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Old 02-06-2008, 11:36 PM #1
snipedyou
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New Field?

Alright, after my (and my others') disgust with D's Paintball's management, I have been thinking about the possibility of opening my own place. It would probably be in the Fargo/Moorhead area. I have been in contact with the owner of GatSplat (Texas), and have been getting some good information. I have also been talking to a couple of guys about this and bouncing around a few ideas. We've been getting a lot of prices and big surprise.....this would not be a cheap venture. We're looking anywhere from $300,000 to $500,00 all said and done. Now the reason I am posting this is to get some feedback on whether or not people would be willing to drive to the Fargo/Moorhead area for a good quality, well managed, reasonably priced field. To be perfectly honest, I don't know how serious I am about this but I'm trying to get as much information as possible. I'm not really looking for ideas on how to make this place work (yet), I'm more looking to see if this is something people would be into.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:48 PM #2
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Here we go again....

F/M has a great field, Valley Paintball (www.valleypaintball.tk, its a brand new website so there isnt a whole lot of info/conversation on it yet)

I dont think you stand a chance at opening up a successful paintball field in the Fargo/Moorhead. No offense. There is definitely a market for it but it isnt easy... there have been multiple local fields that have tried and failed.

If you want to see a speedball field in the FM area contact Crossfire and encourage them to keep trying to find land. (they have been trying to find good land for years!)

JMO
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:48 PM #3
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why so far from the cities? i think that if it was better than anything here in minnesota i.e.; great field/fields, reffing and facilities i am sure people would drive.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:47 AM #4
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Why not looking into something near the cities where most players are? I personally would not go that far to play when I could just hit up AA. If you want to be successful I would say find somewhere in or near the cities. IF you could find some land on auction and put up a warehouse metal building, you could have a great indoor facility that you would have business at year round.

just my $.02.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:37 AM #5
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i would say do it i will be there every week and what kind of field are we talkin?
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:15 PM #6
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Sorry I didn't make this clear. Valley Paintball has a great chunk of land to play on but they are outdoor, I'm looking to do put up an indoor facility. And yes, there have been indoor facilities before but they were too small. There was one on Main Ave. that is now a karate studio which could clue you in on its size. Why not in the Twin Cities? They have indoor facilities. From the way everyone talks about Air Assault, I'm looking for that kind of competition. The F/M area has no indoor facilities. And yes, there are many more enthusiasts in the Twin City region but that gets to be too much of a trek from some of us who would like to play regualarly but don't have the time or money for that kind of road trip. There are a lot of people in the F/M area that play. With four colleges, and god knows how many high schools and middle schools, and a large population out of school that love to play, I don't think there would be a shortage of business. We would be looking at putting up something that would house one field a bit larger than a 7-man field just so that we're not too limited on how many people we can allow on the field at one time. That way if we decide to do a tournament, whether it be a 3,5, or 7 man, we can scale it down. We would have a lot of other stuff like a locker room, pro shop, etc.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:00 PM #7
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i would find it hard for most people to drive more than an hour or so when they can go to air assault. but gl
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:48 PM #8
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I live in east central MN and we have nothing between AA and Superior Paintball near Duluth
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:50 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underdog2987 View Post
i would find it hard for most people to drive more than an hour or so when they can go to air assault. but gl
Quote:
Originally Posted by snipedyou View Post
Why not in the Twin Cities? They have indoor facilities. From the way everyone talks about Air Assault, I'm not looking for that kind of competition. The F/M area has no indoor facilities. And yes, there are many more enthusiasts in the Twin City region but that gets to be too much of a trek from some of us who would like to play regualarly but don't have the time or money for that kind of road trip. There are a lot of people in the F/M area that play. With four colleges, and god knows how many high schools and middle schools, and a large population out of school that love to play, I don't think there would be a shortage of business.
He already said that he's not marketing towards the twin cities area because of Air Assault.
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:40 PM #10
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The F/M location does have potential... this has been discussed theoretically before... you want ideas? contact Brent K.(el pengo on here).

But I will say that with the logistics, time, and money involved in opening that caliber of an indoor place... I highly doubt you have the technical skills AND funds to make it happen. Believe me, this is not a personal attack, just the facts.

Rent will destroy you, unless you build your polebarn style building (see Stringer Factory in Wisconsin), then the building costs would set you back indefinitely. Assume you make the building happen, just heating a building that large (in the F/M area "aka" Frozen Hell) will bankrupt most owners.
Survive that, you'll need business. Sure there's a group of "tournament players" in the area, but will their business alone be enough to pay the bills? No. You'll need an endless cycle of rental groups, birthday parties, and reservations to pay the bills. Paintball fields don't make it on tournament players or by catering to them, they survive by racking up groups and keeping them coming back, and honestly, I don't think that there is that big of a customer base in the area to keep that end up.

Summary- You'll need industry connections, unbelievable marketing skills, and DEEP *** POCKETS (you'll never get investors with the way the paintball industry is headed; financially its a black hole, and will always be). From a business stand-point, paintball= death. If you are prepared to go back to your college days of eating ramen noodles and drinking busch light in order to bring paintball to the frozen north, good luck.

