There have been several that have popped up over the years in Manchester and the only that has stayed a float was Asylum Paintball in Stockport until last weekend when it closed down, Not sure why yet.
There was one in Rochdale that was open for about 6 months in an old huge factory but I guess the rent was to much to stay open.
There used to be one in London, and one in an old mushroom farm in Andover. Both closed down....personally, I'd give serious thought to getting into a delining industry in a format that has little track record of success.
Indoor, and particularly city centre paintball comes with a few of its own problems.
The big money factor is the impact on business rates, which is a problem for typical paintball sites with business at the weekends,
Paintball indoors comes with a lot of H&S issues with slips, trips & falls on hard surfaces. This is exacerbated with paintball fills turning any surface into a slippery zone.
We played once in the Mall Reading, on evey indoor surface you could think of - wood, smooth concrete, rough concrete, plus shop carpet, hard wearing corridor carpet, wood, metal floor. The escalators were out of bounds.
I have had team mates fall onto their backs on concrete.
One slipped and fell back onto a horizontal 3000psi aluminium cylinder in the small of his back and his pods. He just had the pain of the fall from that.
One hopped across a corridor doorway, slipped and fell onto his pods, and hit a 4500psi fibre mounted on his gun onto the concrete. The cylinder vented very high pressure air, freezing the neck of the cylinder and freaking us out. After establishing he was alive, I installed my remote line to drain the air as much as possible.
When we got back to the safe zone and opened his pods we discovered they had shattered, only held together by the pod pack and the contents were liquid. His back had been cushioned by the paintballs.
The Mall game was the last paintball event that they will allow
It is primarily an airsoft and 'experience venue' with zombie games etc. Those activities don't end up with greasy floors
There had been some low key limited paintball games there, but for the big mall game things got out of control with the money needed to pay for the venue against low income on limited paint, during the lead up it changed to unlimited paint and resulted in a disaster with the place flooded with paint, games delayed by hours and people beginning to get refunds on bad paint
We still had fun, people lost money big time
The Andover mushroom site still exists (Goodworth Clatford).
It's a mixture of indoor/outdoor with the mushroom tunnels forming themed zones which can be played as a small punter mission or opened up as combined zones or the full site. The current owner has made more of the outter areas
The original paintball site was Oblivion and was the same owner of Camouflage Bournemnouth & Alton. All three sites went bust. The expense of setting up a new indoor venue didn't help
Bournemouth and Alton were sold on, the indoor site remained closed for some time
(I was also involved in possibly getting to take it over)
It has been reopened and became Ironsight Urban paintball.
It also suffered a major lightning strike into the power line and burnt down half the site. It heard the explosion from my office a few miles away, and our sentry gun (as seen on tv) was inside it, rip solaco)
As part of TFD I've run a number of events there, but with the limits on what it is suitable for. To make it suitable for scenario we did a lot of work testing out floor covering for something that would be safest for soaking up lots of paint, keeping best grip and not catching fire with our pyro
We have run scenarios and 'experience' days (paintball and airsoft)
The main business it does though is .50 kids parties and has a very big airsoft following
Out near Exeter is 'the bunker' which was an raf communications station
I believe this still runs as a punter site and was a scenario site for a few years. Same problems with concrete floor but it lends itself well for limited paint and cqb
A convenient in town venue is likely to have higher rent, business rates etc, which other businesses cope with, but paintball is labour intensive for safety anyway. Going indoors makes more issues and takes serious marshalling
Something like a warehouse could lend itself well to putting down matting, Astro turf and being a speedball venue, but then could make it more niche and less exciting to the punter
Places like shut the down mall,an old factory or warehouse can be semi viable for a while if it's sat for a few years awaiting development
The developer / land owner may run things and employ the staff & management which means they don't have a direct rent cost because it's an unused asset. But if you turn up to a landowner / developer then they can see the £ signs for your rent
If you can maximise use through the week then you cut down on the drain of the overheads when it's not being used
If there's a run down town centre with closed shops etc then that can help your negotiation on cheaper rent - but you also have a less active public because of a run down town centre
It you have a booming community that will keep fhe numbers going through then there are probably other leisure activities that can compete with you for the space so you don't so well on rent