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Project Study For A New Airsoft Field Near Toronto

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View Poll Results: Would you go and how frequently?
2-3 times a week. 20 22.99%
More than 3 times a week. 6 6.90%
Yes 62 71.26%
No. 11 12.64%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 87. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 15th, 2010, 21:42   #1
GoldenBoy17
 
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Lightbulb Project Study For A New Airsoft Field Near Toronto

Hi, I am an investor who is planning to start an airsoft field near Toronto because I know many people are looking for one, including me. But before I plan everything and buy the land I must conduct a project study. I will need your help. I need to see how many of you would come to the airsoft field and how frequently you would go. There will also be a shop and "Gun Doctor" there. It will be probably be more than 50 acres. One indoor field and one outdoor, and i'm working on the location but for sure it will be close to the Toronto area. Sorry, I forgot about that. DONT FORGET IT"S A MULTIPLE CHOICE POLL.

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Old September 15th, 2010, 21:45   #2
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location, size of venue, and what the venue has to offer should be included with your post before any of us can make a statement
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Old September 15th, 2010, 21:54   #3
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Heads up, there are a lot of fields in Toronto, and as it is, there is a set attendance for each field per week or bi monthly.

While I'm all for new venues, if you set this up with the intent to MAKE A PROFIT: It will likely fail.

If you have the venue ALREADY, and want to open it up to airsoft with the intent to draw a small income and build the community: You will likely succeed.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 21:55   #4
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I say yes but based on location, schedule of games, type of organization, crowd. As an investor seems these coefficients are critical. Tie a store with it (like one with real stock...not the usual, "we're waiting for our stock at the border." stuff and I'm in and I spend money. Have clinics and educational and training sessions and perhaps some proprietary qualification and level achievement and you may just be able to entice repeat business. Upgrade and ongoing development of facilities helps. Don't stagnate...so many do. This and so much more...all things to think about.

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Old September 15th, 2010, 21:55   #5
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Thanks, that was good to know.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 23:27   #6
Brian McIlmoyle
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Investor, has the ring of someone who intends to see a return on their investment.

Lets run the numbers,

LAND- in the Toronto area, lets say 70 acres..- $400 000 to $600 000

Buildings- to build and indoor venue and support structures .. $150 000.

Permits- approvals - legal - $20 000.

Insurance - $10 000 annually

Conservative 1st year start up expenses. $550 000 to $850 000.

Ongoing expenses- annualized

Insurance $10 000
TAXES - Property Tax - $15000
Utilities - 12000
Staff - 60 000

$97000 -- ahh lets roll it to an even $100 000.

Lets presume a 10 year return on investment of 0% and NO profit or income for the investor

the enterprise must generate 1.55 to 1.8 million lets go to 1.6 million for argument sake.

this enterprise must generate $160 000 each year of operation to return the investors money at the end of 10 years.

That is about 13500 a month. at 6 days a week operation that is $540 a day.

at a per player session price point of $20 .. that is 27 players a day..

So... that does not sound that bad.. if you can develop an owner income stream from the pro shop and Consumable sales.

The question is.... Do you want as the "investor" to make nothing over the 10 years...

So lets presume a 8% annualized return on investment and a $600 000 initial investment

This adds $48000 a year to the required revenue- lest say the owner is content with this as income.

This adds 8 players per day required to 35 players per day

Still in the realm of possibility

So If you have the 1 mill to do it...
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Old September 15th, 2010, 23:39   #7
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So lets talk about player base

An active airsofter is a person who plays more than 6 times a year.

VERY few people play weekly ... some play 2 or 3 times a month but they are not the norm.

The vast majority of players play 1 time a month in the summer and then not at all in the 4 cold months.

Now if your venue is Kick ass... it will attract players

you need 900 player sessions a month to meet your income targets.

if the average player plays 1 times a month you need about a player base of 20 000 to meet your target.

there are not 20 000 airsofters in the GTA...

its more like 1000 .... so to be profitable ( or to keep the doors open) pretty much every airsofter in the GTA would have to play at your facility every month... that is simply not going to happen

And this would have to be ongoing for 10 years for you to get your money out... so there will need to be substantial re-investment to keep the venue fresh and changing...

IF the player base was there such a business would be viable .. but it is not..

However if you also got contracts with Police to do training at the facility you may be able to develop other revenue streams to reduce the pressure on the Airsoft player base.

in all... it's a huge risk... If it was not... I would have done it already
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Old September 15th, 2010, 23:52   #8
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I think if you're gonna open a facility to play airsoft you might as well open it for paintball and a training facility too.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 00:02   #9
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@ GoldenBoy17: Please listen to Brian, when it comes to running an airsoft venue he is as close to an authoritative source one can find on this board.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 07:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian McIlmoyle View Post
Investor, has the ring of someone who intends to see a return on their investment.

Lets run the numbers,

LAND- in the Toronto area, lets say 70 acres..- $400 000 to $600 000

Buildings- to build and indoor venue and support structures .. $150 000.

Permits- approvals - legal - $20 000.

Insurance - $10 000 annually

Conservative 1st year start up expenses. $550 000 to $850 000.

Ongoing expenses- annualized

Insurance $10 000
TAXES - Property Tax - $15000
Utilities - 12000
Staff - 60 000

$97000 -- ahh lets roll it to an even $100 000.

