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Old 01-31-2013, 09:37 AM #22
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Something I think we forget after playing paintball for a while is how people who don't know anything about paintball, think about paintball.

Paintball is a game and everyone "imagines" it a little different. But they base that image on things drawn from previous experiences. People can imagine themselves playing war, playing cowboys and Indians (sorry if I'm not being PC), being a spy or a bodyguard, etc...because they have some experience with these, even if it's only from movies, books, and childhood games. People do not have an image of running around and playing tag around coloured air filled balloons (except maybe for a very few who have seen some competitive play on TV). That's the reality of it. Marketing paintball is most successfully done when tapping into that imagination.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:42 AM #23
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Let's face it......speedball is a very small share of the overall paintball player market, even among regular players. Among renters it doesn't even exist so....some type of scenario field is the only way to go.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:44 AM #24
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My Local indoor field has the two setups like GatSplat showed. I think for using inflatables its the best way to go. They only run one field, but on different days will have different setups. For team practice days, its PSP bunkers. For Saturday night open play, it's scenario bunkers. It's something a little different and accomodates both the tournament players and the rec players. The 'scenario' bunkers seem to be holding up just fine. They have a little over a year of use at this point.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:34 AM #25
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Let's face it......speedball is a very small share of the overall paintball player market, even among regular players. Among renters it doesn't even exist so....some type of scenario field is the only way to go.
Pretty strong saying some type of scenario field is the "only" way to go. We have only used air bunkers for the last 5 years. The first 2 years we had a wooden western town... Jail, saloon, covered wagons, coffins, gallows, etc. It was a huge pain in the *** to clean, and so everything started to smell. We tore that out, and have only done air bunkers since. Now recently we did do the castle bunkers but our front field looks like a speed ball field.

The kids like both. We don't cater to tourney players. Our primary business is renters, and kids birthday parties. The thing that makes it "speed ball" is really more the type of players, and how fast the guns shoot. If I have a bunch of 8 year old kids out on the "speed ball" course with their 50 caliber guns playing, they don't know what "speed ball" is. They are just having fun running around on astro turf, hiding behind things (that don't have nails, hard edges, or caked on paint) and they get to shoot at and with their friends.

It is much more how you run your field, not what the shape of the bunkers are that are on it.

But who knows... we had 927 kids play this last week, mostly birthday parties, most under the age of 14 on our "speed ball" type fields over 90% using our 50 and 68 cal rental guns.... but maybe I'm wrong. But I would say a "scenario field is the only way to go" is not accurate.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:08 AM #26
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I would never tell Larry that the way he is doing it is wrong because clearly it is working. I also know of other indoor field owners who wouldn't consider anything other than airball bunkers and are doing just as well.

Again... the first consideration should be "What do my customers want?"

Many potential customers might not even be able to answer that question because they have no idea what is available and if you run a good field you can win them over to whatever it is you chose.

Reiner makes an excellent point... When someone thinks about what their first paintball experience will be like, how many of them imagine themselves ducking behind a bright vinyl balloon? How many think about some sort of battlefield.

If you take two pictures, one of the best speedball field ever, brand new shiny bunkers, beautiful clean turf, and the other a modest scenario field. Show those two pictures to people who have never played before and ask them which looks like more fun. What sort of answer do you think you would get? More importantly if you showed those two pictures and said "pick which field you want to go to for your party" what do you think the answer would be?

Know your customer!
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:47 AM #27
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scenario vs speedball

Quote:
Originally Posted by GatSplat View Post
Pretty strong saying some type of scenario field is the "only" way to go. We have only used air bunkers for the last 5 years. The first 2 years we had a wooden western town... Jail, saloon, covered wagons, coffins, gallows, etc. It was a huge pain in the *** to clean, and so everything started to smell. We tore that out, and have only done air bunkers since. Now recently we did do the castle bunkers but our front field looks like a speed ball field.

The kids like both. We don't cater to tourney players. Our primary business is renters, and kids birthday parties. The thing that makes it "speed ball" is really more the type of players, and how fast the guns shoot. If I have a bunch of 8 year old kids out on the "speed ball" course with their 50 caliber guns playing, they don't know what "speed ball" is. They are just having fun running around on astro turf, hiding behind things (that don't have nails, hard edges, or caked on paint) and they get to shoot at and with their friends.

It is much more how you run your field, not what the shape of the bunkers are that are on it.

