Plans to start an indoor course. - Paintball Forum - Paintball guns and gear forums

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Old March 11th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Post Plans to start an indoor course.

I am looking for input on a business that my wife and I are planning on starting up. We're hoping to open an indoor, year round course. I have noticed that there are plenty of fields but they are almost all seasonal where weather can affect your plans a lot. I think this would be a great addition to the sport. Just looking for feedback on what you all think of this and whether you would be willing to travel in order to play at a place like this. What are your thoughts and ideas, if you don't mind sharing with me. We are still in the infant stages if our planning and are getting a feel for the want/need of such a place.

Can't wait to hear your thoughts. Thanks.


P.S.
In case anyone is wondering we are in the Eastern NC area.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 08:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Dude your in my area. I am a currently in greensboro helping out with some family matters but i will be heading back out to wilmington as soon as possible.
I say thats a great idea and would probably do pretty good in the area. Im not for sure unless your in a larger city. But greensboro needs a indoor that has decent prices though
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Old March 11th, 2013, 08:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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i will tell you, opening an indoor paintball field is a) not cheap and b) not easily profitable.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 08:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I priced building a building alone, with all the costs. (pumbing, heating/air, etc)

are you ready for this figure?

$650,000. for. the.building.alone.
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Old March 11th, 2013, 10:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I haven't gone as far as to figure out pricing and construction - but if they're able to find an old loading dock or warehouse with ramped dock... they could probably rent the property for a slightly more reasonable amount.

The down-side here would be the "tin roof" problem in the summer. The year-round field would become an oven unless properly insulated and air conditioned...which would also be hella expensive.

But - I suppose it would be more helpful to state the things I've seen/noticed that set a field apart from others.. than just how expensive this can get:

1) Tournament size and layout. 2 of the local indoor fields can't run APPA sanctioned PSP tournaments because their field dimensions aren't in line with the Tournament rules. Be sure you have space for a tourney sized field + dead area.

2) Cleanliness. There's a HUGE difference between running up and into a bunker that's sopping wet in paint, and one with 2-3 shots on it from the game before. Every so many games.. have your staff squeegee down the bunkers. This also can be prevented by having the staff control the players when they walk on the field... allowing a few check-shots, but not for a player to unload 1/4 hopper at full ramp into an air bunker.

3) Turf - The biggest reason I left my last field. They laid sport-turf over concrete. Paint + Turf = slippery. Supposedly there's a black rubbery material that can go under turf to absorb moisture or extend the life of the turf (kinda vaguely resembles dirt).. this makes all the difference in the world.

4) Staff - Team practices are largely self moderated - but open play? You need to have good officiating. A 16 year old kid who would rather spend time texting and talking to his buddies than paying attention to the game... is not worth the money you're willing to pay him. Pay the refs well..but expect quality from them. I can't tell you how many times I've had to jump in and enforce mask rules - while the 16 year old ref was busy talking to his buddies.... makes me wonder what happens when I'm not there.

5) Pro Shop. There really, needs to be one on-site. I can't tell you how many times I've been 1/4 way through the day when a piece of my equipment went down, or my thermal lens decides to give out and rupture a seal... making it a single pane fog magnet. Diversity among the popular brand options (Empire universal lenses...i4's.. Sly lenses...etc) and placing an emphasis on ordering what is likely to be used on your field will help you way more than just carrying arbitrary amounts of all the options. If you're an indoor field, amber, yellow, HD, and clear are going to be more important than smoke & mirror options. I'll let you guess how many times I've walked into a pro shop looking for an o-ring that wasn't size 015, or a lens that wasn't smoke/mirror... and left without spending a cent. ANS usually ends up with that business and that sale - and 7 i4 lenses and 4 Empire lenses later... ANS is the ones counting the cash..and not my field.

