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Thread: Zombie Paintball?

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  1. Default  
    #51
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    8,864
    FYI... I think we are going to do it again however this time around it will be an UP CHARGE and TWO we will feature NO ACTORS!

    I would NEVER do this again with ACTORS its just not safe! I'm ordering 20 fiberglass zombies from Unit 70, and we'll build animations for them here in our shop. So we'll have 20 pop out targets for people to shoot at, and the attraction will cost an upcharge of $5.00 more making the highest ticket $30.00

    We are hoping this cuts down about 25% of the attendance to the paintball hayride.
     

  2. Default  
    #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Columbia Missouri
    Posts
    786
    Larry has a very unique setup and in his case it was very expensive to run because of all the added safety features he had to install because his attraction was not built for paintball purposes. However, our clients were able to construct their attractions with much lower costs because they were not confined to a minimum square footage.
    I have designed attractions where minimum space would work well and your que line is actually a large majority of your actors.
    Its hard to explain but it works well. Before anyone asks, NO your que line is not getting shot with paintballs "technically" lol.
    The biggest problem was Larry's attraction was already built so thats what he had to work with.
    Anyway, I understand the questions about expense and Larry's view point but I also want people to understand that Larry's attraction was very difficult to operate. He did a GREAT job with a small space and again I applaude him for that.
    His concerns for his actors are justified in his attraction. Its just not safe to be that close.
    When we did a demonstration during Transworld at Creepyworld last year my actors were nervous about being that close to the trailers and so was I. They did a great job and found out it wasnt as bad as it looked but were glad to be back home in our own containment center where the distance was ok.
    These paintball attractions are designed to be an upcharge and an added revenue for haunts and corn mazes and they do increase attendance. If you have any questions give me a call. 573-881-7061

    Greg
    Zombie Protection Services L.L.C.
     

  3. Default  
    #53
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    8,864
    Couple things... I think its an expensive attraction to operate no matter what type of set up you have. The cost to buy the wagons, get tractors, get the system, all the staff that is required, paintballs, any added safety measures, no its more expense all around the board no matter what size of facilty you have. That is without question.

    As for safety no matter how close or far away you are doesn't matter shooting projectiles at people is always going to create issues... no actor can go out there without gear on and you can't pad yourself head to toe inch by inch because they'll suffocate! The heat in the armor we provided which was basically head to toe which I wouldn't suggest ANYONE go out there without causes over heating issues with the actors. On cold nights it helps but when its warm good luck keeping people going at it. Almost impossible.

    We had to provide tons of water, tons of guys to check on people, constant monitoring because we did not want anyone getting hurt.

    All I did all year was investigate and continued to buy more and more different kinds of protection. I think by the end of the season we had it the best it could be... the biggest thing of all and this is no slight on Gregg but he told us you had to run the guns at like 800 pounds otherwise the guns would not work, well we ran them as low as 400 which is half and they still worked great. The only issue was on occasion some guns would get backed up then we'd run some water through them and back in business. My suggestion is to run them at 400 to 500 and save the air.

    So overall I'm merely sharing what I learned and would be happy to help ANYONE who is doing this with my suggestions feel free to call me 314 504 3970. I can help you figure out how to run this at the highest capacity.

    In short and let me be honest here... Gregg's work is really incredible he does everything he says he's going to do and then some. NO one has all the answers from the person who is building these trailers to the person who did the first zombie paintball hayride. Everyone has a different situation, everyone has different attendance, to anything and everything between so our experiences will all teach us different lessons.

    I want anyone doing paintball hayrides to be safe, and do it right! I think Gregg has a lot of insight on doing just that but just remember every situation is different!

    My main tips are as follows:

    1) Use animated targets
    2) Dont' buy expensive paint balls there is no need for it
    3) Add a shut off valve to every trailer just in case you must shut down the system
    4) Experiment with air pressures go with whatever the lowest setting you can get away with because it takes time to change air tanks
    5) Make your guests wear safety goggles we did a persons eyes are they single most fragile thing to injure
    6) buy a two stage air compressor this comes in very handy
    7) I agree with gregg these should be up charged events so do a budget and charge according
    8) if you decide to do this... stick with it for the long haul make it more than just a zombie paintball because otherwise the novelty will wear off fast

    In closing I think you can get some great marketing benefits to this attraction and especially if you are committed to making it more than just rolling around in the woods and shooting targets. You could make money with this but I think it will take a couple years so control costs because they can spiral out of control quickly.

    Lastly I would make sure that you purchase these systems from someone who understand the safety elements involved and talk to people who've done them so you can learn all the ins and outs so you can be the most successful out of the hole.

    Larry
     

  4. Default  
    #54
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    500
    Thanks again everyone for the insight, now we just have to wait to see what they prefer: High investment possible return, medium investment low-medium return.

    I appreciate the feedback and information from all!

    -K
     

  5. Default  
    #55
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    8,864
    Just an update here... we are going forward with our zombie paintball but we are taking everything we learned last year and adding it to 2013. We are doing several things different see below:

    1) The entire attraction will be ACTOR FREE!

    2) We will make the attraction 110% DARK this way cool sets, detail or any of that won't be needed. The paintballs tear up everything so by going totally dark we won't have to do much work to the hayride itself. The tractor will trigger lights and animations to be lit up so you can fire away. Sound and lights will activate only when we want it to revealing zombies to fire at.

    3) We will build 24 animated targets from hoards of zombies to shoot at to pop up zombies everywhere. We have some awesome idea's on how to trigger the animations and what type to build.

    4) The attraction will be an UPCHARGED attraction... in other words you have to pay extra to ride the hayride. This will cut down on how many people ride the attraction which is very important. We are hoping to cut down the amount of people who ride by 50% then the hayride will become more manageable.

    Overall I think the amount of dollars spent to operate the attraction will decrease plus the stress on everyone will lower as well. I still am not sure if you can make money or not because the cost of operation is still VERY high but we'll see what if anything this changes. I know for a fact that we'll sell everything after 2013 and do something different. We'll sell it because we like to mix up everything every couple of years, so if anyone wants to put dibs on it now let me know.

    Larry
     

  6. Default  
    #56
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    26
    Where are you purchasing your animated targets from?
     

  7. Default  
    #57
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    8,864
    We are making them ourselves. We have three guys who build animations one guy use to work for Disney Land fixing animations at Pirates of the Caribbean. Actually he came up with a super clever way of triggering the animations. Unit 70 will make the bodies for us out of fiberglass.

    Larry
     

  8. Default animations 
    #58
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Columbia Missouri
    Posts
    786
    We also sell animated targets as well as the Zombie Paintball trailers. They range in price from $400-450 depending on the type you are looking for. We sell 5 different animated characters. They run on 110V or 12VDC. If you need more info give me a call 573 881 7061.

    Greg
    Zombie Protection Services L.L.C.
     

  9. Default  
    #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16
    The information on how to actually trigger the animations from the hayride would actually be very much appreciated. We are doing our own this year, but cant figure out a great way to trigger the animations. IR sensors dont work well with the wind and brush moving around. IT would really help us out. Thanks Larry. Good information on the paintball!
     

  10. Default  
    #60
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16
    Bumping this. I dont want it to get lost. I could really use a response to this. Thanks very much.

    Rich
     

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