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Lincolnton council approves Zero Dark Thirty Paintball facility

MATT CHAPMAN
Staff Writer

The Lincolnton City Council voted unanimously to approve a paintball facility in the city during their regular monthly meeting on June 1.

“This is one of those situations where it seems like the owner has taken every precaution to make sure that there isn’t any fallout danger from this facility,” Lincolnton Mayor Ed Hatley said. “Paintball is very popular among young people and that’s something that we’ve got to be more receptive to in order to appeal to all of our citizens. I know that my son has played paintball before and it’s something a lot of the younger people really enjoy. To me, we have to think outside of the box. This isn’t one of those traditional businesses, but I think the kids will enjoy it.”

Lincolnton resident James Huss filed an application requesting a conditional-use permit to operate a paintball facility in the planned business district. The subject property is located at 1408 East Main Street adjacent to Wendy’s and across the street from Family Video at the site of a former used car sales lot.

The facility will be known as Zero Dark Thirty Paintball and will become the second paintball battlefield in Lincoln County, but the first in Lincolnton. The site will feature a parking lot facing the street and the undeveloped rear portion of the property will become the playing field, which will be entirely enclosed by netting no less than 15 feet high, including a top. The holes in the netting will be small enough to catch misfired paintballs and the net itself will be soft so that the paintballs don’t explode upon impact, according to Huss.

“This is my first time opening a business like this and the idea actually came to me in a dream,” Huss said. “In the dream I was out playing paintball and when the round ended I walked inside behind the counter and I was the owner. That’s where it all started and since then I’ve been doing tons of research. I had to look into the competitors in the area and I had to research all the tools that it takes to be successful in this environment. Many, many hours went into analyzing the steps needed to fulfill this dream.”

Huss said he wanted to provide an outdoor activity for the younger generation of Lincolnton residents where friends and family can go out and enjoy each other’s company. Zero Dark Thirty Paintball will open strictly as a field for play, but Huss hopes to one day sell paintball guns and gear at the location.

“Right now the plan is for a field that will be surrounded by netting with inflatable bunkers throughout the middle of the course,” Huss said. “Eventually I’d like to turn it into a scenario type of thing resembling a Call of Duty map or something that teenagers can relate to and recognize.”

Huss said that he’s hoping to have Zero Dark Thirty Paintball open for business by the end of June.

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