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Old 02-20-2013, 09:27 PM #274
Join Date: Feb 2013
Insurance requirements

Hello to all. A friend and myself are looking into starting a paintball business. Portable paintballing for birthdays and such. We would have a 100' x 50' netted arena to set up at your house. Fully enclosed arena and doing our own refills. We would supply guns, safety masks and on site ref/ safety advisor. What type of insurance would we need? One requirement would be homeowner signs waiver accepting full responsible for any injuries.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:25 AM #275
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Location: Edmonton, AB
Interesting thread...

A few things that are just straight up not true and far too generalized, like "X is never a good idea", or "you will not make money for X years"

Just please, if you're reading this, remember, your situation is different from anyone else's, so do not take anything you read here as gospel.

If you're in a city of a million plus people, your situation will be VERY different from those in a smaller rural area.

If you're opening a $1m+ indoor recreation facility that caters to joe-public, with the same kind of standards and facilities as a bowling alley, cinema or indoor karting centre, your situation will be VERY different from someone opening a woodsball field on their own land for a small community of teams to play on.

So look at YOUR situation. Sure, take advice from other people, but none of it is cold hard truth. It's simply things you need to consider.

On the insurance front:
- it's not stupidly expensive, and it's not optional. A $5m liability policy for $8k/year will protect you against almost anything (as if you do get sued, the insurance company will defend you in court and if you/they loose, they'll pay the damages awarded)
- the only way to learn about costs of insurance in your area/country are to call insurance companies/brokers. Do it. Don't listen to kids on the internet about this stuff. My situation is different from yours. Get a quote, it takes no time at all and then you'll know for sure.
- waivers are a took for YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY to use in court. As long as you do exactly what they tell you to do with them (eg, use them all the time), you can stop worrying about the 'validity' of them; not your problem
- a corporation will not protect you from **** if you're an owner/operator as you have a personal hand in everything that happens at your field. If you are a totally hands-off owner (you never work there, didn't design it, etc), then sure, it helps, but very few people are.
- our insurance company has no requirements for netting or anything like that. Yours may be different, but the only people that can tell you that is YOUR insurance company. Again, don't listen to some kids on the internet for such important stuff when there's no way they can know about your specific situation

On the making money front:
- you can.
- your business model (as above with the rec centre vs woodland) and market will dictate how much and when
- but you can also not. Not because paintball is fundamentally un-profitable, but because you ran a poorly run business

On the spending money front:
- it will cost more than you think, but not double
- most costs are easy to anticipate, but getting hard numbers will take a heck of a lot more than just Google'ing stuff. You need to get on the phone with suppliers. You need to fill in dealer applications. You need to meet people, shake their hands, etc. If you don't, you're doing it wrong

Also: Zoning is the devil. In any major city (500,000+), it will **** your **** up and making finding a space hard. Smaller cities are more flexible as Larry said. Also, the US is hurting pretty bad right now so they're desperate for taxation income. Here in the Great White North, life is good, so they will drag their feet on stuff because they don't have to not.
Don't forget though, zoning is just the first of (probably) 4 interactions with the City. Zoning says what areas you can run your business. A development permit allows you to actually do it. A building permit allows you to build or modify stuff. A final inspection checks everything at the end. The terminology will be different in your area, but the concepts are the same.

To the guy a few pages back who said (in his example) you'll only make $200 in sales in the first month (or $1000 in month 3 and 4). Oh. My. God. We made that in our first minute being open. If that really happens, or you think it will, stop. You're not running a business, that's a hobby.

Hope that helps some people. PM with questions if you'd like.
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Old 06-22-2013, 01:52 PM #276
Join Date: Jun 2013
nicely put, ive seen the same thing happen to a field back home. They even had a side business (a nursery) ended up building a yogurt business to support the owners lifestyle.. needless to say the field pretty much died.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:46 AM #277
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9 acres......175,000..........50 to 100 a weekend for open play.....$25 entry.....upstate ny
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Old 12-17-2013, 07:44 PM #278
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Excellent points. Good rules for starting any type business
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:23 PM #279
Join Date: Feb 2014
Has anyone worked with Evan money for startup paintball fields
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:55 AM #280
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thxs for the advice
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:58 AM #281
Join Date: Apr 2014
Woe target you reall yput the kabash on my ideas to start a park. I was hoping to read some positive info, but you just popped my bubble.
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Old 04-10-2014, 01:06 AM #282
Join Date: Apr 2014
I really enjoyed reading your post. If you would go to youtube and type in "Richton Park paintball Video" and let me know what you think. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. My email is
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:29 PM #283
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this makes sense as to why upkeep on fields isn't always what it should be. money needs to go elsewhere, but sad to see
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Old 06-14-2014, 06:37 PM #284
Join Date: Jun 2014
whats your take on indoor airsoft? using the same basics for a paintball arena
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Old 01-27-2015, 05:10 PM #285
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Originally Posted by hhpaintball View Post
If you, or anyone, buys something online, you will get what you've paid for.

