|The organizers behind a planned paintball center for Menifee are considering a parcel of land on Haun Road near Louie's Nursery.|
Christopher Saunders met with city staff members this week to discuss his application for an outdoor facility where guests would play paintball and airsoft games. These sports, played in large areas where competitors shoot at one another with paintballs or soft pellets, have become increasingly popular as recreational opportunities.
Saunders told Menifee 24/7 he is interested in a 9.2-acre open field on the east side of Haun Road, near Louie's Nursery and just north of Scott Road. This location is between the nursery and the planned site of a Super Wal-Mart, which has yet to begin construction.
Although Saunders and his associates have no prior experience in opening such a facility, Saunders said he is confident of its success in Menifee. Details on the Battle Ground Zero Paintball Center can be found on the group's Facebook page.
"We've done a lot of research," Saunders said. "The paintball business is a lucrative one, and it would stimulate the economy of Menifee. We want to serve the community and give back to local charities. We believe this center would be very popular."
Saunders has not yet submitted plans for the facility. He said city officials are interested in the project but have some concerns about the proposed location.
Jeff Wyman, economic development director for City of Menifee, would only confirm that a meeting with Saunders was held this week.
"Mr. Saunders was at the city for a meeting regarding his desire to open a paintball park in Menifee," Wyman said. "The Economic Development Department offered to provide possible site location assistance if Mr. Saunders would like our help."
Saunders said he expects negotiations to continue for what he believes will be a more entertaining paintball facility than others in Southern California.
"The typical paintball field has structures that are standing and stationary," he said. "Ours would have obstacles that change and grow as the center expands. And players would not only be playing against each other; they would be playing against our employees."
Saunders said he plans a Zombie-themed event for Halloween and has many ideas for the facility. First, however, he needs approval from the city and agreement on a location.
"I live right down the road from this site," he said. "We looked almost to the point of exhaustion for rural land where we could do this. Then we found a spot right under our nose."
|Arrow shows the proposed location of a paintball center on Haun Road in Menifee.|