The Fields Paintball has been open for two weeks, and owners Chelsey Clark and David Baker are thrilled with the success of the new business, getting customers that are students, Maryville locals and from out of town.
The new paintball area offers five different fields to play on. After signing a waiver, either there or online beforehand, you can rent all the equipment you need for $25, or you can bring your own. The Fields Paintball is open all year long, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Both Clark and Baker are Maryville locals themselves and began playing paintball when they were teenagers. They traveled many miles and dedicated entire weekends to enjoy the sport.
“We were constantly talking about how great it would be to have a paintball park locally,” Clark said. “Eventually that conversation turned into ‘why don’t we provide the paintball park?’”
But it was easier said than done. Because there were no other paintball businesses in Maryville, they had no business models to reference. Instead, they had to travel to paintball parks to understand the flow of business and the customer base.
Clark and Baker also had to get advice from park owners across the nation and develop relations with paintball manufacturers that ship paintball equipment worldwide.
“Building the paintball business was really exciting because we are introducing a sport to this market,” Baker said. “We found that there was already a large number of people who were active in the paintball community that we’ve since made connections with.”
The project was a year in the making. It took the pair six months to finalize all their planning and necessary preparations. Once that was complete, they only had a mobile paintball business. Getting a permanent location took another six months, along with building the park itself and the five different fields therein.
Both Clark and Baker have a military background, which they utilized to increase the realism of the paintball fields and experience.
Baker was in the 1-129th Field Artillery Battalion as a cannon crew member, howitzer gunner and an Admin NCO before being honorably discharged in 2020 after 12 years of service.
Clark was commissioned as an officer from Northwest in 2015 and served as a Field Medical Assistant Lieutenant for four years with the same artillery battalion as Baker. Now, Clark is a medical operations officer of the 35th Combat Aviation Brigade in Sedalia, Missouri. She is currently waiting for her promotion to captain.
Clark and Baker said they hope The Fields Paintball will become one of the many iconic staples in Maryville and Northwest Missouri that “stands the test of time.”
“Our customers have continued to tell us that there is very little to do in Maryville,” Baker said. “Because of that, they’re excited that we’re here.”