I'll start off by noting that i do all of our repairs. All of them. I see a lot of those tanks that you bought off the internet for $159. I fix them when they break. If you'd bought that at our store, it'd be covered under warranty. You didn't. It's not. I hope you kept that forty bucks that you saved, because that's exactly what you're paying for the repair.

When you buy something off of the internet, you have to immediately hope that it doesn't break, ever.

It's not like you can stuff it into your computer. The internet doesn't have wrenches.

A broken paintball tank?? I'll take that chance and save the $40... The prices are controlled by manufacturer. If you can't make money selling the suggested retail, then you need to look at other factors... Moreover, I'd rather save the $40 and wait for the tank to break if ever, and pay the $40 I saved later
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:16 PM #286
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: California
I own 3acres of wooded land and would like to start an outdoor paintball business...where do I start to begin this process?
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:44 AM #287
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best place to buy cheap field equipment? bunkers, chronographs etc
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Old 06-23-2015, 03:41 PM #288
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lot of good info

had a good read now i have a glimpse into what field owners go through
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Old 09-09-2015, 05:40 PM #289
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Originally Posted by Tavieo2222 View Post
I own 3acres of wooded land and would like to start an outdoor paintball business...where do I start to begin this process?
Where in California? I am looking to invest.
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Old 09-15-2015, 09:11 PM #290
Join Date: Jul 2015
Okay, lot of good things here. I can add perhaps a little bit having run my field for 29 years, The field is my income source. That means I have to run it well and make wise decisions or my family doesn't eat. That's called incentive.
You can open a small field for a small amount of money and make a little bit of profit. What that boils down to is you quit playing so your friends can have fun and you make enough money for a pizza and a few beers each weekend. Most people want more then that.

SO you have to expand, more area, more equipment and more staff and much more work for you. The return isn't much bigger for you after you pay the bills but you now have people depending on you for their income. So this is getting really serious now.

I found myself covering 62 acres offering 16 playing fields. I had a 200 gun rental fleet and 8 employees, 4 full time 4 part time. I made less money for myself then I did when 2-3 of us were running the facility. SO watch for efficiency, stay where you do well, don't chase growth for egos sake.

Back in those days we did some amazing things. one day we ran the home field with over 80 players as well as 2 away games on different ends of the state both providing play for groups over 30 players. So we did 140+ players in 3 locations on the same day. Not bad!

There are so many pit falls to watch for, one of the ones people don't talk much about is the players. They have no problem asking for the moon and they expect it for free. Many don't care if you have enough profit margin to stay alive as long as they can play cheap. You have to protect your business, you're the only one that will. Oh you'll have a few guys that really care, but most don't and they will be playing at a new field the week after you go out of business.

Always give your customer their moneys worth. You can charge anything you think your worth as long as you are worth it. My average player spends a total of $50 for about 5-6 hours on the field. I find that to be a good bargain for both of us. But if I up their cost to 75 or 80 dollars a day what can I do to make it worth that much more?

Also even though it can't be helped be prepared for a field opening inside your customer area. It doesn't matter if you are running at 10% of your capacity, in other words you can handle any growth that might occur for the next 10 years. That won't stop a guy from opening a field near you. They do almost no market research, they just jump in. Now if you shorten sail a bit you can out last them and in a couple of years they will close. You'll just get your feet back under you and another one will open up. Expect all your customer will have to try them because it's new. They will come back and tell you how bad it was, But that's still business you've lost.

In Maine which is a very rural state, I've outlasted at least 68 fields that have come and gone. many had better locations then myself. They just didn't make it.

But you better be ready to work! I open around April 1st and close around December 10th. That's 242 day in a row I work, Most 10 hour minimum. One day this summer was 24 hours straight then 4 hours of sleep and back to work. You will survive by working harder the other guys.

Get the best staff you can get, don't require them to be players. Many people that don't play make great staff. I have a machinist who refs for me, I have an EMT who refs for me. Those skills I can't teach them, but paintball I can. You can try to save a few dollars by trading paint for reffing, but you get what you pay for!

Don't give up on the idea. But do your research and plan it well. Take your expected income figures and cut them by about 25% to be safe. It's a hard fight and there are many easier ways to make a living. But if you want to try it and you need advice drop me a line and I'll give you any advice I can offer.
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