite or Valhalla.

    I’d suggest you call Rob and talk with him personally about Valhalla and the expenses associated with a visit there.
    "A gentleman will seldom, if ever, need a pistol. However, if he does, he needs it very badly!" -- Sir Winston Churchill

    "He who goes unarmed in paradise had better be sure that is where he is." -- James Thurber

  9. #8
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Id suggest you call Rob and talk with him personally about Valhalla and the expenses associated with a visit there.
    Indeed, Rob already PMd me and requested my fax number, I am expecting further information quite soon.

    If my FIL prefers TR or Gunsite I expect I will go to Valhalla anyway but on a separate trip.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Rob to me and in the context used " high market" means vallhalla has from the outset been about the state of the art in both training and lifestyle , ( i got some of the early flyers lol ) . Its a fine facility with absolutely top notch instructors , I ment to cast no shadow on it or anyone representing it as far as quality goes . In my limited experiance tho users of the fourm can have equil training at a cheaper price in other places with all things being equil . They wont have the view , nor likely the amenitys provided there , but its all about what you can and do shop for . No insult was intended at all , Vallhalla is fantastic for the folks that it ( by marketing ) fits .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array sass20485's Avatar
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    Can't offer any info, but just wanted to say you are a terrific son-in-law.
    That is a very nice gift !!! I'll have to be sure to put that on my birthday list next year.

  12. #11
    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sass20485 View Post
    Can't offer any info, but just wanted to say you are a terrific son-in-law.
    That is a very nice gift !!! I'll have to be sure to put that on my birthday list next year.
    Ha, he's a terrific FIL too, he let me marry his only child, and pride and joy.

    I won't forget that.

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    0.02 , if laws allowed i would mention a daughter ( as long as your takinig father in laws to classes ) lol . anyway best of luck to you and him , whatever school you choose .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  14. #13
    Member Array Rob Pincus's Avatar
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    No problem, RR...

    One of the problems with trying to market 4 things at one location ( A resort, A shooting club, a recreational/teambuilding facility and a tactical training center) is that the messages get unavoidedly mixed sometimes.

    -RJP

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    Senior Member Array INTJ's Avatar
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    Hmm..

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Pincus View Post
    ... BEFORE discounting the EMR option, I encourage everyone to read the article that Kevin Davis wrote for a recent issue of Tactical Response that explains the advantages and value better than I ever have...
    Wonder if my non firearm minded spouse could find something to occupy herself with we are there. Ya got my curiosity peaked, so I took the time to read the article. Here's the link for all interested.

    http://www.hendonpub.com/publication...redarticle.asp
    "Beware of the man who only owns one gun. He probably knows how to use it."

  16. #15
    Member Array Rob Pincus's Avatar
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    INTJ,

    Spa treatments, horseback riding, etc. There's plenty for her to do.

    Meanwhile, that is not actually the article I was referring to. Kevin wrote a companion piece to that course review about resort itself from the perspective of a tactical training student.

    -RJP

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