Edmonton Paintball Centre
By YP Contributor

A Place Where People Always Leave Happy

In 2013, Brittany Anderson and Rob Davy made a bold move: they quit their full-time jobs to open the Edmonton Paintball Centre. Partners in business and in life, they both wanted to be entrepreneurs and to work somewhere where people could have a good time. “Businesses where people are choosing to do it because it’s something fun that they want to do – there is a different kind of dynamic and relationship with the customer,” says Rob. “They leave with a big smile on their face, saying, ‘That was tons of fun.’”

It took six months to find the right location in downtown Edmonton. “We have unique requirements. To do indoor recreation, you need lots of space because people run around,” says Rob. “We wanted to be reasonably central; we didn’t want to be too far outside of the city because we wanted to serve the entire city."

In August 2013, Brittany and Rob opened their doors to their first groups. “When we first opened, we had the bare minimum we needed, facilities wise," says Rob. "We added more and more things, as we figured out what people need.” That included more picnic tables, a briefing room and a mini-paintball area in the basement. “That allows us to do paintball for kids as young as eight, which is something that no one else does,” says Rob. “It uses smaller guns, smaller paintballs and slower speeds. And, the staff that do it are specifically trained to deal with younger kids. That has proved to be hugely popular, mostly for birthday parties.”

We really specialize in creating an event for you and your group of people, and we customize it to who you are and what kind of day you want to have. - Brittany Anderson, co-owner
The Edmonton Paintball Centre opened in August 2013.
Rob Davy and Brittany Anderson opened Edmonton Paintball Centre in August 2013. Photo by Sydnee Bryant

A Private Party

In addition to offering drop-in paintball for individuals on Tuesday evenings, Edmonton Paintball Centre focuses on private bookings, where people book a group of eight or more (10 or more on Saturdays) and play with their own team. “If you’re here for a stag, you’re not playing with 12-year-old boys and, if you’re here for a 12 year old’s birthday party, you’re not playing with those scary guys in the stag,” says Brittany. “We really specialize in creating an event for you and your group of people, and we customize it to who you are and what kind of day you want to have.”

Brittany and Rob also added laser tag facilities in the building, and run it as a separate business called Laser Tag Laser City. Their staff of 16, including a manager, handle the paintball centre, allowing Brittany and Rob to focus on Laser City as well as marketing, accounting, strategy and planning for the Edmonton Paintball Centre.

Equipment, including coveralls and face masks, is included with your game of paintball.
Equipment, including coveralls and face masks, is included with your game of paintball. Photo provided by Edmonton Paintball Centre

Celebrity Status

The business has attracted plenty of attention, including a visit from Canadian celebrities Rick Mercer and Jann Arden, who filmed a television segment where they played paintball against each other for the Mercer Report.

But beloved Canadian personalities aren’t the only ones interested in the sport: “The thing about paintball that continues to surprise us is how many different types of people do it,” says Rob. “On one end of the spectrum, you have an eight-year-old kid – who never could have done paintball until we introduced mini paintball – and then we still do half a dozen stagettes a year. They’re a ton of fun.”

Brittany and Rob especially love it when multi-generational groups come in for birthday parties. “My favourite part of paintball is leading the groups because it’s your job to make sure the customers have an experience that’s amazing and fun and something they’re going to remember,” says Brittany. “We’re helping them make a very positive memory.”

The full sized paintball area includes plenty of places to hide, such as the gazebo.
The full-sized paintball area includes plenty of places to hide, such as the gazebo. Photo by Sydnee Bryant
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