Behind the Scenes: Galveston Island Paintball

What did it take to build the the host venue for the PSP Galveston Island Open? Stacy Young (Owner) tells his story.

Follow along as we dive into the story behind Galveston Island Paintball as owner and opperator Stacy Young tells us what it took to put togther this field…

1 Year

“The Story of Galveston”

By Stacy Young

March 13, 2010, my 37th birthday, and I decided I wanted to play paintball. It had been over two years since I had last played; I was ready to shake the rust off and shoot people. I talked my older brother into coming with me and playing. My brother had never played organized paintball, just a renegade game or two with me in the local woods.

After driving off the Island, we arrived at one of the local fields. First appearance, I was impressed. I could see people everywhere; I noticed they had an Airball field and woodsball. “Not bad”, I said to myself.

After dropping over $120 for two people entry and a case of paint, I was not as impressed, but I was ready to shoot people. After reporting to the Staging Area to form up teams we waited almost 30 minutes until somebody finally showed up and we finally got started.

This turned out to be the worst day of paintball play in my life. We spent around four hours at this field and played only four games. To me paying around $20 a game is a horrible experience. As we left the field and headed back to the Island I called the wife. “Let’s open a Paintball Field”.

The following Monday I drove around Galveston looking for a suitable piece of property. Tuesday, I found my current location on the airport. By the following Monday I had signed the lease with the city and by the end of the month, with Federal and State Tax ID’s in hand, I was receiving goods.

Galveston Island Paintball(GIP) officially opened its doors on May 28th 2010, Memorial Day weekend. GIP had many soft openings the month prior to work out any problems that might arise. The opening was riddled with problems from City Permitting, and still is, but the doors did open, on time.

Three months after opening GIP announced its first tournament dubbed, “Warm-up for World-Cup”. Offering prize packages of cash and trophies served as a great incentive. The tournament field 12 teams, from Texas, Louisiana and Missouri. This was just seven months after opening and the city’s Convention Visitor’s Bureau(GCVB) recognized me as an attraction and cut GIP a check for bringing business to the Island.

The Original Bunker Set

In November, two months later, GIP received a phone call from my contact at the GCVB and she asks, “What is Paintball Sports Promotion(PSP)”? She goes on to inform me that they contacted the city and wanted to know if I would take the lead since I was the “Subject Matter Expert”. My response? “Absolutely”. Ten minutes later GIP was in negotiations with the Chief Operations Officer(COO) of PSP for him to make Galveston a stop during the 2011 PSP Season.

Numerous Phone calls and E-mails later Lane Wright, COO of PSP, arrives in Galveston for negotiations. Little did I know I was in direct competition with the University Of Phoenix. Lane wanted to come to Galveston if we could come to terms. This is the largest league in the world, and here I am with the boss having a drink on the front porch of my paintball field. A few drinks later, hands were shook and Galveston was the host of the 2011 PSP Season Opener. Mickenzy Trexler, GIP team member replied, “Are you serious, we got the event? We got the event? WE GOT THE EVENT!”

At this Point Galveston Island Paintball had been open 10 months and had achieved something that most field owners would love to have- a PSP Event. When the news hit the Internet my website went from an average of 100 hits a day to 3000 an hour after the Press Release went out, and 25,000 hits, for the week. The same thing was happening on my social media outlets Facebook, and Twitter. I knew at that moment my little paintball field had made it to the International stage.

I loved the fact that Sunday, the final day of the event was my birthday. I looked around and couldn’t believe what had been accomplished in one year. GIP was started up with a $9,000 tax refund check, volunteers, and savvy negotiations. In “after-action” meetings with the GCVB it was estimated that around $2M of revenue was brought to the Island. Not bad for the first year.

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