Paintball industry down, one business shoots up

Paintball venues across the country are impacted by the recession, but one business is bucking the trend with a profit

Paintball Business Bucking the Post-Recession Economy

By Columns FOXBusiness

Paintball businesses across the country have been impacted by the recession. According to research from IBIS World, revenue nationwide is down 8% from 2007 to 2012. Part of the drop in revenue is attributed to declining disposable incomes.

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But one such business in Brandon, Mississippi is bucking the trend. Revenues at Action Pursuit Games in 2013 are up 20% from last year, according to the company. Owners Cheri and Bussy Bankston have been in the paintball business for 17 years.

"We started with 30 guns, and now we have close to 200," said Cheri.

They attribute some of their success to limited hours, as they only open on Saturdays.

"Most fields are open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 to 5. What we've found is that you have players meandering in all day and out and you never have a large group," said Bussy.

The company also keeps advertising costs low.

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"Most of the advertisement is done by word of mouth," said Bussy. 

And the proof is in the customers.

"I heard about it from a friend and that it hurts when you get shot, but I'm ready," said high-school student Hannah Courtney.

From birthday parties to church groups, Action Pursuit Games targets an audience of all ages. The price of admission is $38.  Anyone 10 and up can play with a signed consent form from a parent or guardian.  Rain, shine, sleet or snow – the field stays open in all types of weather except for lightning and dangerous winds.

"We knew it was going to rain, but we still came out here," said paintballing mother Karen Prewitt.

Which is music to the Bankstons’ ears.

"This is something we do for enjoyment.  Our measure of success isn't the money side - our measurement of success is if we have people coming out having a good time," said Bussy.

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