Good Spaces
Good Food - Good Times - Good Spaces
Pocket Field Action Tag:  How to Grow the Pleasant Crop of 'Friendship Stimulation'!
The Good Spaces property is 80 acres in size. The following photos were all taken on that relatively small piece of property. We grow a very high percentage of the food that we eat to standards that we set. Our small farm was built with that goal in mind. Farm profit from outside sales is negligible but our 'farm' cash crop is 'Friendship Stimulation'. And that cash flow is provided by a highly successful concept that we call an Action Tag Pocket Field - AND the concept, especially in the shadow of the covid panic reaction with all its spinoff economic and social damage, has the potential of providing many other small farm operations with an enjoyable and profitable add-on!
Starting a conventional paintball field is a business idea that many people have had, and many have tried. Few efforts last for long and with the covid disruptions, many large, conventional fields that have had success are sure to go out of business under the new conditions. But there is a niche that may be especially favoured by the covid environment. This page illustrates an active example of this business model and you may realize that your circumstances in conjunction with this model may provide you with an exciting green light!  
Paintball and video games along with other forms of action tag have developed along with technology. Paintball fields and video games have given players thrills for years. Laser tag, airsoft, gel ball, and even Nerf and Rival, indoor and outdoor, have added to the menu. And for over two decades a little known Action Tag field has been pioneering an outlier delivery of outdoor Action Tag that provides a unique player experience with advantages that stand out at any time, but now, with the covid disruptions, its advantages stand out even more. Friends getting together with friends in real time in fresh air, participating in intense and real experiences in wide open spaces – everyone loves to Live! And our system optimizes this universal ‘human touch’ reality while at the same time delivering the product in a way that is attractive as a business opportunity. Covid related restrictions, economic stifling, and panic reactions all tilt the scale in favour of this approach.
We call it The Pocket Field Concept. It could be called 'The Human Scale Concept'. Or it could be called the 'Fire Station Concept' or the 'Sleeping Dragon Concept' – ready to burst into intense and dazzling action at a moment’s notice but calm and economically patient while waiting.
The Pocket Action Tag Field has many important features;
1 (The Power is in the System) The Action Tag Pocket Field concept is not one feature – it is a planned combination of features that fit together to make a powerful business and recreation model. It is a concept that is scaled to real people, both clients and owners. It is a concept that is economic and satisfying for clients and a stable, low risk, low stress, and profitable business activity for the entrepreneur.
2 (High client value / low production cost)  It provides a far higher quality of ‘social experience’ for small, connected groups than conventional action tag fields and at a retail cost that clients are pleased with and at a production cost that the operator, is pleased with.
3 (Assured Good Times) It provides a much higher level of pleasant predictability, social relaxation, and group harmony compared to conventional fields. Even personal property security for individuals is optimized.
(Broad Location Options) The system has characteristics that allow it to function economically in relatively low density population areas. A parallel advantage is that such areas have land available, close at hand, and at a low cost. And such areas often have land owners who are looking for a way to utilize their rural property as a revenue source. Combining private property with an action tag business and having the field manager also the property owner is a huge advantage to the concept.

5 (Efficient Start-Stop-Wait Feature) The Pocket Field is activated to serve a client group very easily and efficiently and total staffing demand is very low, thus saving operating cost as well as minimizing staff scheduling complexities and inflexibilities. Lull time between groups is not costly. Preparation expense and time are not wasted on speculation that clients may show up. The concept is built on reliable bookings – being there when needed, but only when needed.

6 (High Repeat Business) It provides an attractive, high value recreational option for small groups and due to the quality and positive economics of the experience, word of mouth promotion and repeat business is automatic – thus assuring the financial viability of the capital investment.

7 (Maximum Utilization Window) It can function on any day of the week and at any time during the 24 hour cycle, thus allowing groups a high level of scheduling flexibility and avoiding weekend, daylight, log jambs. The revenue production capacity of the investment is maximized. The capacity to do night or day events expands the ‘experience’ options menu of the facility. Night events are different than day events – both are unique experiences. Two distinct products.

8 (Excellent Weather Flexibility) It can provide functional enjoyment in extreme weather conditions, to a far higher degree than at conventional fields, thus providing stability for booking plans to work out. Rain, snow, heat, and cold can be buffered amazingly well.

9 (High Client Value Features) The Pocket field provides a highly personal and highly time efficient environment for groups, this being a factor in assuring repeat business. When clients are on site, they play – they don’t sit around unless they have pleasantly tired themselves out and want a break! Flow restrictions and game continuity bottleneck frustrations are minimized.

