A Passion For Firearms Leads to a Business Idea
Anthony opened his first Colorado Shooting Sports (CSS) in 1996. At the time, he was a Registered Nurse, but always had a passion for firearms. While continuing to work as a nurse during the early years from 1998 to 2001, he focused on building CSS’s infrastructure, name recognition, reinvesting money into new equipment, rental equipment, and getting to know the industry. He took out a loan in August of 1998. In 2001, he opened CSS’s first retail site, initially conducting all sales out at the range while holding classes as well. Eventually, CSS got their new retail store up and running while building inventory, and basic infrastructure without getting a new bank loan. Brand recognition was key to CSS’s success. People driving by knew CSS by name and those in other cities came because of the solid reputation CSS had built in the area. During their first year in 2001, CSS used billboard advertising and it was very successful.
Demand for Quality Guns and Ammo Drives Growth
Within three years, CSS had so much inventory that they actually outgrew the retail site and began a huge expansion plan. In 2002, Navarro purchased 10 acres of land on a busy highway and began zoning and planning for a HUGE 55,000 square foot building. By 2004, when the project was completed, CSS had built a multimillion dollar facility that would allow them to run longer, harder and faster than before. In 2005, CSS had their busiest and most profitable year to date. This was also the year that CSS began several projects that at the time were costing money and not making money. In 2005, Navarro developed CSS’s Generation 1 Lightning Bolt™ and began getting firearms certification from various international schools. In 2006, CSS developed the Gen 2 AK Lightning Bolt™. In 2007, they developed the AK Lightning Lever. In 2008, CSS began designing and testing what would later become the G4 Gunfighter AK rifles, which clients know all over the world. Despite a tough economy of the years 2005 through 2010, CSS continued to lay the groundwork for the very successful business that exists today.
A Quality Brand is Refined and Developed
In 2011, CSS moved their retail store to a new location. They also began a major staffing overhaul, focusing more on highly trained individuals instead of making the common mistake of hiring cheap. The combination of all of these measures, a quality product line, course development, as well as employee development has made for huge increases in revenue in the last three years, and the outcome is a source of pride for everyone at CSS.
Star Power Brings Success
Today, Colorado Shootings Sports is known worldwide as a leader in quality firearms, ammunition, and accessories. Anthony has also become somewhat of a celebrity within the gun community and has appeared on major network reality shows as well as served as a subject matter expert in a variety of industry publications.