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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Real Time update 23JAN23
Okay, guests left yesterday, my diving craving is satisfied, so back to the task at hand.
Yesterday while at the airstrip dropping our guests off for a flight to Roatan, an elderly gentleman pulled up on his quad and just sat there. Being me, and knowing that the older folks on the island know EVERYTHING about the island, I struck up a conversation with him. Turns out he is Mr. George, who's family owns one of the main water purifiers on the island. I asked him if he knew who owned the land immediately next to the air strip, which I have been eyeing since it looks like great field potential. He surprisingly said that his family owned that, and had for generations. He must have thought I wanted to buy it, as he said hi family would never sell it, and even if they were to discuss it, EVERYONE in the family would have to agree to selling, which is "impossible". I told him that I did not want to purchase the land, but was looking for land to play a game on. He asked what kind of game and I described airsoft to him as he had never heard of it. He just smiled and said "that sounds like great fun and something I would have loved to do when I was younger". We went on talking and it turns out that he had heard of my efforts to organize and reopen the fire department here on the island, and also that my wife had helped his dying sister a few months back. He shook my hand, thanked me and told me "you use that land whenever you want for your game". Well, this morning, my partner and I went and actually walked the land. It is almost perfect! Overall dimensions are approximately 300 yards by 120 yards (ish) with plenty of trees, fenced boundaries, soil not rocks between said trees, even has a higher mound in the middle. Enough room for a megagame or even 3 or 4 smalller fields depending on what scenarios we play. Most of it is what I will call "jungleish" with some undergrowth etc, but plenty of runnable open space, then some of it is definite jungle with more dense foliage to work through. Enough trees to provide about 80% shade over the entire field, so playing in this island sun and heat will be easier. In short, we love the field and have found a home!

In other developments, the new shipper received our stuff last Thursday, so now we are merely waiting on the boat to leave on January 30th. Approximately 4 weeks after that, we should have our gear here. We plan to do a giant unboxing and film it. I am sure there will be many more hurdles to clear in getting ti here, but we will stay on top of it as best we can.

I plan to try to get in touch with the distributor (?) that Guges MK3 found at SHOT last week and see if future purchases can be made and shipped through him. We will see.
I think that catches everyone up for now.
Sarge out
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Real time udpate 25JAN23

We have confirmation from the new shipper that our boxes did indeed arrive safely, so now we are just waiting on the boat to leave on January 30th to make it's way here.
We have a copy of our waiver we have given to the landowner so that he can tell us how he wants his name to be on the document. This is largely unneeded as there is no real provision in Honduran law for one person to sue another for injury or loss other than in cases of assault or direct action against a person or property. We figure better safe than sorry though.
The shipping debacle has cost us an extra $600 or so on top of planned expenses, which anyone starting a business knows, there are ALWAYS unexpected expenses that must be dealt with, this is just par for the course.
Novritsch is still out of stock on the suppressor the SSG10 A2, but everything else we wanted is in stock. I guess we will just keep waiting before ordering that stuff. They said 2 -3 weeks about two weeks ago, so we will see.
We are getting together for dinner tonight to discuss other things that we need to accomplish while awaiting the platforms and supplies to arrive.
My wife will be back in the States in late February, so I have contacted Fastsigns, a company we have used before for our businesses advertising needs. I am getting a quote on both logo development from my rough drawing, as well as banners being made so my wife can simply bring them back with her when her trip is done. I figure this will be cheaper, more reliable and better than getting that stuff done on this side.
Interest around the island is high. we have let a few people know what we are doing and word has spread quickly. I hope they all turn up with money in their hands on opening day, but we will see. Talk is cheap. :D
I think that is it for today. All caught up.
Sarge out
 

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Were you able to reopen and organize the fire department on the island? Completely unrelated to the airsoft thing but as a former volunteer (moved to an area with paid Fire) I'm curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·
Shady,
It has taken over 2 years, but as of now, I can say we have a largely workable fire department here. We received donations from the States, donated by Platteville Fire Department, including firefighting outerwear, boots, helmets, and most impotantly - Scott packs. It took a year to get them released from crooked politicians on this end that wanted a bribe to release them, but it finally happened. I have been working with volunteers on basic first aid, fire fighting and response etc. Just two nights ago the recycling center went up in flames. While we couldn't save the building, we WERE able to keep it from spreading and incurred no injuries. I take that as a big win. A year ago, it would have been folks with buckets and a LOT more damage would have happened. A work in progress, and we keep pushing. 🤙🏝
Here is a vid of rolling up on the recycling center the other night.
Street light Plant Branch Automotive lighting Gas
Street light Plant Branch Automotive lighting Gas
Street light Plant Branch Automotive lighting Gas
 

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Damn, she's rolling. Good work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Damn, she's rolling. Good work.
Yeah, it was just a little warm. :D Took a couple hours to knock it down. Recycling center, so lot's of plastic "bales" and chemicals around. We were fortunate that no one was hurt past very minor and small burns from embers. It did serve to open the eyes of islanders who wondered why I was pushing for a fire department here. Always good to have a graphic demonstration of the "why's".
 

