Paintball is really just a real-world extension of those games, according to Darren Ramsden
, one of four business partners who opened Planet Paintball
in one of Lawrence's old abandoned textile mills last June.
"It happened a lot faster than we expected," says Ramsden
, a Methuen resident who first came up with the idea of opening a local indoor paintball field a little over a year ago, when he
brother took their kids on a holiday break trip to a similar facility in Boston."It was really odd," remembers the 42-year-old Ramsden, who works at Cisco Systems in Lexington and whose previous paintball experiences extended only to infrequent outings with his teenage kids.
"We both turned and looked at each other and said I think we could run a business like this."A scant 13 months later, Ramsden and his three business partners brother Ron, father Richard and accountant Denise Roy, are in the game and Planet Paintball is packed full of paintball players nearly every night of the week.
says beginners make up a sizeable portion of the weekend action at Planet Paintball
, where a basic rental package, which includes gun with all-day CO2 fills, safety mask, 200 rounds of paint, and an all-day field pass, will run you $29.
claims the fastest paintballers can fire as many as 22 rounds per second, a number that translates to a healthy number of paint sales.
And with word spreading, paintball players of all ages are zooming toward the Ramsdens' Planet.
says the so-far successful launch of Planet Paintball
already has him thinking about expansion, with Worcester and Manchester, N.H., as likely targets.