But who knows... we had 927 kids play this last week, mostly birthday parties, most under the age of 14 on our "speed ball" type fields over 90% using our 50 and 68 cal rental guns.... but maybe I'm wrong. But I would say a "scenario field is the only way to go" is not accurate.

Well in defense of my statement, I do consider your setup a scenario setup. It's not the type of bunkers you use.....just the way you set it up. You need hiding places, lots of interesting cover and stuff like that. I like your setup with the mighty scenario stuff. That's what I'm talking about. It doesn't have to be wood buildings or anything like that. All I'm saying is avoid putting up a PSP/ x-ball type field. People like to hide and sneak and "snipe", without that a lot of the thrill is gone. Your field has that. that's why it's successful. Well that and because it's clean and well run.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:05 AM #28
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Well in defense of my statement, I do consider your setup a scenario setup. It's not the type of bunkers you use.....just the way you set it up. You need hiding places, lots of interesting cover and stuff like that. I like your setup with the mighty scenario stuff. That's what I'm talking about. It doesn't have to be wood buildings or anything like that. All I'm saying is avoid putting up a PSP/ x-ball type field. People like to hide and sneak and "snipe", without that a lot of the thrill is gone. Your field has that. that's why it's successful. Well that and because it's clean and well run.
But actually, we just put in that castle about 4 months ago. For the longest time, we just had two "speedball" type fields - mirrored fields with Doritos, cans, rollies, etc. - and still, we pack in the kids birthday parties even when we did not have a castle.

So over all, I don't think we are disagreeing here... If possible, something with a little pizazz might make it more interesting to look at for the kids, but when it comes down to it, kids want to run around and shoot. Hiding behind a blue square is not much different than hiding behind a fake jail, except, the blue square is much easier to keep clean. The parents are paying for this experience 99% of the time, so you have to keep them in mind... not just the kids. So clean, safe, nice bathrooms, wifi, viewing windows, pictures of their kids, games with only kids the same age, making sure kids don't get over shot, making sure kids don't get bunkered, using paint that washes easy and doesn't stain, nice tables, and on and on are actually more important that what shape the bunker is. At least that's my take on it based on my experience with an indoor paintball field for the last 7 years, that has constantly increased in business... even when I removed the scenario field for years.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:34 AM #29
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I agree with Larry in that it doesn't matter so much what you use for bunkers As long as people are having fun, they will come back. Larry has obviously built his business up based on a good reputation.

The only thing I will say is that for marketing purposes, it is easier to capture the imagination of someone with no paintball experience with images of something they can relate to more. But that just help get them in the door. After that, it's all about your staff and experience. That is what in the end will ultimately make or break you.

Now if your "speedball" field is attracting speedballers and you are allowing the speedballers to play and annihilate the non speedballers, well then that has to do with the experience you are providing and not the type of bunkers you are providing. I have a feeling most serious speedball players stay away from Larry's field.

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Old 02-01-2013, 10:35 AM #30
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So clean, safe, nice bathrooms, wifi, viewing windows, pictures of their kids, games with only kids the same age, making sure kids don't get over shot, making sure kids don't get bunkered, using paint that washes easy and doesn't stain, nice tables, and on and on are actually more important that what shape the bunker is.
I wish we had indoor fields in my area like this. I have never played at, or seen a indoor field in person that ever did this.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:56 PM #31
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They are very sturdy and well built bunkers. We've had better luck with them than several other brands we have tried, and they are the only people to make the "scenario" bunkers that I know of.
Nice You are always so Helpful. I am going to stick more towards the Scenario type games as it is.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:43 PM #32
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I agree with Larry in that it doesn't matter so much what you use for bunkers As long as people are having fun, they will come back. Larry has obviously built his business up based on a good reputation.

The only thing I will say is that for marketing purposes, it is easier to capture the imagination of someone with no paintball experience with images of something they can relate to more. But that just help get them in the door. After that, it's all about your staff and experience. That is what in the end will ultimately make or break you.

Now if your "speedball" field is attracting speedballers and you are allowing the speedballers to play and annihilate the non speedballers, well then that has to do with the experience you are providing and not the type of bunkers you are providing. I have a feeling most serious speedball players stay away from Larry's field.