6) The ability to try things on (fitting room too). I'm fortunate to have Discount Paintball in my back yard. If I'm looking to buy clothes - they INSIST I try it on in-store. I get to check the fit, and the feel of the garment/pads/mask before making the purchase. Having open-box masks at the counter is a big deal too.

eah - I'm tapped out.
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Old March 14th, 2013, 04:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks to everyone so far for the tips and advice. I have looked into a great deal of info including building, supplies, and utilites. It won't be a cheap start up but thats why i am getting all the info i can to make sure this is going to be a profitable business. But as we all know you have to spend money to make it. thank you everyone very much anymore advice or suggestions would be great. One thing I could not stand was making plans to play and no fields were open due to season and weather.
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Old March 14th, 2013, 05:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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just saying, depending on your setup, you won't turn a profit for at least 10 years (or so one of my field managers said. he had a business plan 4 inches thick)
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Old March 14th, 2013, 08:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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the building is what the building is, I have yet to find an indoor course that is able to run a full PSP or NPPL layout because #1, it is a rather HUGE field for indoor considering #2 there needs to be supports to...idk...hold the building up maybe?

the surface is, i think, the hardest part of an indoor field. even if you have something under the turf as DP mentioned above, it doesnt matter, at some point, whatever you put under the turf will be saturated with paint. what you need is an active drain that will get the paint OUT. again though, I have yet to find a field that has done this well. Probably the 2 best examples of this that I have come across were an indoor field that used to be my home field, they built the field on a raised platform and ran PVC pipes under it to get the paint out, worked alright not great, there was still a TON of paint in the playing surface and #2, a field that is about 4 hours drive from me, they have a bare concrete floor but use a scrubbing machine to clean it every night

I agree with DP on the staff though, they really make a field. They dont have to know everything about paintball but if they can be good refs, be attentive and treat new players the same or if anything better than the experienced ones that are there week in and week out, you will have a good field, let me give you a good example/bad example

bad example(s) firld #1 that i will never go to again, refs were super lax, told me that because I brought my own gear to chrono it all the way to 300fps when the rentals were at 285, I had to use my own chrono, they did not get people going for the games, just waited to be approached, while out on the field they often had their masks off and did not care if anyone else had theirs on or off. too busy smoking to really ref a game, field #2 that really just had a friend reffing for the day, the field was fine but this guy did not know what he was doing, I called "paint check" and looked right at him, he had no idea what to do. he basically said "go" and "game over" and that was it

good example) a field that i hope to be going back to at some point, the refs were young but really had it together, always talking with players and making sure everyone was having a good time, getting people out onto the field to play (this also helps business because people use more paint) but by far the best thing i have EVER seen, they chronoed ON THE FIELD! I have never seen this before and it was AWESOME, before each and every game they held a chrono up to EVERYONES marker and had them fire a few shots, during the games they were all over the place running and sliding to check hits and it was just a game with walk ons! best refs ever

starting out i dont think having a shop is quite as important but if you have the cash for it, they really help grow your business

a compressor is going to be one of your larger purchases, I have been to fields that just run tanks that they have filled once or twice during the day, it sucks because even if you are running a 4500psi tank, only being able to put 2800 or 2500 psi in it makes it so you have to fill it between almost every game

invest in a compressor

just make sure safety is #1 for everyone you hire and #2 is making sure the customer is having a good time. if they are having a good time they are more likely to come back, bring friends and stay longer buying more paint

one nice thing to do, lots of kids have birthday parties, include some extra paint in the price of your birthday packages, then when they get there be like "o its your birthday!? Heres some paint as a birthday present!"
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Old March 15th, 2013, 02:23 AM   #9 (permalink)
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there's one in Alberta somewhere. might be MR Paintball. it has the supports in the middle of the field but its tied in with a bunker on the layout so its not just a random post
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Old March 15th, 2013, 11:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by huckduck View Post
there's one in Alberta somewhere. might be MR Paintball. it has the supports in the middle of the field but its tied in with a bunker on the layout so its not just a random post
which is pretty much the only way to do it otherwise you can have people running into the supports. but it also means you can not run a PSP or NPPL layout because you are going to have to put bunkers where the posts are
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Old March 25th, 2013, 09:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huckduck View Post
there's one in Alberta somewhere. might be MR Paintball. it has the supports in the middle of the field but its tied in with a bunker on the layout so its not just a random post
Rampage City Paintball - My home field

Here is a quick pic - only a few of the lights were on - this was before the new turf was laid



Staging area



Also has a Proshop.

I play every week there on Tuesday Pump Nights - and Sundays for Rec ball during the winter. Then there are two other fields under the Rampage banner - Millarville and Okotoks. The Indoor field is busy. They run clinics every other month with some of the Edmonton Impact Players, and Justin works there plays with Impact Echo - really popular events!

It would suck hard to not have an Indoor field - a 3hr drive to the nearest one, and outdoor play I couldn't do every week in the Winter lol
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