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So long as no one gets hurt, graphic does tend to help. I would assume not a very high call volume? Man if I was anywhere near retirement age I'd be on the next plane to Utila. Airsoft and Fire sounds like a good life to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Real time update 26JAN23
Okay, so a step backwards - the landowner told us he rather we not use his land for airsoft. One of our team, in trying to help, took him our waiver to view. Now my partner in all of this is a lawyer by trade, and he typed up a very effective waiver, the way waivers SHOULD be - over the top. Well, this gentleman's family saw the waiver and, not knowing exactly what airsoft was, started imagining bodies stacking up on their land. :D Even though we know that is far over the top, that is their fear, so out of respect for him and his family, I am dropping the issue. The LEAST of my worries in all of this was finding land, and this is a minor set back. We will find land to play on I have zero doubt as we haven't even really searched yet, this just kind of fell into our laps.
We have hired Fastsigns in Kansas City to create our logo and also make 2 48"x60" banners with that logo on them. Since my wife will be in KC in late February, this works perfectly as she can simply swing by, pick them up and bring them back to Utila with her.
We also received word from the new shipper that our stuff should be here on island around the 10th of February - much quicker than we thought, and much quicker than the other shipper could have it here. We are seriously considering ordering 4 more of the Lancer Gen 3 platforms as well as the Novritsch SSG10 A2, with suppressor, mags etc as soon as we are sure that the stuff is here on island. The easiest way to increase profit is having more people play per session. That would give us 12 platforms for play. We can always add sessions after that if they fill up like we hope they will.
The overall "vibe" surrounding this continues to be very positive. Still telling tourists and divers about it, still a 100% "that would be so cool, we would love to do it" rate. We hope those words turn into cash when we are ready to open.
Considering an airsoft tryout day prior to opening. A chance for folks to come out and see what airsoft is, put a few bb's downrange and just generally build excitement about it all.
We are trying to figure out a reservation/payment system online so that session spots can be reserved with a partial payment of $10 ($40 is the full price) so that the customer has some skin in the game and isn't as likely just to skip it if they had a late night last night. I know of a few ways to accomplish this, but if any of you have additional ideas, I would love to hear them. We are also going to allow walk ons of course, ti's just that reserved slots have priority.
Things are moving forward, and we are grateful. Still putting one foot in front of the other to get this all done and open March 27th!
You are officially up to date.
Sarge out
 

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How long is a Session? How many sessions per day? Unsure what the economy on Utila is like, but I know most fields around me charge $25-30 for a full day of play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
How long is a Session? How many sessions per day? Unsure what the economy on Utila is like, but I know most fields around me charge $25-30 for a full day of play.
How long is a Session? How many sessions per day? Unsure what the economy on Utila is like, but I know most fields around me charge $25-30 for a full day of play.
Here, we need to keep our schedule around dive boat times. The plan so far is to have each session be three hours long, and let demand determine how many session per week. We figure 4 games is probably about right for each session with breaks and rehydration being important here with the high humidity. This is why we are planning a reservation system, so we know how many people want to play. If one session fills up, we can easily add another session to that day or a different day as needed. The economy here is poor enough that not a lot of the locals will play ($40 is a lot of money here), but tourists will spend that in a heartbeat and they are our target audience. That includes us providing EVERYTHING, as airsoft "stuff" simply does not exist here. We will pay younger locals 250 lps (=$10) per session to marshal. For reference, a carpenter/framer here on the island makes about 200lps (=$8) for half a day. We want to keep the wages a bit higher than that norm for a couple of reasons. First, we want to help people who are helping us, and second, if the wage is higher for a job that is more fun than any other, they will protect that job and not apply the typical island mindset of "meh, I would rather sleep in today" and just not show up for work. We are going to be looking for people who have the potential to move up from marshal to manager for us over time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Real time update 28JAN23
As far as we can tell, shipping is taken care of as the shipper assures us they have supplied customs with everything they need. All we can do is trust that at this moment.
As with any business venture, financial projections are at best educated guesses. We had planned around $6500 to get this going up front, and we are now projecting $7500. Not bad considering that shipping difficulties that popped up were about $600 of that overrun. It takes money to make money - something you understand if you have ever started a business.
We have the first draft of our logo and like it, with the exception of replacing the skull with a set of goggles and mesh face pro. They are making this change and will get us an updated version soon. What do you guys think of the first draft below?
Taking the weekend off from this project as tomorrow I teach a DPV course for Instructors, and then the Chiefs play, so just gonna take a break.
Next week, we begin looking for land again.
Have a good weekend!
Sarge out
Vertebrate Green Font Bone Fictional character
 
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