As the title says im looking at buying some land looking at like 8 acres right now. Trying to get a feel for how many players here would be willing to come play and such. Taking ideas, suggestions, things you would like to see, concerns ect anything is welcomed!
As a TC resident, I'd love to see an actual airsoft field in the Grand Traverse region. Games are hosted occasionally at Area 51 Paintball in Mancelona and at the tiny, tiny TC Paintball retail location field.
That said, you're probably going to face some skepticism from members on the forum. Starting a field is not a small or low cost feat. It's expensive to buy land, build up a nice field and acquire insurance. There is a reason why most of the places that airsofters play throughout the state are paintball fields. And in recent years a lot of those fields have been financially troubled.
Those of us who have been on this forum for a while have seen new people join, claim they're starting a field and then nothing ever happens. Understandably, people discover airsoft, get excited and make all sorts of wild plans that never come to fruition. That's just the way it is.
The main issue with starting a field in northern Michigan is that there are so few of us up here and coordination between the different northern Michigan groups is pretty haphazard. There's a few guys in Alpena, some more near West Branch, a few in the Cadillac area and a couple in Traverse City that are active or semi-active on this forum.
I believe there are a lot of people playing airsoft up here informally on their own land with their own friends who aren't active on this forum. The key is finding those people and drawing them out to a field.
Again, if you want to talk airsoft stuff, shoot me a PM. I'm happy to meet up for a coffee or a beer in TC sometime.
Last Edit: Mar 15, 2015 7:30:05 GMT -5 by Gimpalong
Post by Cats (Doom) on Mar 17, 2015 1:15:15 GMT -5
I'll second everything Kjones and Gimpalong said already.
I'm not sure the airsoft community in NW-Mi is large or organized enough to support an exclusively airsoft field. Most of the players in the region don't have a lot of money either; and usually they have access to private land they can play on for free. Then you'll also have to compete with TCP and Area51; which you could do if you pour a lot of effort into forming good mil-sim events. Overall, as a business opportunity, its a pretty risky investment.
Additionally, 8 acres isn't much to work with, especially if you want to host any sort of mil-sim. You'll need to build a buffer zone or put up walls/nets around the location which will take up some land, unless you are entirely surrounded by state land. And the only way to make it seem bigger will be to put up multiple buildings or tons of barriers/forts. Maybe you can run a different business off the land and have it double as an airsoft field on certain dates; maybe storage unit rentals?
The key would probably be really good promotion, building a airsoft community around your field, and of course a TON of loving dedication to the sport.
All that said, if you ever need help with field construction or need people to play with, then shoot me a message and i'll try to be there; and maybe bring extra people. If you ever want to walk some of the small private "airsoft fields" in the area, maybe I can help you with contacts.
“...divisiveness is corrosive to a game that’s based on sportsmanship" Glen D. Nager, president of the USGA.
Personally, I think that the first step in developing a field as a legit business is to develop the airsoft community.
What we really need in the Grand Traverse region is some decent, private land on which games can be hosted. In West Branch, Ogre's family owns a good chunk of land and has allowed him to host games. We need a similar situation here - an airsofter who already has access to a decent tract of land (i.e. doesn't have to go out and buy land) who will host games or let others host games on the property.
That way games can be hosted without having to rent a field from TCP or Area 51 Paintball.