Lets presume a 10 year return on investment of 0% and NO profit or income for the investor

the enterprise must generate 1.55 to 1.8 million lets go to 1.6 million for argument sake.

this enterprise must generate $160 000 each year of operation to return the investors money at the end of 10 years.

That is about 13500 a month. at 6 days a week operation that is $540 a day.

at a per player session price point of $20 .. that is 27 players a day..

So... that does not sound that bad.. if you can develop an owner income stream from the pro shop and Consumable sales.

The question is.... Do you want as the "investor" to make nothing over the 10 years...

So lets presume a 8% annualized return on investment and a $600 000 initial investment

This adds $48000 a year to the required revenue- lest say the owner is content with this as income.

This adds 8 players per day required to 35 players per day

Still in the realm of possibility

So If you have the 1 mill to do it...

You're forgetting lawyer fee's.. But i think that some of your price claims are outrageous.. The price of land and a building is way too high.. 70 acres is way too much you don't even need that much. An acre is about the size of a soccer field..
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Old September 16th, 2010, 07:58   #11
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70 acres was probably drawn from an previous example Brian investigated....simply adjust it accordingly.

One aspect to consider is the variety of the venue. Static venues (indoor) quickly become overplayed and, super awesome setup or not, become boring. It's like playing the same level of a game, over and over and over. After 3 rounds on the same indoor warehouse I'm bored...but a 2 week break from it will refresh it.

A varied outdoor field/forest area is "naturally organic" and if it's large enough seems infinitely varying.

Having more areas and limiting play to one area now and another later keeps things going.

So don't discount building in the costs of reconfiguring the indoor venue a couple of times into budget...or coming up with a system where it's flexible any/every time.

There are training setups with "mobile" walls that can be rebuilt like office furniture. Some are shoot through proof and can be used for live fire training....expensive though.

There's a setup here in TO that's built to be reconfigurable...but the indoor venue is tight for the size of the buildings that can be moved around...so really all that's possible is turning a small 1 room building around or shifting it over a couple of feet.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:03   #12
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Originally Posted by BobbyDangerous View Post
You're forgetting lawyer fee's.. But i think that some of your price claims are outrageous.. The price of land and a building is way too high.. 70 acres is way too much you don't even need that much. An acre is about the size of a soccer field..
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.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:24   #13
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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.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:24   #14
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I actually thought most of his estimates were either bang on or LOW.

Rotational areas (one is being played while you are building the next one) require at least 50 acres.

One thing you overlooked completely are the hoops you are going to have to jump through with the Ministry of Natural resources now since they started diligently looking into what happens on paint-ball fields when airsofters use it.

Thousands of styrene BB's is something the MNR is aware of now and may no look highly upon in the future.

Thats coming from a Bastard.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:34   #15
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3 coffees later and I'll try to put in a bit of positive advice....

The UPSIDES to doing this in the GTA/TO/surrounding areas are:
- there are lots of experienced players and groups to draw from (if you get along with them of course) for information, advice and pointers
* field setup
* desireable field features
* playability of the environment
* danger/hot spots
* targeting your player ($) base
* running/hosting games
* etc...
...so there's local guys who know the lay of the land and who are willing to help/advise/participate.

- there are numerous examples of what works and what doesn't

- establishing and maintaining a good rep is key
* fields that are deemed "dangerous" are dropped like a hot rock and the word spreads FAST
* fields that are "caustic" (i.e. poison ivy, mostly swamp, etc...) tend to be avoided
* fields that put up with idiots are struck from the "lets make sure we play there" list pretty quick (i.e. shooting out lights, busting up the place, unsafe conduct, alarming the public, etc...)

The major hurdle to bound is the limited numbers of airsoft guys who will come out regularly (i.e. weekly). As Brian described, there just aren't enough bodies to support a venue with just airsoft. Mix in other training (mil/police), games (i.e. zombie themes, cosplay, who dunnit, parties/events, paintball), proshop and whatever else and entreprenure could cook up...and you'll find that airsoft play probably ends up as one of the minor sources of revenue. If the place is good and has a good rep the airsoft stream of revenue will be steady....but it'll be small in comparison to other streams.

Unlike paintball...there isn't really a consumable source of income with airsoft. Batteries and BBs are "cheap" and go a long, long way. BUT there is a huge accessory market and income to be had there. There is also a lucrative build/tune/repair market to be had...but it's a lot of work.

And...not sure how to put this politically....but here it is...
There's a good majority (in numbers) of local AS guys who are:
- cheap....perhaps frugal is a better term...but in layman's words they haven't regularly got $400 a month to dump on airsoft/related...and if they do they spend it on gear/guns and have little left for actual game fees.
- non-mobile (i.e. they don't have access to a vehicle and are dependant on public transportation)
- fickle/picky....they don't like getting their stuff all goopy with paint, sharing time on field with others, will go hot/cold on a venue, like to be catered to.

* that said...if the venue/game is a "good one" they'll sign up fast and furious (a recent game signed up 50+ players in less than a week) and gladly pay the game fee even it it's higher than "normal". If it's a good game with good shooters...there's nothing stoping it from being a great event.

Best of luck
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