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Old 05-09-2018, 09:16 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Talk to Slim, I know Maine is a bit remote, but I'd be willing to make the trek for a big stock class/pump game.

Dutchman I'll be heading to Moosehead in the middle of August. I'll convince my cousins, wife and brother that we have to go play at your field. I'll give you a buzz when I know dates.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:18 PM   #42 (permalink)
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This morning I watched a news story on TV about college students getting help with living skills. They find other students to teach how to do there things because the kids don't want to be judged. I can understand that. But it was telling in that what they were being shown was things like how to balance a check book, how to change a tire, how to add oil to your car, how to compare prices when shopping, Even how to cook (warm) a can of soup.
We have failed these kids as parents if we taught them none of these skills...
Former Maine college student here (Bates College, Class of '15). Figured I'd throw in my two cents.

To start, though I hate to generalize any cohort of people, you're not off base about this generation. I can understand how many see millennials as lazy and entitled. But I'm not sure that's the issue. Also let's not forget that millennials are a byproduct of their parents' generations (i.e. culturally-Marxist, flower-power kids). The sad state of the game in Maine rests on something else entirely.

I posted up this thread in 2015: Paintball in Maine...where is it?

As you can see, participation was sparse. One member mentioned a game at Dutchman, but outside of that, NOTHING. Paintball in Maine just doesn't exist.

On a personal level, I played football at Bates, so time was greatly limited during paintball-playable months. When I had free time in the off-season (read: Winter), the reason I never made it up to Dutchman--distance. From Lewiston, it was a two-hour drive each way. Which, for a kid living on peanuts/beer money, wasn't feasible. I saw your field online and it looked fantastic, I just never could swing the trip up to Guilford.

That said, there are colleges within your area that you should obviously target (i.e. Colby (damn Mules...) & UMaine) and I'm sure you are. But, I'm not sure if college kids are your preferred demographic here. Limited resources, limited time. Easier to booze on the weekends than to organize a whole trip to go paintballing. Trust me on this.

I'm sure you're doing this too, but try to attract the local high school age kids and younger. Again, limited resources, but in these cases, parents are local and willing to spend $$$; birthday parties; private groups; LOW IMPACT (which is not to be understated). These are the audiences you must target, despite their affinity for couch-potato-ing and video games.

From what it seems, you have a great field, Dutchman. And it's obvious you care about the game. And I love to see that. But you can't fight population density and that looks like that might be your biggest problem. Throw your field an hour outside of Boston or an hour from Portland and I think a lot of these attendance issues clear up immediately. But, rural Maine, esp. north of Bangor doesn't seem to have the money or the time for paintball. It's a sad state of affairs.

But that doesn't mean it's impossible to survive. A well-run field will do well, no matter what. Keep doing the small things right. Target the right groups. Introduce low-impact. Take action photos of players and post them on Facebook. Create ambassador programs at local high schools. Get locals to care about the game as much as you do. Transition to Reservation-only.

Whatever you do, don't pack it in.
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Last edited by packersrule729; 05-09-2018 at 12:26 PM.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:07 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Riot, I can't get a big scenario game together. The best I can muster is maybe 50 players. The fields facebook page proves next to useless. The players aren't watching it. Most of the followers are old player or staff that are inactive and pretty well timed out of the sport. That being said I do enjoy chatting with them about the old days.

On here with this thread I've reached 1 Maine player. So the kids may not be here to reach. All I can do is offer it I can't make them come. I always figured we could draw 50 miles for rec play and maybe 100 miles for something special. But I don't have the ability to get the players together because they have semi retired playing once or twice a year. Or they are unaware of this field which has been in operation for almost 33 years.

I fear the time of the rec player has passed. Now we are looking at the purpose games. College, High School graduations, Birthdays, Jack and Jill games. I just got back from Waterville, which is about 70 minutes away. We did a college game down there. Only drew 16 kids. I had to push them for 3 hours to get them to go through the paint in the package. We had to get ride of 10,000 balls. The school picked up all but $15 of the expense for each kid. So almost free ball and we got 16 players????? Sat I'm in New Hampshire running a game for 150 players. This is where the business model seems to be taking me. Sat. will be a 18 hour day for me. Most of it in the sun. I'm 60 years old, that's getting tougher to push through. Sunday will be 12 hours of clean up from the game. If a rec player stops in we'll put a game on for him Sunday. But I'm closing the shop Sat. No one has called or booked so while I might sit that station and not make any money. I'm not paying a staffer to sit there for no income. One great thing about Sat. game I have to take jumpsuits, so Sunday I'll have 150 flight suits to wash and dry at 6 to a load! I'll get them done before next weekend.
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Old 05-13-2018, 06:51 AM   #44 (permalink)
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JonnyD. if you do make it down, call me first. I may not be sitting the shop 60 hours a week like before. Remember, if you want to bring some dogs and burgers. The grills are always free to use. You can cook up lunch and tell tall tales about paintball before heading back out to play. You know it seems silly to most, but I think it really adds to the day and the experience, it might even help the group bond a little bit. It's and easy way to add value to the outing. Look forward to seeing you folks.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:35 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Hey jonnydread, let me know when you’ll be there and I’ll try to gather up a few old players, been a long time player at the Dutchman, getting old but I still like to pretend I can still play once in a while.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:39 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Hey jonnydread, let me know when youíll be there and Iíll try to gather up a few old players, been a long time player at the Dutchman, getting old but I still like to pretend I can still play once in a while.
Will do!
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Old 05-16-2018, 07:47 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Let me know and I'll try to rally some more folks to play as well. I think if I beg and plead I can get 4-5 off their couch.
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Last edited by dutchman; 05-17-2018 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 06-01-2018, 10:40 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Well the numbers are in for May. Breaking my players down into several groups.
1. Travel games. We go to them. 75%
2. Purpose groups Birthday, Bachelor and company games. 22.5%
3. Recreational players that includes walk on. 2.5%

So if I read this right, Travel customers won't make the trip to the field, Purpose groups have to have a special reason to come. There not coming to play for the sake of playing, their celebrating something by playing. That leaves me with the 2.5% to try to fill home events with. In short the rec player is dead and gone. Which means so is the positive growth of the sport in my area.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:53 AM   #49 (permalink)
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2.5%?!?! Didn't think it was that bad!!
Kinda hard to keep a full facility/field open just for walk on players if that is less than 3% of your customer base. Maybe now that school is out your numbers will increase?
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Old 06-02-2018, 10:12 AM   #50 (permalink)
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I know for myself that it's too far of a drive to come up just for rec ball to flying Dutchman, especially when there's a couple fields significantly closer.
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