Land, a 2004 Pierce City High School graduate, has played paintball since he was 10 and competed on teams since age 15. He worked for Kick'n Paintball and Springfield Paintball for six years, running the business from 2005 until he bought them out two years ago.
Since that time, Land acquired 80 acres of land on the old grass airstrip two miles west of Monett on Highway 37. He constructed a 36,000-square-foot building for an indoor paintball arena and plans to develop several exterior fields for games and contests.
Land has worked for Paintball Rage in Joplin and High Performance Paintball in Harrisonville, Ark. He also helped the operators of Battle Zone in Buffalo get started. A member of a team that travels to numerous national events each year, Land knows the paintball business well and plans establish a high quality operation locally. The nearest facility offering similar services is at least 45 minutes away.
Land's indoor arena will be covered with astroturf from a soccer field in Detroit. The nearest facility with astroturf is in Pekin, Ill. The closest equivalent indoor facility is in Fort Wayne, Iowa. One of the outdoor fields will have a city setting, enabling players to weave through streets, hide behind alleys and engage in street battles.
The 2,500-square-foot pro shop will have everything a player needs to paintball. Land will have padded jerseys, head gear and the markers, or guns, used to launch the gel capsules loaded with colored dye. He can also repair paintball equipment.
Land prefers the term "markers" to paintball "guns," because the devices he uses include no combustible elements. The markers run entirely on compressed air, which he loads. Nor is the compressed air he uses cold, like some air devices.
The gel capsules are 100 percent bio-degradable and are not paint. The color will wash out completely. The capsules are engineered to break easily on impact.
Land said he will charge the equivalent to a greens fee for using the grounds and sell the gel capsules in quantities of 500 at a time or by the case. Depending on how a person plays, 500 can last all day or an hour. In competitions, teams buy their paintballs by the case. All players must use Land's paint.
Equipment will be available for use at no charge. Land said someone can come and play with no equipment of their own, using his stock.
"Paintball is safer than golf," Land said. "I've been playing for 15 years and I've never been injured."
The park will be open Tuesday through Sunday with open play on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. Customers will be able to call and reserve the play area any time, Land added.
Players range from teenagers to those in their 40s.
"There's no exact target audience. Everyone can get into it real easy," Land said. "Someone can come out alone and play with whoever's here. We'll do team practices every weekend."
At Paintball Rage in Joplin, Land said having 60 to 70 on the range on a weekend is fairly common. He knows of a St. Louis team that is talking about coming to Kick'n Paintball Park every other week. Others from as far away as Oklahoma City, Okla., San Antonio, Texas, and Iowa are considering making regular trips.
Land plans to have prizes available for winning squads. In professional paintball, teams can earn serious money. Land plays 10 events a year and has traveled from Galveston, Texas, Las Vagas, Nevada to Chicago, Ill. In a month he plans to compete in an event in Florida. National events draw as many as 150 teams of 10 players.
Paintball gaming involves accuracy and strategy, Land said. It can be as simple as shooting at each other or can involve organized games such as capture the flag.
The paintball facility has been under construction for a year. Land has done the dirtwork and concrete himself. He has a friend helping with the sheet rock and framing. The indoor arena presently has a sand floor where the astroturf will go. Both sides of the arena will have bleachers, and activities can also be viewed from inside the pro shop on the other side of a window.
Land has a significant investment in the property and equipment. He is excited about the potential for drawing out-of-town customers, who will stay the weekend and shop locally.