CAMDEN COUNTY, Mo. — Illinois' Covid crackdowns are Missouri's gain: the Great American Shoot, an annual trapshooting event put on by the Amateur Trapshooting Association (ATA) and typically held in Sparta, Ill., will be coming to Linn Creek, Mo., at Lake of the Ozarks, this August.
Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association announced on Wednesday the event would be held at the Missouri Trapshooters Association (MTA) range in Linn Creek. A related event, the AIM Championship, will be held Aug. 2–4, with the Grand American Championships Shoot held Aug. 5–15. Organizers expect the event will bring 3,000–5,000 participants and visitors from all over the world, to the Lake area over a two-week period. The economic impact is estimated to be around $12 million for the area.
Lagina Fitzpatrick, TCLA Director of Sales, first learned event organizers were seeking backup locations in late-April. "The Executive Director of Amateur Trapshooting Association contacted our office at the end of April about the possibility of moving the event if the State of Illinois did not loosen their restrictions and allow the event to take place in Sparta," Fitzpatrick said. "We were one of several locations they were looking at as an alternative to host the event. We learned two weeks ago we were selected as the backup location if they were not allowed to host the event in Illinois." Fitzpatrick sent a letter of interest and invite, along with Lake of the Ozarks information, to each Amateur Trapshooting Association Board member in early May. It was known that the Board had set a deadline of June 15 for the decision to be made. During the six-week waiting period, the TCLA says Fitzpatrick reached out to the lodging community to pull together rates and availability for the event. "The impact will be huge for lodging facilities during the tail end of the summer season," the TCLA said. Fitzpatrick also worked with ATA on a location for the Aug. 11 Hall of Fame Banquet, and they ultimately selected The Lodge at Port Arrowhead.
"COVID-19 has devastated the tourism community across the world," Fitzpatrick said. "We are saddened by the circumstances for the relocation and appreciate the confidence and trust the ATA has in our community to step up and host this elite event. The economic impact it will have on the Lake area and the State of Missouri is substantial in a much-needed time. Tri-County Lodging Association is thrilled to welcome all the attendees and spectators of the Grand American Shoot to our little piece of paradise. We know they will have an outstanding event and enjoy their stay and return for future visits."
Tony Shockley, Missouri Trapshooters President said in an announcement: "We are excited to announce that the MTA home grounds will be the location for the 121st Grand American World Trapshooting Championships and the AIM National Youth Trapshooting Championships. The MTA is honored to make the Home Grounds available to the sponsoring organization, the Amateur Trapshooting Association, headquartered in Sparta, Illinois. This even fulfills one of the dreams of the late W.F.J. Fienup, the founder of the Foundation in 1968, that made the MTA possible. His dream was for the Grand American Championships to be held at MTA. As Missourians, we want to do our best to welcome all that attend. There is plenty to do and see in the Ozarks so come prepared to have a great time, see you at the Grand!"
Learn more about the event and schedule lodging at www.motraps.com
For more information about Amateur Trapshooting Association and the Grand American, visit their website at www.shootata.com.