HAINES CITY – After moving to the area from Miami, R.J. Grimsley says he found it difficult to find fun activities for kids. As the father of five boys and the coach of a youth football team, transporting them to Orlando or Tampa for something to do was just not feasible.
So, about two years ago, Grimsley decided to help solve the problem.
After leasing nearly three acres of vacant land from a friend and receiving the green light from the city, Grimsley and his business partner, Jerome Hernandez, opened RJ Hinson Sports Paintball.
The facility is located at 1699 East Hinson Avenue in Haines City.
“The city was extremely supportive,” Grimsley recalled. “Being from Miami, we were used to having lots of things to do. I saw kids gravitating toward paintball, so that’s what we decided to do.”
In paintball, teams shoot against one another with a goal of eliminating players by hitting them with the paintballs that break on impact. The game was created in the early 1980s by a stockbroker and an avid outdoorsman and writer.
Visitors to RJ Hinson Sports Paintball can have a great time on the paintball field, set up with more than a dozen inflatable objects and shapes. The inflatables act as bunkers and there are military-themed objectives with a huge “x” in the middle of the field.
And, with the environment comes the intent of the business.
“We want to provide a safe and new experience for families that are sure to make memories that will last a lifetime,” Grimsley said.
Each shooter is assigned a mask, gun, washable paintballs and “air all day.” Grimsley credits the businesses’ success to marketing and the business acumen he learned observing an attorney friend while working in Miami.
“He is one of the top lawyers in the country and I watched how he ran his business,” he said. “His work ethic was incredible – he worked seven days a week.”
Grimsley said paintball is only the first of numerous sports he wants to bring to the center, with the next being a bungee trampoline.
According to Grimsley, the business has had a great deal of international visitors, including people from places such as Nigeria and Egypt.
“I would like to see more locals here, since last year 85 percent of our players were from out of the country,” Grimsley said. “It’s a great place to have a birthday, corporate – for team bonding - or really any kind of party.”
RJ Hinson Sports Paintball offers play packages for two to eight players for ages 8 to 80, with no time limit. Parties, however, are limited to one hour to play and 30 minutes for the party portion, that includes pizza from Little Caesars.
Grimsley and his wife, Samantha, live in Poinciana with their five sons ages 12, 10, 8, 7 and 5. He said the boys like to play at the center with their friends.
“It’s all fun and games,” he said. “Kids love it. Parents love it. It’s a time to remember.”