News: Make your mark at Miramar’s paintball fields
Story by Lance Cpl. Lisa Tourtelot
The Paintball Park at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar has become a hit with Marines, family and local San Diegans alike since opening in May.
The park has grown so popular that The Paintball Park company is planning to move the park across the street to the former site of the Miramar stables and rodeo grounds.
They will reconstruct the three fields at the new site and use the extra room to expand.
The company plans to begin construction on the new park this summer as part of a larger plan to open a new sports park on base. The planned sports park will feature a skateboarding park and a permanent pro shop.
Shawn Walker, owner of The Paintball Park company, plans to keep the current fields open during construction and will not raise prices at the new park.
The need for a larger park arose because of the number of players that frequent the park. As many as 50 to 75 players from all walks of life duke it out in a single game. Many of the players are repeat customers.
“We try to cater to the players because they get bored!” laughed Tom Watson, the manager of The Paintball Park at MCAS Miramar. He explained that he is constantly coming up with new games and scenarios to keep the players happy on the current fields.
“I think we’ve done better than anyone expected,” said Watson. “We get a lot of repeat customers. I get about 20 kids who come here every day, just to hang out or help.”
The Paintball Park faced arson within weeks of opening and one of the rainiest years in over a century, yet it has continued to grow.
Eager paintballers walk, cycle and drive to the fields located off Maxam Ave. and Bellatrix Dr. each weekend to enjoy “Deadwood,” “Base Camp” and the “Tiki Village” - the three themed paintball fields at the park.
The park also features 100 sets of paintball markers and safety gear and a military discount.
The Paintball Park company owns and operates this park, as well as the parks at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.
Some might be afraid to try paintball, but avid players insist the sport is suitable for all.
“It doesn’t hurt! Give it a shot, it’s not for gun-crazy people,” said James Davis, co-founder of the SoCal Ghosts, a local paintball team that plays at Miramar.
The Paintball Park is open for walk-on play Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.