View Full Version : RIP Paintball Fury

04-26-2008, 02:41 PM
A little over 5 years ago, our local field was born from a field that was used quite a bit in outlaw games. I helped build it with a friend who played outlaw with me a lot (though I wasn't one of the owners), I was its first and with the exception of the year I stopped playing, was it's most dedicated customer, set up a lot of the procedures that were in place, was captain of it's first paintball team for almost 4 years (with a win, a couple of other podium placings and some not so good placings!), playing on it's current team, and generally spent a lot of long, lonely time waiting (especially during college football season) for people to show up to play.

However, the friend that I helped set it up with left about a year after we established the field, and the guy that took over (whose land it was on and was formerly a "silent" partner) didn't care about paintball. When he found it wasn't going to be a gold mine, he very obviously began steps to make the field shut itself down, without trying to show he was trying - although my close friend and teammate and I did our best to keep it running for the past 4 years. Some of the things I heard about that I feel was "sabotaging" the field were that he wouldn't tell people that it was open, would not give directions, not answer his phone for parties, etc, etc until finally, my teammate "bought" the field and started turning it around. At least he thought he bought it...

The deal was that my friend would operate and own the field, leasing the land for 100.00 a month, and pay off the debt accumulated by a new Supair field and other expenses. However, it was VERY apparent that this wasn't how the previous owner saw it. He still had access to the shop, and the cash register. My friend would tell me that every weekend, the previous guy would empty the cash register right down to the last dime so we couldn't even make change when rec players would come in. Yet, the field debt never went down - kind of suspicious...but that's not my concern because I'm not an owner, just a customer. However, it was obvious that he was more than a silent partner in this venture.

Even when my friend would drive to the City, pick up paint for the weekend with his own money, any money that was put in the register would disappear that night. It was really a mess for awhile...

Well, the previous guy finally told my teammate/new "owner" that the land was not going to be available anymore. Since it's on his land and we saw it coming 4 years ago, that was fine. At first, we had until the end of summer - gave us plenty of time to relocate. However, he kept sending my teammate emails about "expenses" which grew and grew and grew, and the time limit we had at the field got shorter and shorter and shorter, until finally, he gave us until the end of next month. My teammate, understandably frustrated with the hassle, the work and the money stuff - he told me multiple times he only ran the field for the team so we could have a decent sponsorship and a place to practice, said the heck with it and told him we'd be gone by the end of April.

The sad thing is, since my friend started taking over the field, our customer base started growing again by leaps and bounds. we were getting a LOT of rec players and parties every weekend - we had SEVERAL 1000.00 weekends over the past couple of years, though the debt never really disappeard. This field was REALLY starting to take off again. The biggest thing we heard from the new crowd was, "I remember when this was open about 4 years ago. We heard it closed. Had we known this field was still open, we'd have been here every weekend." What does that tell you?

Well, tomorrow is officially the last day. Unfortunately, I don't think we're going to do anything. The field is just going to die, whimpering. We didn't even have time to plan a proper fairwell. Paintball in NW Oklahoma just went back to the stone ages again. We were the longest lasting field in this part of the state - there was no other field within 100 miles that lasted longer than a few months. I think the closest field was about 150 miles, in any direction.

Now, my friend said that if he could find some land with a lot more trees on it, he'd keep a field here, if for nothing else to have a place to practice. Unfortunately, he's having problems finding land close enough to town that the locals will want to come to. To compound the proble, we've had trouble maintaining a team this time - only about half the team is dedicated enough to even bother showing up. We went from 11 members to 6 in less than three months, with two of those unable to make it on a regular basis due to work or distance (Chris Cole and another guy not on this forum drove up twice a month from OKC to practice!) The whole thing makes us wonder if the effort is worth it. I'm sure some of us (me included) will keep playing, but we're very unsure as to where.

To make matters worse, my friend doesn't know if he wants to mess with keeping the LLC and the name Paintball Fury in case some other complications come up with the previous owner. Of course, this means that every account we have with suppliers will come to an abrupt end and he'll have to start up all new accounts again. Talk about a hassle! Shoot, we were even starting to have other companies contact us to request dealerships (stands to reason - look at a map of NW Oklahoma and you'll see that it's a HUGE area. We were a monopoly!)

Right now, I'm just extremely pissed. I've spent a majority of my weekends over the past 5 years at this field. Even when we didn't play (which was a lot of the time) it was still a cool place for the guys to go to just hang out and BS, without having to worry about attitudes, egos, alcohol and all the issues that come along with that. We've had people tell us they really enjoy being at our field because we're so laid back, without causing safety issues, of course. Not many egos and attitudes to mess with at our field, just a good place to come hang out and play. We even took care of our rec players and noobs fairly.

So, I say "Goodbye" to Paintball Fury. For what it was, it was ours. Unfortunately, it looks like we're going to be the next victim in the paintball "recession".

04-26-2008, 03:14 PM
wow, "that really sucks!" doesnt even begin to describe it. hopefully you guys can find a small area of land that'll work. i'm not sure how zoning works for paintball, so you might have some trouble there. anyway, i wish you guys the best of luck.

04-26-2008, 03:16 PM
My local field just closed too. So now I have no place to play within 3 hours of where I live, except some POS field in Tallahassee with 1 field and bunkers that barely hold air for 1 game. The field I went to easily had 30-40 people out there a weekend. Like you it was the land owner who decided to screw the field. We had 4 Speedball field and 80 acres of woods for scenarios and woodsball, he had almost all the trees cut down now there is only 5-10 acres left and then he told the owners without any warning he didn't want the field on his land anymore.

04-26-2008, 04:59 PM
one of our favorite places to play was just closed also. they went to find out if they needed any special permits for a net and aparently they had to have a Special Use Permit that is required by the city of Mesa to operate the field =(

04-27-2008, 11:44 AM
well i feel sorry you guys, my local field tho, about an hr and half away, is booming right now. and on top of that a newer field which hadnt been very stable at its start is relocating so now i have a place only about 45min away. my plans for the future tho, go to college, get rich being an engineer and start a paintball field and store(probably online). right now im already making enough money to get a nice car(mind you im 15 going on 16) and save enough money to get some paintball stuff started around here. since im a 4.0 student and have been ihope to get a full ride to an ok/nice college. if that can happen, i plan to bring alot of paintball to WKY

04-27-2008, 12:46 PM
wow man, i hate that. theres no fields within an hour of where i live, with the exception of one that just just opened a few months ago, and i havent had a chance to check it out yet. luckily me and a buddy have a decent amout of woods around our houses so we just play woodsball as often as possible.

04-27-2008, 02:52 PM
my plans for the future tho, go to college, get rich being an engineer and start a paintball field and store(probably online). right now im already making enough money to get a nice car(mind you im 15 going on 16) and save enough money to get some paintball stuff started around here. since im a 4.0 student and have been ihope to get a full ride to an ok/nice college. if that can happen, i plan to bring alot of paintball to WKY

i think you'd be better off with a business degree than an engineering degree. or you could just take PTI classes (www.paintball-pti.com) and get field/store certified.

04-27-2008, 05:06 PM
wow, they have those, yeah, i wanna get a business degree but my parents want me to be an engineer or an architecht, were middle class, not saying i wouldnt love being rich but i can live with being middle class the rest of my life if i had to, im happy now arent i?(dont answer that) right now i sell stuff on eBay and make enough money to pay my pball expenses, right now im so fed u pwith not having a license for anohter year or so im about to buy a cheap bunker field or figure out somehting so i can play, but then ill charge my friends a fee to come:D