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Indoor paintball park opening today at St. Lawrence Centre

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MASSENA - Local paintball enthusiasts and even people who have never played before will have a place to do so starting today with the opening of Legacy Paintball at St. Lawrence Centre.

While the name of the park is Legacy Paintball, Craig R. Catimon, who owns and operates the business, explained they will use small rubber balls, called “reballs,” rather than traditional paintballs.

“This is the only way you can play and not get filthy,” he said. “You could play and then go out to dinner. Mom could drop the kids off or mom could play too and then everyone could continue shopping.”

Mr. Catimon said there is an age limit, with no one under 10 allowed to play, but he added his version of indoor paintball is not only cleaner than traditional paintball, but it’s also a lot less painful.

“It would be about the same as getting shot by a slingshot,” he said. “Sometimes you don’t even know you’re hit.”

And while the point of the game is to avoid getting shot if you do it’s not the end of the world.

“Obviously you don’t want to get hit, but if you do it’s not a big deal,” he said. “To me it’s like a real life video game, except no one gets hurt, except for maybe their pride a little bit.”

Mr. Catimon said the park will be open from noon to 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with other time slots available by appointment.

“We’re really excited,” he said. “If this takes off, there is a possibility of having a full-sized field outdoors.”

The 3,000 square foot indoor field is available for parties or group outings.

“One of the main things we’re going to do is approach groups like youth groups, scouts and other outreach groups,” he said. “This would also be good for corporate outings. You can bring your boss and shoot him.”

Hour-long sessions, which include gun rental and unlimited ammunition, are available for $20 per person. Another option, available for only $5 includes, gun rental with 150 rounds.

“That would probably take you about 5 or 10 minutes to use,” he said.

Given the size of their playing field, Mr. Catimon said they could accommodate games of up to five on five.

“We could ultimately do five on five, but we would like to do three on three or four on four,” he said, adding larger groups would be split into smaller teams, with players rotating in and out.

“We would set up a tournament for them,” he said.

Mr. Catimon said they’ll have up to 50 rental guns available and players are invited to bring their own equipment, however people bringing their own guns are asked to bring them inside duffle bags to avoid people walking around the mall with weapons.

“We don’t want people to think we’re some kind of terrorist organization,” he said, adding they are also planning to buy and sell used paintball equipment.

“There’s so many people who have equipment, but have only played once or twice,” he said, explaining that some guns can go for as much as $1,500 brand new.

St. Lawrence Centre Marketing Manager Ronald J. Patnode said he’s expecting Legacy Paintball to do quite well.

“We’re excited about it,” he said. “It’s definitely a good entertainment venue for kids or for paintball veterans to sharpen their skills.”

Mr. Catimon said he’s already been contacted by several paintball teams from Canada interested in practicing at the indoor park.

And while the park will be getting its fair share of use by paintball veterans, Mr. Catimon said he’s looking forward to introducing the sport to people who have never even played before.

“Anybody can play from a 10-year-old girl to a 70-year-old man,” he said. “I think it’s a good way to get kids off the streets. There are high school leagues and you can even get scholarships. Anything is possible with paintball now.”

Legacy Paintball is located just off of the food court in the former Waldenbooks. They may be reached at 769-7466 or (518) 708-3833.

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