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Is airsoft dead?

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Old July 28th, 2008, 11:55   #1
Farmboy
 
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Is airsoft dead?

Are the older players getting out?

Is there any point in catering to the airsoft market?

I've tossed the idea around for a couple of years about an indoor facility, however with the way I see things it wouldn't be worth it.

Guys are complaining about spending $20 for gas to get to a game, so why would the spend money on a membership for a facility.

I've lost count of how many threads there have been about this subject and yet it seems there are very few who have done it.

Brian M, I'll probably give you a shout about it again but basically, is attendence growing or shrinking?

If guys can't make it there with public transit...........
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Old July 28th, 2008, 11:57   #2
MadMorbius
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The "Old Guys" are still around, just not around here. You're right about public transit though.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:12   #3
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attendace is growing here. I think we had a record of 80ish ppl coming out to our last mil sim
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:15   #4
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I don't think airsoft is dead. Although it seems difficult to keep it alive in Canada, for the obvious reasons. During the winter time we usually head out to XT in Winnipeg of which is an indoor arena, I think if their commited enough to the sport, they will come.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:26   #5
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I've seen this idea tossed around by a few people, and there are few models available for success. Not speaking from experience but from observation, an indoor facility in Ontario will either need to have other uses during airsoft down time to make up the bulk of its revenue, or else cater to airsoft players only as a secondary market (i.e. full-time training facility for LE, mil, etc.) Players are a fickle and cheap lot, especially on this forum.

There are those willing to pay for memberships, be they monthly or annually, but these are very much in the minority.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:27   #6
WARFIGHTER
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Seems to be growing here too. You may want to look at paintball to make it feasible financially, I know when I was looking at starting a field here there definitely weren't enough airsoft numbers to make it work and paintball was going to be the bread and butter. If the airsoft players there are picky about getting the washable and in most cases wipable paint on their gear you could just do the reball or whatever it's called, where its the reusable rubber balls. That would probably supplement your income from the facility greatly depending on what kind of a paintball community you have there. Now, before some clown suggests I'm saying have the airsofter's play at the same time as the paintballer's, that isn't the case. Doing group bookings, 1/2 prepaid is the way to go in my books. But anyway, just thought I'd put in my .02 I think we need more places and best of luck if you go for this. I'll for sure try to get out to the opening game.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:32   #7
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I find in a lot of activities I'm involved in that attract enthusiasts have this problem. Younger folks who've dumped all their cash into one purchase and then suddenly come up short for any unforeseen circumstances or consumables that are needed to keep the hobby rolling. Tires and gas for motorcycles, parts for bicycles, gear for all of the activities.

If it was a decent fixed facility Iím sure any committed play would sign on. If you ran rentals you'd speed the entry of the new players who feel they can't play till they have a AEG.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:35   #8
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Quote:
You may want to look at paintball to make it feasible financially,
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or else cater to airsoft players only as a secondary market
Paintball is out of the question and airsoft would be a secondary market.

It's good to hear it's growing though.

Memberships I'm thinking would be around $360 a yr.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:36   #9
Kimbo
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In Calgary, numbers seem to be growing. The old guys are still around, but are growing tired of the same old indoor venues. Thats why we'll drive 10 hours to CBQ events like the ones in Melville.

Outdoor, people either want 'run and gun' games or are looking towards better milsims. The numbers are still there (125 signups already for the Aug 16th game here in Alberta), but we need quality games more than quantity. I think we should be trying to put on some larger inter provincial games so we can get the numbers, as well as the excitement, up. Possibly have a common game theme run through all the games to encourage continued participation throughout all of the games.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:42   #10
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Memberships I'm thinking would be around $360 a yr.
Well that's about 3 bottles of Scotch, or 4 tanks of gas so not unlivable for us golden agers. What about the kids, some kind of sweat equity where they come and build the kill house and sweep up BBs for $ off?
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:50   #11
WARFIGHTER
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Oh, well if airsoft is your secondary market anyway, then what's holding you back? Get er done! If your depending on your secondary market, it isn't secondary... So out of curiosity, if I may ask who is your primary?


Quote:
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I think we should be trying to put on some larger inter provincial games so we can get the numbers, as well as the excitement, up. Possibly have a common game theme run through all the games to encourage continued participation throughout all of the games.
+1
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Old July 28th, 2008, 13:01   #12
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$360 a year is a deal and a half.

If there was a dedicated facility near me you can bet I'd be signed up.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 13:01   #13
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Gas is the problem why I can't go to every game. I live 3 hour return trip from the playing field or from the closest member.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 13:08   #14
Brian McIlmoyle
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For me

The indoor airsoft thing is a sideline to boost the use of my multi use facility.

Because my facility is multi use it places some limitations regarding what we can do and the configuration of the space. Everything I use has to be portable and storeable.

I see a significant drop off in attendance at TTAC3 in the summer, we go from average 12-16 people ( which is all I want ) down to 4-8 people for a typical night... I used to run regardless of numbers.. but I've become selfish and will only run a session if the numbers warrant it.

I also have an outdoor field and run monthly operations there as well. So that balances out the reduction in attendance indoors.

Here in the GTA / South ontario area the market is quite fractured with many field and many game options ... Regular games tend to be smaller as in any given weekend there are often 3 sometimes 4 events going on within a 100 KM of Toronto.

I've done the business models and market research.. and indoor only facility can work but you need a space about 7000 - 10000 square feet and you need to cultivate proffessional Clientel that will use the facility for training.. And you would need to market to the "adventure experience" types.. Ive done a number of special events for groups that have nothing to do with the airsoft community.. but wanted a "tactical adventure" for teambuilding and also for a "out of the ordinary" group activity.

With proper marketing.. it is very likely I could book an event like this every week ... the stumbling block is ramping up the equipment and such to support gearing up 20 people with MP5 and glocks and gear.. up front I'd need $25000 to do it.. so ROE-- is going to be a couple of years anyway..

I had plans to do all this... but my career took a different route and I am simply too busy now to push it forward at anything other than a snails pace... I'm slowly aquiring the stuff I need ... but my timeline is pushed way out.

I've had to turn away professional training requests ( from both Military and LE ) because I did not have the equipment.. and could not ramp up in time to meet their needs due to the limitatons in acumulating equipment.. No suppliers could accomodate an order of 20 mp5s + 4 mags and 20 G19s +3 mags each in anything less than "maybe sometime this year" kind of timelines.

Fact is .. If I had the money and time.. I'd jump in with both feet because the numbers show ( coupled with the contacts I've had ) that this could be a good business ... but certainly.. "airsofters" would not be your principal market.. they would only be a bit of "grease" to keep it all moving. The typical airsoft demographic is "young male" and their financial status is unstable to say the least, counting on such a fickle clientel is frustrating to say the least.

For now.. I'm content in what I am doing... but I sure don't maky any money at it.. balanced against my time and investment.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 17:35   #15
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I hear ya Brian. Money is always the key factor. Your plan is sound and if you have the capital to dump I'm sure it will take 8-12 months to break even for corporate bookings. Once you get your first couple of major clients the publicity by word of mouth can grow exponentially faster than you think. Not too sure about the MIL/LE side though but if you get a consistent government contract that's a very decent source of income. I used to work for a guy who ran one of the first paintball fields back in Singapore, he has the same business plan - broke even within 18 months of operation. He's been running it for almost 10 years now and turning in profit for the last 7+ years at least. He also started to supply government contracts with equipment for training and has pretty much cornered the market in southeast asia. The only difference here is he's a rich kid worth several million and his now deceased grandfather used to be worth over 4 billion USD and he's got money to burn.
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