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Seeking advice on opening an Airsoft field

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Old August 28th, 2006, 00:56   #1
ulfilas
 
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Seeking advice on opening an Airsoft field

Hi there,

I'm wondering what is involved in opening an airsoft field. Beyond owning a very large piece of land with few neighbours and getting permission from the local municipality, I'd like advice on how what might be required to start a field.

Some questions I've thought of include:

How far are airsofters willing to drive to play airsoft?
Is it important to offer indoor facilities beyond a clubhouse?
Would I need to rent out guns?

I'd eally like to hear answers to questions that I haven't even thought of. Your good advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

ulfilas
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Old August 28th, 2006, 01:44   #2
Kokanee
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Might I suggest that you get involved in the sport yourself for a bit before you contemplate setting up a field. To the best of my knowledge, there is quite the active airsoft community in the Winnipeg region, and I havn't heard any horror stories of them scaring off new players or such.

Once you've got a good year or so under your belt, I believe you would be in a better position to get a field going.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 01:49   #3
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If you haven't already, I think the best thing to do is get yourself an account at www.mb-airsoft.com and introduce yourself. From there, you'll find a wealth of information from our active airsoft community. However you proably won't find a lot of support for your idea of opening a new field as there are already plenty of great places to play indoors and out.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 01:57   #4
ulfilas
 
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A good point, if you're looking at this from a perspective of wanting a business to match a hobby.

I'm looking at this more from a business-venture viewpoint to help pay the costs of an acreage. Paintball arenas are pretty well established in the city region, but airsoft is relatively new and there is only one public facility that I am aware of. There seems to be a need for an outdoor facility that is like exteme-tactics (i.e.: a place that is open to the adult public).

Thanks for the advice!

ulfilas




Quote:
Originally Posted by Kokanee
Might I suggest that you get involved in the sport yourself for
a bit before you contemplate setting up a field. To the best of my knowledge, there is quite the active airsoft community in the Winnipeg region, and I havn't heard any horror stories of them scaring off new players or such.

Once you've got a good year or so under your belt, I believe you would be in a better position to get a field going.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 02:31   #5
Kokanee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulfilas
How far are airsofters willing to drive to play airsoft?
Generally for a "local" field, 30-45min drive from your player base is great, up to an hour shouldnt be a problem, depending on the quality of the field. It's a good 1/2 hour haul to my local field here in Ottawa, and I think nothing of that. But it's a kickass establishment, and I would totally drive up to a hour regularly to get there for games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ulfilas
Is it important to offer indoor facilities beyond a clubhouse?
Indoor facilities are always a bonus. "Semi-permanent" structures such as a large festival tent /w wooden tables etc are great for staging areas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ulfilas
Would I need to rent out guns?
With rental guns comes repairing guns. If you are willing to deal with the hassle of maintaining a small fleet of aeg's then having a few around for loaning to prospective players is always nice. However given the mature community in Winnipeg, not having rentals shouldnt be a problem.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 11:47   #6
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Just remember, you won't get a high volume of airsofters comparing to paintballers, so it's going to make it tougher for you to breakeven let alone making a profit.

On top of building regular facilities, you still have to take in consideration of insurance cost.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 11:51   #7
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Dont know about an acre for outdoor play... generally when I play outdoors I'm looking for lots of land and space to play larger games, if I wanted upclose and small areas then I'd go indoors for CQB hence XT. Unless of course your planning on building a few houses and have CQB on the acreage so that the houses can be stormed and raided. Otherwise get about 80 acres and have some real games.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 14:43   #8
ulfilas
 
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It isn't just one acre :grin: it is closer to 20. But you're right.. it would need buildings too, otherwise it's just running around in the bush.

Thanks!

ulfilas


Quote:
Originally Posted by BloodSport
Dont know about an acre for outdoor play... generally when I play outdoors I'm looking for lots of land and space to play larger games, if I wanted upclose and small areas then I'd go indoors for CQB hence XT. Unless of course your planning on building a few houses and have CQB on the acreage so that the houses can be stormed and raided. Otherwise get about 80 acres and have some real games.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 15:00   #9
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All very true. My objective isn't to make a whole lot of money, just to have it pay for itself (including the land). Once it's doing that, I'll consider it a successful effort.

As an aside:

I remember 20 years ago, paintballers were few and far between. Many folks I knew said it was stupid and that lasertag would kill it... that never happened. Airsoft has the potential to be a much better received hobby among adults who have little time (I'm very much included in that group)... no mess and more milsim oriented, but it currenlty lacks sufficient venues for one-off playing. Not everyone can spend hours joining forums, getting to know people, buying equipment, and then if all goes well and everyone likes you, taking a day off to get together with a couple of dozen people in some distant woodland. From what I can see, it's mostly people in there 20s (sans kids) who can do that regularly... how I miss that time :sad:

Given that the next government isn't the NDP, the sport I think will catch too. What it needs is more mainstream places. True, there are risks with broarder exposure, but it'll never gain anywhere near paintball's acceptance in this spread-out country if the hobby is limited to exclusive groups and venues.

