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Landon and Nate Knowles come off the arena at Shots Fired Paintball after a game round.

Minot-area recreation enthusiasts gained another outdoor option June 22 with the opening of Shots FIred Paintball in south Minot.

Hunter Langseth and Mitchell Pratt operate the recreation business located just off Valley Street, behind the Grain Hopper.

Langseth said the inclement spring weather forced a somewhat later opening than planned. More work is planned to finish the parking lot, but the arena has been operational and attracting both expert players and newcomers to the sport.

“Most of them are new, honestly. And we’ve had repeat customers who ended up bringing their own friends. It’s sort of word of mouth, and the interest is growing. After someone does it, they want to bring more people to play with them,” Langseth said.

He added the activity is for everyone regardless of age or gender. Participants have included children as young as 9 and grandmothers.

Safety instruction is provided, along with a chance for new players to familiarize themselves with the equipment before heading into a game.

Players are required to wear safety gear that protects parts of the body more vulnerable to projected paintballs, although the activity is pretty painless and safe.

“Paintballs are food grade essentially,” Langseth said. “If it goes on your skin or clothes, it washes right out.”

Shots Fired Paintball has both protective equipment as well as paintball guns for rent. Players also can buy their paintballs. A rental package costs in the $30-35 range, depending on the number of paintballs. People also are welcome to bring their own supplies and gear.

Shots Fired offers open play nights Wednesdays, Thursday and Sundays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Weekends are by appointment and are available for booking private parties. Much of the interest so far has been from businesses looking to host appreciation events, Langseth said.

He said Shots Fired can coordinate with food trucks to have them available for private events. Shots Fired doesn’t serve alcohol, but event participants are able to bring their own drinks.

On open play nights, participants can play with friends, form teams with friends to play other teams or mix it up to meet new people, Langseth said. There are several game modes that can be played, including some that are more free-flowing and others that have objectives, such as capturing a flag or water bottle, so there’s continually something new and different involved in the play, he said.

Shots Fired Paintball offers a slightly larger arena than average. Although the arena is well equipped, Langseth said he and Pratt would like to eventually add more obstacles. They also want to change up the course occasionally to make it more interesting. Langseth said they welcome suggestions from players about how to make the sport more fun.

“There’s definitely the potential for leagues and tournaments if there is interest,” Langseth said. “We are originally just starting this for recreation and fun for people.”

Shots Fired will be open into the fall. Closure for the season will be based on weather. More information about schedules, games and rates as well as updates can be found on Shots Fired Paintball’s Facebook page.

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