10 (Broad Client Appeal) It provides a standardized and predictable experience akin to a bowling or recreational hockey game outing but with a core activity that can showcase great skill yet be learned by all in moments while generating intense, physically active excitement for all, regardless of skill level. An unusual and highly desirable combination of recreational pluses! The Pocket Field Concept has the potential to make Action Tag much more of a main stream recreational activity – not simply for a narrow slice of battle fanatics.

14 (Flexible Application) Everyone has different circumstances and varied desires on scale of operation when considering starting a business. The principles utilized in building the Merrill Dunes Pocket Field can be applied in many different ways and low budget, mobile, or indoor action tag projects can all benefit from at least some of the features that we have applied at Merrill Dunes.

15 (Optimal Timing) The covid disruption will put many conventional action tag fields out of business due to lack of vital client dollar flow and due to the costly and restrictive complications that governmental rulings cause for their system. It is a perfect time to start a Pocket Field as items like pricy three stage air compressors and other highly useful equipment will be available at low prices. And the Pocket Field Concept is far less impacted by contagion panic and government restrictions. The demand for outdoor physical activity with a controlled social content may well find a sweet spot in the Pocket Field Concept.

11 (Simple Client Access and a Level Playing Field)  The Pocket Field is built on ‘equipment rental’ so anyone can play and organizing group outings is easy. Experience shows that most Pocket Field clients do not have their own equipment and are not hard core players. Thus, the concept tends to provide a very level playing field that advances group harmony and appeals to a wide client market. The concept focuses on this type of player and excels at attracting and retaining them.

12 (Flexible Entry Scale and Growth Potential) The concept allows the field owner to start small and as the business develops, to expand, if desired, and thus have the capacity to handle larger groups and to attract groups from greater distances.

13 (Built in Stability Insurance) People considering opening an action tag field might have concerns about equipment theft and vandalism of field equipment and props. Again, the Pocket Field concept has structural features that minimize these hazards. The concept also tends to attract clients who are pleasant to deal with.

Who is going to open a Pocket Action Tag field?

The Pocket field is going to be located relatively close to some type of urban population center, on private land, and likely will be built and operated by a member of the family who owns the property. The field will likely be a utilization of property that is already in place and looking for a profitable use.

The business will likely be the work of an owner / operator who will provide the soul of the operation. A huge aspect of the Pocket Field system is the potential for the acting operator’s personality to impact each player who experiences the system. The system promotes an interpersonal cyclical amplification of excitement – the operator by (1) setting the physical stage and then (2) providing an initial personality spark, which (3) ignites a mass personality-mix chemistry that turns every outing into a unique classic event that sends players away, energized, and better friends than when they first arrived! The concept is personality driven by the ‘client artists’ – the business owner provides the quality canvas, brushes, and paint, lights a creative spark – and stands back, only doing what is needed to prevent the ‘artists’ from being distracted from their unique and personal creative ‘social masterpiece’! The Band of Brothers and Sisters create a personal ‘Group Happening’!

So, how do you assemble the system to get these wonderful results? How do you activate this small business marvel? How do you make this venture deliver performance for your clients and a dollar profit for you, the entrepreneur? How do you build the business so it has potential to be sold and moved to a new location efficiently? If you already have an Action Tag field, how can you use some of our tactics to enhance your operation? That is what we are going to tell you about.

How we are going to give you details is still a work in progress. It is very easy to spend a lot of time talking with too few people listening, no matter how good your ideas may be. We are working on getting up enough exposure that we get at least a hint of interest – we need a small audience that can grow! The vital base of our ideas is the ongoing existence and success of Merrill Dunes. The details of that operation and the experience it has provided are what need to be shared. Will we achieve momentum? We are approaching farm publications to do stories on adding a pocket field style action tag feature to small farm operations. We are looking at using a Youtube channel as an education tool. A blog or a book are possible options.

A condensed coverage of the mix of vital details appears on a second linked page. A breakthrough could come if we at some point connect with a manufacturer and marketer of supplies that support the Pocket Field concept. To date, the concept is unrecognized and establishment effort is focused around conventional fields.  We feel a bit like the infant organic movement. As far as we are aware, the Merrill Dunes formula is unique. Covid may help change that industry focus. We have and are illustrating that there is an alternative route for Action Tag to follow - - a route that yields Good Times for grass roots ‘People’, both clients as well as business operators!