It really depends who's coming in your door. Obviously kids are happy to do anything........I'll agree on that 100%. In the case of kids you want to impress their parents with a well run, clean, safe facility. It's the older crowd ....late teens and up who have a more specific image in their minds and scenario tends to make a larger number of them happy. We had a speedball setup at the field I ran.....but I always made sure to lay it out with a lot of bunkers and bunker combinations(rarely ever any type of snake). Heavy cover seemed to make people more happy than wide open lanes like a competition speedball field. Everyone wanted to be a sniper so....I gave them the chance. LOL. A few times when I wasn't around the field was changed to a more spartan design and people were never happy with it. I'd have to zest it up again.

Kid though, I think would be happy to run around an empty room shooting each other at times lol. They're easy to please.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:28 PM #33
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The way Larry runs a paintball field is a HORRIBLE way to run a paintball field ... that attracts older teen or adult players who want a "realistic" playing-war experience.

Fortunately, there are enough moms with groups of sub-14-year-olds in Larry's area that his business is very successful.

And the way Dan (DelMarVa) ran an indoor paintball field is a HORRIBLE way to run a paintball field... that attracts groups of sub-14-year-olds with the bill paid by mom.

Fortunately, there were plenty of other customers willing to pay for an "authentic"/"rustic"/"whatever" experience, and Dan had a very successful business.


I think we sometimes tell ourselves that there's a "right" kind of paintball field, and that's simply not true. Different people want different playing experiences, just like some people like to stay in hotels (like me), and some people actually go out of their way to camp (ugh!).


You could probably put Larry's indoor field next to Dan's indoor field and they wouldn't affect each others' business at all.


Personally, I'd go with Larry's method, as I imagine it to be less work, and there's a reason my chosen career path is mostly pushing bits.


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Old 02-04-2013, 08:03 PM #34
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Is that sarcasm Raehl? I think it is, but i'm not quite sure.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:16 PM #35
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Chris Sarcastic?
Yes, it was Sarcasm....
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:26 PM #36
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Most teams will visit your park if you have a good speedball field
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:35 AM #37
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Is that sarcasm Raehl? I think it is, but i'm not quite sure.
Well, not exactly... the point was each owner had determined who their customers were going to be and were successful at running a field that catered to those customers. That's going to result in a field that is "horrible" at attracting the people who are NOT the intended customers.

For example, it doesn't appear either field attracted competitive speedball players... and that's probably intentional (or at least a welcome side effect.)

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Old 02-12-2013, 05:36 PM #38
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Most teams will visit your park if you have a good speedball field
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:52 PM #39
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Hey Larry, genuine question here (as it's got a bit heated a don't want to be mis-interpreted...)

Do you get many stag parties or groups of adult men come through? Your target audience is quite clearly kids, which makes a ton of sense, but wondering if it works for other demographics too?
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:53 PM #40
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Most teams will visit your park if you have a good speedball field
Excellent. I don't want teams to come, so won't have a speedball field
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:51 PM #41
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you need to consider whom you will cater to the most and base your decisions from that. You can make a successful business model as long as their is a demand for the product.

Having an indoor field where it's hot 364 days a year is probably not the best decision, unless it's extremely hot all the time and nowhere to cool off - then you would. You should do some market research and see what kind of industry you're dealing with, and base your decisions off of that. If you live next to a big mining industry, you would be dealing with a different clientele than if you lived next to a metropolitan area, or a rural farming community.

What's the average household income? How many people are estimated to be between the ages you're looking for? 9-15? 18-25? 28-35? All things to consider when considering the type of field to build, including your competitors.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:31 AM #42
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Hey Larry, genuine question here (as it's got a bit heated a don't want to be mis-interpreted...)

Do you get many stag parties or groups of adult men come through? Your target audience is quite clearly kids, which makes a ton of sense, but wondering if it works for other demographics too?
Oh yea. We get plenty of adults, teens, etc. today I have two adult private corporate groups coming in. Take a look through our Facebook photos from Saturday and you wi be able to get the feel of the mix.

************************************
EDIT>>>>

Ok... I grabbed a stack of waivers from this weekend. Here is a sampling so you can see the break down. I'd be curious for other fields to post theirs. But as a random sampling of 200 players...
Oldest was 60, youngest was 6

Age ---------- Number
6-9 --------> 26
10-12 ------> 60
13-15 ------> 39
16-19 ------> 10
20-25 ------> 12
26-39 ------> 36
40+ --------> 17

So, other fields may have drastically different ages brackets, but that is what we have... what was your last 200??
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