Seriously- you pull it off and you'll be a god (at least among children in clown suits hiding behind balloons)

dclark
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:56 PM #11
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He already said that he's not marketing towards the twin cities area because of Air Assault.
yea thanks for the clearification cause i didn't already read that
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:03 PM #12
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Im going to school at UND and would love a place to play outside of D's You got my vote to be there
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:46 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snipedyou View Post
Sorry I didn't make this clear. Valley Paintball has a great chunk of land to play on but they are outdoor, I'm looking to do put up an indoor facility. And yes, there have been indoor facilities before but they were too small. There was one on Main Ave. that is now a karate studio which could clue you in on its size. Why not in the Twin Cities? They have indoor facilities. From the way everyone talks about Air Assault, I'm looking for that kind of competition. The F/M area has no indoor facilities. And yes, there are many more enthusiasts in the Twin City region but that gets to be too much of a trek from some of us who would like to play regualarly but don't have the time or money for that kind of road trip. There are a lot of people in the F/M area that play. With four colleges, and god knows how many high schools and middle schools, and a large population out of school that love to play, I don't think there would be a shortage of business. We would be looking at putting up something that would house one field a bit larger than a 7-man field just so that we're not too limited on how many people we can allow on the field at one time. That way if we decide to do a tournament, whether it be a 3,5, or 7 man, we can scale it down. We would have a lot of other stuff like a locker room, pro shop, etc.
Call Gary at Air Assault I'am sure he would be more then happy to
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:37 PM #14
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I realize how difficult this would be, believe me. Otherwise I would have already opened it and quite possibly failed. Funding, no two ways about, it will be hard. I know I wouldn't get investors from this area. It would have to come from a business loan which of that size I know is more than hard to obtain. Funding is usually the biggest obstacle in starting a business. Like I mentioned before, I have been in contact with the owner of Gatsplat down in Texas. He told me, for him its more of a realestate investment due the size of the building and the property its on. And no, I would not be renting, I would be building. And his rough estimates indicate that in one year, he made roughly $300K over the cost of starting the business (if I understood him correctly). As nice as that sounds, that $300K has to cover the business loan payments, property taxes, inventory, payroll, utilities, and god knows what else. But at the same time, he has a lot more competition down there. If you look at the field/store map, he is surrended by other paintball businesses. But again, there maybe the volume of business down there is enough to support all of them. I'm not sure. I don't have all the facts yet. Its not like I'm planning a grand opening this summer.

And Redline01, I know that was not at all a personal attack and that you're just trying to make me look at this logically, which is appreciated. But please don't assume what I am and what I am not capable of. After I get all the facts, I'll be the judge of that. But I appreciate all the feedback I'm getting from you guys. Keep it coming.
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Old 02-07-2008, 06:24 PM #15
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Well if you really want some feedback about what Im looking for in a paintball field, here it is (in some sort of order):

Safety, reliable management, clean field, have both PSP and NPPL fields change the field layout every other week (playing the same field gets BORING)

I guess those are the most important things to me...

If you have never been to Air Assault, check it out sometime.

el pengo will spit the truth soon... when he does, listen to him.
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Old 02-07-2008, 08:02 PM #16
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Go for it! And for your building...look around a bit. Consider Unitedsteel. There great buildings...easy to build, decent price and no matinence. Heating can be a struggle, but look around there to, there are alternatives to that as well. All cost money, but some are much more economical then others. I would suggest in slab heat...big investment off the bat, but holds, the heat amazing!!! Just some thoughts...and yes BFK(el pengo) will tell you what he thinks. Good luck!
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:51 PM #17
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Since three people have called me out:

The FM area is in need of a viable paintball scene before it is need of an indoor field.

Valley Paintball struggled for almost three years to build a customer base, one that began to show up last season. I would hesitate to believe there are enough paintball "enthusiasts" to support an indoor facility of that size in Fargo--you would need to cater exclusively to private rental groups to have any chance of success. And I can tell you, new players don't want to hide behind primary colored balloons, they want Rambo: First Blood II.

There has been 1.5 previous attempts, one was semi-successful (I splat U) and the other was played on tae-kwon-do mats with foamballs whilst wearing socks.

I think your fist step would be to crunch the numbers on your customer base and compare that to what AAP draws in the cities. I think that would put an end to the discussion.

Some say I'm a pessimist, I prefer to call myself a realist. One that’s played and worked in the ND/MN scene for waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long.

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Old 02-08-2008, 07:39 AM #18
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That was one of the biggest questions. You can crunch your numbers all you want but if there's no customer base, you're screwed. Which is kinda conflicting at this point. It seems in the F/M area, everyone knows someone that plays paintball. But like you said, Valley Paintball struggled for quite a while.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:32 AM #19
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Why not try an outdoor place?? wont cost you as much.... not as much risk...
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:30 PM #20
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That was one of the biggest questions. You can crunch your numbers all you want but if there's no customer base, you're screwed. Which is kinda conflicting at this point. It seems in the F/M area, everyone knows someone that plays paintball. But like you said, Valley Paintball struggled for quite a while.
VP struggled until they went back to BYOP. Then once word got around they saw reasonable numbers.

But even awesome attendence with BYOP won't keep you in the black.

When I've been approached about this before and have seriously put thought into it:

The facility would need to be attached to something else. Imagine an indoor "tatical" course built in a stand alone building next to Thunderoad's mini-golf/go-kart/whaveter business alongside I29. Something like that has more potential than your standard indoor field.

In fact, if I got involved with for-profit field again--my focus wouldn't be on speedball/supair/tournament in the least. It would be focused on "woodsball/tactical" (basically asymmetrical speedball).

This makes the older crowd and the inexperienced more comfortable. New players and crappy players hate speedball. Everyone sees everything. You know who is decent and who is garbage. Whereas in the woods or on cluttered "urban" fields you can hide the whole game and still be a hero--or claim you shot 8 guys. Unless someone was right next to you, no one has any idea what really happened (granted the teams and field are large enough...).
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Old 02-08-2008, 02:55 PM #21
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do some drug testing with all personel. i hate going to a feild and being greeted by a stoner. guess that may just be a pet peeve, but it seems like there is at least one of these clowns working. i dunno, maybe it's the same guy? sorry if i ruined your thread or offended any potheads with this comment.
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