I started getting back into shooting in November and unfortunately ever since the surge in gun purchases the range I've been going to has been PACKED. We'd usually get there at 10am when they opened and there would be an hour wait. We went one afternoon and the wait was an hour and 45 mins. We didn't wait that time. Granted the place is nice and has a gun store and restaurant available while you wait but the waiting is getting old.
So I started researching other avenues available thinking maybe there was a private club I could join if it didn't cost too much. I actually found the opposite. A state run range around the corner from the one we usually go to. It is operated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency and was really nice. We got there before 10am as we tried to go to the other range early and put our name on the list but they wouldn't let us until 10. At the TWRA range there were 14 total lanes and one other shooter there. They were very friendly, clean and thankful we were there. He did say they do get busy in the afternoons as some instructors rent lanes for classes and some police do their qualification shooting there but the mornings seem like a good time to go.
Only downside is that I could always count on buying ammo at the other range (except 22lr right now) but the TWRA range doesn't sell any ammo. I should be stocked up enough for right now as long as I can keep finding 38 and 9mm and my LGS. I'm down do about 1000 22lr right now so I better find some soon.
We will definitely be going back to this range. It is also a little cheaper.