Visited Poco Loco last weekend with a group of about 25.
Referees - I believe our ref's name was Mike. Very professional, fair, organized, and pleasant. Mike was the most positive aspect of our outing.
Fields - We played in 5 different fields throughout the course of the day including the speedball field. This was my first time playing speedball so I can't compare this field to others. The woods fields were decent with plenty of large rocks to make things interesting. The castle was hyped quite a bit, but was one of my least favorite fields. The castle is a great way to waste paint and the defending team has very little chance of surviving. There are far too many angles into the interior of the castle. The walk to the fields was short ... about 1 minute.
Safety - The staff was very strict with keeping goggles on at all times while in the area of the fields.
Where do I begin ...
If you drop a quarter on the ground at this place the owner will suddenly appear out of the woods and suck the money up with his vacuum-like snout. We were quoted $25 per person over the phone and when we arrived it was $27. Not a huge deal but when you are trying to organize a group and collect money it can make things complicated. After some negotiating the charge was dropped back down to $25. Of course, if you don't have your own equipment the $25 includes entry fee, rental equipment, and 100 paintballs. Why do fields do this? Don't make it sound like you can play for the day for $25. If you plan on playing for more than 30 minutes than you will have to buy the upgrade which is $25 for 500 paintballs. The paint is about the worst you can find ... Zap, and they charge $100 per case. Granted, paint is how most fields make their money and you expect to pay outrageous prices for terrible quality paint when you go to a field. I can deal with this, but it is the main reason that I don't go to fields more often.
Let me tell you about lunch ...
On the phone we were told that pizza is available for a large group such as ours. The snackbar isn't equipped to handle 25 people at once so they order pizza for you from a pizza shop. We ordered pizza with the snack bar at 11:30 AM. An hour later we came back only to find that they had forgotten to make the call. An hour and a half after that, the pizza finally arrived. We were charged $12 per pizza by Poco Loco. The delivery guy handed us the receipt and the price was $6 per pizza. Basically, Poco Loco charged us double per pizza just to make a phone call down to the local pizza shop. Of course, they don't allow you to order your own pizza. No surprises there. We calmly confronted the owner about this issue and he proceeded to get all flustered and angry. He ended up making a big scene in front of the group of the students that we brought. Completely unprofessional and pathetic. Basically, this place isn't equipped to feed groups of people so they suggest that you get pizza and then they mark it up like crazy. They make a phone call to the pizza shop (late as it was) and make a killing without having to do a thing.
Another issue we ran into involved the free marker deal when you bring 25 people. We paid for 25 people but only 24 showed up. So, even though we paid for 25 they weren't going to give us the free marker because we were physically short one person. The owner did end up giving us the marker but it took some talking. Do you really want to have to negotiate your way through a day of paintball? If you want to enjoy yourself without having to deal with ignorance don't go here. There is a point when a business has to swallow a few bucks to ensure that customers leave happy and look forward to their next visit. Poco Loco hasn't learned this lesson as of yet and nobody from our group will be going back.
Next weekend I am going to Skirmish ... I'll let you know how they compare. Overall, if you want to play paintball on a consistent basis and enjoy yourself, find a private field where you can bring your own paint and enjoy the sport without thinking about the $100 you had to drop for the day. Paintball is an awesome sport and it will continue to grow. I hope that this growth doesn't allow courses such as Poco Loco to continue to rip people off.
I give Poco Loco a gracious rating of 2 only because the ref's were cool.