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Old 06-02-2018, 09:54 PM   #51 (permalink)
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Former Maine college student here (Bates College, Class of '15). Figured I'd throw in my two cents.
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THere was a terrific field in Lewiston, right up the road from Bates. Built inside an old racetrack stadium. It had an indoor speedball, indoor "urban", and outdoor courses. Plus, a woods field up the road.

Here is a pic from before it was a field:


It was there from 88 to 93 or so. Right around the time the economy tanked, and most of the fields in Maine closed.

Around 2000 or so, the economy picked up, and lots of new fields opened in Lewiston. Lost Valley Paintball, Flying MOnkeys, SplatEM. etc You had the tech crash, hurting the economy, and most fields closed around 2005 or so.

You can see the pattern here. With the housing crash, it really wiped out lots and lots of fields. Paintball is entirely dependant on disposable cash. Some of the larger fields absorbed players from smaller fields.

Paintball has never really recovered from that. We are heading towards a peak economy again. The unemployment rate is very low. Hopefully, people start seeing paintball as a viable business model again.
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:34 AM   #52 (permalink)
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Lewiston Field

If memory serves me. You're talking about Paintball Passion run by Alan Gee.

I guess just recently Lewiston lost another one, I never got to it but they had one called Scorpion Paintball that some of the guys are chattering about closed down???? Can't confirm or deny it. Haven't had the time to make the trip down.

But if the Lewiston Auburn area can't support a field I think that's about 90,000 people and a large college as well within 10 miles. Something's wrong!

I did a list a couple of years ago about fields in Maine that have closed. It wasn't 100% complete, but I found over 60 that have shut down. Many of the owners I knew personally. I'm pretty sure that leaves us as the oldest constantly operating field in Maine. We started a year after Tippmann came into the sport.

I've watched a lot of changes. Many for the better some not so much.

I'm pretty sure we've figured out our path to survival yet again. So we'll be ramping up our last 8 years. That will give me 40 years in service at the recreation of Paintball. I think that's enough. I certainly have met some wonderful folks along the way and it's been cool making a living by helping people have fun. Of course if you're a pessimist you could say I've met some really "SPECIAL" players and can't understand why it's so hard to get folks to have fun. But I try not to dwell on that. Look at the positive, it helps keep your blood pressure down.

After all this last week I had a player in that made his first return visit in only 20 years. They say the repeat customer is the key to success. I hope he doesn't wait another 20 before he plays again! otherwise I'll look more like this
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:26 PM   #53 (permalink)
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If memory serves me. You're talking about Paintball Passion run by Alan Gee. :
Yes. I worked there for a while, but left. I hate to say it, but he was a crook.
At one point he robbed himself of everything in the pro-shop/field, then tried to make a massive insurance claim.

Which was denied for being the most obvious case of insurance fraud they had ever seen.

Right around that time (93?) pretty much all the fields in southern maine had closed, so I started making the "commute" to AG of Weare every sunday. About 90 minutes south, instead of 60 minutes north.

It just doesnt seem like people today have the motivation to drive those long distances. When the price of gas spiked during the housing crash, that made things so much worse.

For example, I remember when I drove to Castle Conquest back in 2008, I spent about $200 just on friggen gas! But I still did it. I know other have made generalizations about millennials, but unless you put something on there doorstep, they dont seem interested. And paintball, as a business model, is not something that works well on a small scale.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:42 PM   #54 (permalink)
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Yeah I was aware of his lack of honesty. I remember hearing stories about a disappearing skid of paintballs. Yet it didn't seem to bother the players that supported him???

Oh well. I agree that folks don't drive anymore. I chalk that up to a change in the younger folks. They have gotten use to everything at their fingertips. When I was young back in the Paleozoic era, A friend and I would get a "idea" we wanted chicken. So at 8PM we would head for Bangor to get a bucket of KFC. That was almost 100 mile round trip just for chicken. But we were young and the road trip with a buddy was a fun way to spend a few hours. I know gas was 1.25 a gallon back then. But I was earning 2.35 an hour so I can't say it was really more expensive today. I grew up in the rural area where we got to accept if we wanted more things we had to drive to get them. The city folks grow up just the opposite. Everything they want is within reach and if it isn't it should be.

I don't expect to pull players for rec from more then 50 miles, for a special event maybe 100 miles. But I think there is another tiny issue we all over look. The "SPARKPLUG" Sounds silly. But in most rec. groups there is one player that's the driving force to make it happen. He may run the gambit from ramrod to mother hen. Whatever it takes to get his buddies to the field. But he's given up. It may be because the newer players are a little bit more laid back or lazy. But it's made it too hard for these folks to keep trying to get them out and moving. Once they give up, their groups are dead. In the past they would call them and visit to get them moving sometimes almost to the edge of harassment it would seem. But now it's a few texts or an e-mail or a post on facebook. Then we all pretend to be surprised when they don't show up.
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Old 06-29-2018, 08:41 PM   #55 (permalink)
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I don't live in Maine I am just visiting family but in Augusta but I ran into a laser tag place that was trying to start to play reball. They haven't started playing there because they are waiting for their hpa tanks. You might want to go check it out and see if they would let you advertise. I don't think they plan on expanding it into a large field.
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Old 07-01-2018, 09:51 PM   #56 (permalink)
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Going to talk to the wife about this, but how do you guys feel about maybe doing a Meetup? I'll be coming from South Carolina, but I'm definitely down to go...if for no other reason than to show this man that the community still cares. Any interest?
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Old 07-02-2018, 04:27 AM   #57 (permalink)
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Old 07-02-2018, 06:12 AM   #58 (permalink)
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I'd make the trip if I could get the time off
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:41 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Maybe towards the end of July, early August? I'm open to suggestions.
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Old 07-02-2018, 08:47 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Maybe towards the end of July, early August? I'm open to suggestions.
I will be in Maine from August 22 - August 26 staying less than an hour from Guilford. If we could make it in that window I am down like a clown.

Otherwise it's a bit too much of a haul for me for me to justify for a single day.
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