Thanks for your help and for reading my response! :cheers:

ulfilas

Quote:
Originally Posted by thephenom
Just remember, you won't get a high volume of airsofters comparing to paintballers, so it's going to make it tougher for you to breakeven let alone making a profit.

On top of building regular facilities, you still have to take in consideration of insurance cost.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 15:14   #10
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We have plenty of outdoor places in winnipeg
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Old August 28th, 2006, 16:19   #11
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Thanks Iggy
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Old August 28th, 2006, 16:33   #12
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You would have to have alot at that field in terms of Variety. I run a field myself, I also don't charge for games unless there are costs involved like props, food, etc. The other main field we play at that is larger has just as much setup as mine and follows the same idea. We are players not out to make money so we dont generally charge like I said unless there are personnal costs since I'm not made of cash.

So If you are thinking of making a field and charging cash even if its just abit you better have alot to offer. Also neither of the most popular fields are more than an hour away so better get something close, not giving more specific than that I dont like posting info on this site otherwise.

Also as was posted before, signup for our boards and try to get to know the people you are thinking of getting cash from. Generally we might actually care that way.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 18:22   #13
ulfilas
 
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Hi Ducky!

Thanks for the input and advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky
You would have to have alot at that field in terms of Variety. I run a field myself, I also don't charge for games unless there are costs involved like props, food, etc. The other main field we play at that is larger has just as much setup as mine and follows the same idea. We are players not out to make money so we dont generally charge like I said unless there are personnal costs since I'm not made of cash.

So If you are thinking of making a field and charging cash even if its just abit you better have alot to offer. Also neither of the most popular fields are more than an hour away so better get something close, not giving more specific than that I dont like posting info on this site otherwise.
This is what I'm talking about. Your group isn't really looking to attract casual players with hidden venues and a closed community. Let me tell you where I'm a coming from... (long story coming up... :zzz: )

When I went out for airsoft for the first time at extreme-tactics, only two people out of 20 some-odd had ever played before (both were regulars). The median age of the group was about 27, and few people new each other. These folks are intermittent players at best (all had a good time, but few thought they would return more than a few times a year or for special occasions). These folks likely wouldn't be welcome on your field and with damn good reason: casual and one-off hobbyists can be "problematic" or even dangerous (we've all heard wedding party golf-cart horror stories). However, for my purposes, they're the people I'm wanting to cater to... the casual, adult player.

Dedicated hobbyists might also come if there is always a game on, even if that means playing with newbs. Heck, the regulars at X-T had a blast kicking our butts and we had fun with them. The key is that if a hobby is hard to get into due to cost and inconvenience, then you're right... it'd be hard to make a dime with folks. But X-T seems to be doing alright and I think I might be able to give it a go as well.

You are very right on two counts.. it's gotta have more than just the basics on offer and it has to be close to town... I'm thinking 15 minutes from the perimeter is at the outer edge of what most folks will drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky
Also as was posted before, signup for our boards and try to get to know the people you are thinking of getting cash from. Generally we might actually care that way.
I think I'll take you up on that offer! Thank you kindly! :salute:

ulfilas
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Old August 28th, 2006, 18:58   #14
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One request and this is for everyone, when signing up for multiple forums it is appreciated to use the same username.
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Old August 28th, 2006, 19:11   #15
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Not to sound rude here but have you actually looked at land cost within 15min of Winnipeg? Or do you already own it? I was looking before at the price peracre around Stonewall which is around 500 per acre. Thats about 30 min from Winnipeg, the closer you get it literally skyrockets. Usable farmland close to a major city is EXTREMELY expensive. Also the stuff near Winnipeg is almost all cleared or darn close to it making playing airsoft totally shitty as fields ruin the experience especially since we have no hills. Nothing worse than seeing your enemies at 10X your AEG's distance.

There are farms close to Winnipeg worth Millions all because of location. This increase in price means that airsofters wont be able to make up the price not with casual players. Also there is the fact outdoor airsoft doesnt last all that long we generally only play till -10 whereas XT does alot of business during the winter even with the more Veteran players who generally never play there during summer months.

There is one more point which I think is the real breaker of this plan. I get a good chance to see the new players come out to my field, and generally always play so I get to see if they come back. Unfortunately Manitoba isn't very friendly to us enviroment wise, I've seen people quit playing outdoors just because of the bugs. I've seen even more XT players literally say they arn't hardcore enough for outdoor games and stop coming out. XT doesnt have that issue the enviroment in there is controlable, and I've never seen someone covered in Ticks, layering on 100% deet or having to go to a doctor because of poison ivy thanks to XT. All those factors plus the crazy summer heat potential water of previous years (hopefully that wont return), and you'll find there are only a few very dedicated bunch who return, all of which most likely would rather play with the MAA who are more that type of players, and have free fields. Even outdoor paintball fields around Winnipeg dont have this issue as they generally play on cut grass with inflated boundaries and tires not the thick forests we are accustomed with.
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