I just noticed this post so I figured I can offer some insight.
No matter what brand of airsoft gun or gear you buy, they will not last you for rentals. Either it be a $200 Aftermath, or a $1500 Systema. And this is mostly because of the following reasons:
a. Airsoft guns are NOT made for commercial use.
b. People who rent generally have the "I don't really care" attitude so they will not treat your equipment with the respect it deserves. And you can't really blame them. It's kinda human nature. Much like people who get a rental car and the first thing they do is go to an empty parking lot to do donuts.
c. VERY FEW People who rent have no basic knowledge of airsoft period. So they will abuse your equipment intentionally or unintentionally. ie. Bang the guns to walls, single hands them while firing and ends up dropping your gun, or the classic "the gun is jammed, so let's keep pulling the trigger on full auto till I hear something break!". This is mostly because they don't know any better, but because of that, you have a series of things to replace with your guns.
Solution: Find yourself a good tech, one that can produce work in a timely matter (as that is very important to you to get the gun back up and going without doing a sloppy job). Get a bunch of money, and stock up on replacement parts because your gonna need them.
Gear is important as you need to buy that by the volume, and often "double" the amount of rental guns you have as the gear would need to be sanitized and washed after every session, and this would need time to clean and time to dry, so you want a back up set to get going for your next game/group.
Find out if the building you are looking at meets code to have an entertainment facility. Safe to say if your building is considered "older" or was never avalible to the general public (ie. warehouse, factory, etc). Chances are it does not meet proper coding. Your best bet is to hire an architect and have them examine the building before you decide to lease or purchase any properties. Personally we must have seen at least 10 buildings before we found one that "could do" and that wasn't meeting code, that was not requiring a complete tear down and rebuild like the others.
Find out what your lease rate is per sqft. For an airsoft facility, square footage is very important. Our gaming arena is 16,000sqft and I think that is "just enough". See how much it cost you just for rent a month, then find out if you are even going to come close to paying off "just" the rent, never mind the rest of your operating cost (staff, equipment, basic bills, etc).
Lease rates varies from province to province, area to area, district to district. So find that out first before you even look into other matters and ask yourself if it is even possible to pay the bills just for rent from your client base.
Originally Posted by Brian McIlmoyle
check their prices.. and you can see where pricing needs to be to support such a venue
average $35 to start and $20 / 45 minutes / $2 for reloads
if you popped in for 3 hours of play you would likely drop $80
Just like you said Brian, the cost to "support such a venue" is rather high.
But just to correct a few points on that. The average price for a complete rental package is around $30 (taxes in). That includes your rental AEG, set of four standard magazine, your tactical vest, full face mask and your helmet. Your 45 minutes of game time is included along with your 10-15 minute safety turioral.
In short it is $30 per game, and half price for the next session/s.
The way we run games here is a little different then an average outdoor game. Since you are on a time limit, we have "unlimited" respawn rules that maximizes your game time. We also find this to "reduce" the amount of cheaters/no calling hits as players don't really have to "sit out" once they get hit until everyone else is done. If they get hit, they simply have to walk back to respawn and they head back into the game right away. Also because of this "no down time" style play, the energy level and that stamina required is quite high. Most players (especially first timers) only have enough energy to play for one session. While the more "seasoned"/regulars can sometimes do two games a day with a reasonable "break" in between.
Pardon my grammar and my ramble. I just want to give a heads up to those following the same path. And hope they learn from my mistakes.