A new paintball facility could open in Socastee if county council grants a rezoning request.
The Horry County Planning Commission voted Thursday to recommend a rezoning request that would allow a new paintball facility to open up on 13 acres of land at 6676 Highway 707, according to Melanie Emery, who represents landowner Carroll and Thomas Properties LLC.
According to Emery, the facility by North Carolina-based Black Ops Paintball could use the abandoned houses on the property in some of the courses planned for the facility.
If all goes to plan, the facility could open by April, said Black Ops owner Nathaniel Gienger, a retired Army Airborne infantryman who served in Iraq and founded the company in 2012.
“People are eager to start playing,” Gienger said. “We want to be in full swing by the time school gets out and tourists come in.”
The facility will have a speedball field, two hyperball fields and two military-style fields complete with props, sandbags and ammo crates.
Gienger said he expects the facility to draw out-of-state tourists like existing the Fayetteville, North Carolina location. But locals have already shown interest.
“We’re really been surprised at the local support,” he said, adding that the company has seen and increase in off-season sales of paintball and airsoft equipment at the Black Ops Paintball store on Highway 707 across from Socastee High School.
Gienger said the company plans to host parties and will cater to locals and tourists.
“We’re going to tailor a lot of our game play for locals and members,” he said. “We continually add to and change the fields so people who are regulars get a new experience.”