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Old September 16th, 2010, 09:24   #13
Zeonprime's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Waterloo, kitchener, guelph, mississauga, north east toronto
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Brian didn't entirely pull 70 acres out of his ass, the OP stated "Over 50 acres."

In that respect, I think Brian's estimates were extremely conservative: m102404 mentioned the limits of a small, static layout for an indoor facility but for outdoor facilities you also need to offer more than just a raw wooded area if you want to attract repeat customers and charge more than the most minimal entry fee on a regular basis.

Clearing away brush, undergrowth, dead wood, poison ivy and nuisances which cause people to stay away, clearing overly dense areas, creating trails... on 50+ acres that's going to require manpower to complete in a timely manner and most likely some equipment. A backhoe loader rental (your common John Deer tractor type) is about $350/day and a small bulldozer is about $500. This presumes you have your own operator.

Then you'll probably be building "stuff" -- from plywood "bunkers" to full fledged structures, depending on how deep your pockets are -- on the field, add assorted props, etc. It all adds up. Do a good job and you have a field people want to go to, do a crappy job and you end up with "the field has potential, too bad they don't fix it up."

You'll also most likely need proper permits for the construction and an environmental impact assessment the minute you start doing more than clearing away brush and dead logs.

We aren't trying to be asses or discourage anyone from starting a field, this is a very important reality check for what's probably a well intentioned, passionate enthusiast with big dreams. I personally would to be able to play on a huge field with acre-sized base camps and firebases with tents and structures and Hesco barriers all around, and big trails so you can use offroad vehicles on, etc; that's a milsimmer's wetdream.

But the reality of it is it's prohibitively expensive, enough so to push it near the realm of unrealistic: you need quality scenarios and quality players attending* to make it happen, and that's just not something you can pull off on a weekly basis. And that's a problem if you're trying to get your money back, let alone generate a ROI.

(* some people are going to level the "elitist" accusation at that statement, but experience from past events over the past decade supports it time and time again: the best scenario on the best field amounts to nothing if the bulk of the players attending aren't up to it).

edit: honestly, if you want to do this and get a ROI (or even break even) then set up for paintball. A paintball field can generate a decent revenue. Just have the foresight of running water lines to the various structures when you're building, buy a pickup with a high pressure washer and clean up the structures the day before airsoft events. Then airsofters won't have to deal with paintgoo and are more likely to want to use the field.

Damn Drake you beat me to it with replying to Bobby there.

As others pointed out, Brian has the most current experience doing this and he probably is being more conservative then some of the real world numbers he has seen. As for the size of one acre, you want to play on the postage stamp of 212'x 212'? guess we would no longer have anyone play as sniper.

I hope the investor finds a way to bring us a new venue and manage to get a return on their investment, new fields are always great especially when they are well thought out and bring a combination of urban and rural together.

Be safe not just with yourself, but those you play with. If you are reckless with other peoples safety then you will leave.
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