Ok, so with the Location Page, I talked you into buying a building – but now which one? What Size do I need? What do I need to do to it? All good questions – let’s start with the size.
The first thing I want you to do is ignore every comment you get from any paintball players. I say that, because I heard nothing except “Dude – if it’s not big enough for 2 full sized 7 man tourney X ball fields – no ones going to go there…” about 500 times as we were working on our place. And if by no one – they mean over 30,000 players per year.. then they might be right. Every one you talk to will want more fields, bigger fields, and cheaper entry and paint prices. But it’s not going to happen. Not if you are going to have a viable business.
You are going to have to make some concessions on the building sizing – but that’s just life. I’ll give you the layout of our place here. We have 26,000 square feet. Of that, about 5000 square feet is set up for staging area, bathrooms, storage and retail space. The other 21,000 feet is for 2 fields. Would it be better if I had more room? Sure – if I could have gotten it for the same price – but there is a limitation on how many people you will get, how much money they will spend, how much profit you get to keep from what they spend – and that will limit the amount of size you can have your fields. If you get some incredible deal on more space – sure – go for it! You can always use it for other uses. Have 3 fields, put in party rooms, have an arcade, put in a putting course, batting cages, what ever. But commercial real estate is not free – and you may have to work with what you can get.
My most recent indoor paintball building, finished early 2017 is in the Keller area. This is our third GatSplat Facility in the Dallas Area. This one was a metal building that we did a stucco facade to add a nicer look. Even after purchasing the land, and building a custom building from the ground up, the expected profit should easily cover the entire over head and give me yet another commercial property. In case you didn’t get it from the last page… I like real estate. So, you need to analyze your expectations for the business and the real estate appreciation and make a decision on what kind of building you want.
Do it Yourself Metal Buildings
I have seen many posts and comments about the do it yourself metal buildings. At first look, it appears you can buy a metal building pretty cheap, and have it tossed up, or even do it yourself. The important things to note about these metal buildings though – is the price does not include the foundation, the electric, the insulation, the plumbing, the parking and on and on. You will see the partial buildings like the covered riding arenas, and I’ve known people to use a covered arena with hanging curtains to make a semi-indoor environment – with a dirt floor. But overall, if you want a true indoor field, you need a full building, with floor, insulation, etc. And when you look at the cost of erecting one of the metal buildings – it might be cheaper in the long run to buy an existing warehouse that is vacant. But either way – you have come to the conclusion on a potential site.
So now you have some space – you have to decide how you’re going to split it up.
Really the fun part is trying to sit down with a pad of graph paper, and organize how you want your building set up. Don’t forget a clean up area, bathrooms, storage, a room for the compressor, and you will probably need a room to do safety briefings in. Ours also doubles as a parents lounge as when we are not doing briefings, we have a big screen TV in there with a satellite hookup so the parents can watch football, basketball, whatever, while still looking out through a large window that overlooks the field to watch their kids. Having a room like this, and WIFI throughout the facility is a nice touch for the parents that we talked about earlier, that are really the ones footing the bill.
I should note here, that if doing an outdoor field – you will probably still have some kind of structure or building – and while not to the extent we talk about here – some of the same rules will apply.
So you found a building, have a general plan on how to finish it out – it’s time for buying it – the financing of it.