Picasso Lake - Much better experience
M.C. - Slightly better, better prices but only one field
Jack Frost - Better, Similar Prices, but much better fields
I actually have two different experiences at this field. My first experience was close to 8 years ago... it was a pump-only game, and the guns were a mix of Trracers and SL68-II's... it was one of the most enjoyable paintball experiences I've had. I recently returned to Poco Loco for another outing, and I'm left to wonder what happened.
The prices are ridiculous ($99 for a case of Zap and $30 for a field fee?!) and you are almost guaranteed to pay more than you plan to. Hidden costs are tacked on everywhere, we arrived at the field only to learn that our safety equipment was sub-par and were forced to purchase new "Poco Loco Approved" safety equipment. Supposedly, this is why this field has a "perfect liability record", at least according to the woman in the trailer, but I guess that doesn't include the person that fell off of "castle rock" that our referee told us about. The process of getting the renters equipped was slow and arduous, and the younger members of our group were shamelessly grilled by the staff to spend their money to needlessly "bump up" their rented Tippman 98 Customs to Compressed Air from C02. The equipping / orientation process took over an hour when it could have been finished in 15 minutes.
Our group was guaranteed a private field, but was instead placed with another group that came on site. We weren't consulted on this, and when we finally found this out (when we were about to go on field) the woman in charge said that they didn't have enough fields and essentially we had no choice.
In all fairness, the two referees we had were excellent, they were very polite and helpful. However, some of the other staff on the premisis were very unprofessional, and even immature. Equipment was mocked (my equipment is hardly "top of the line" but it was at one point... after making fun of my gear, I asked the staff member if he even knew what kind of gun it was... he didn't... and it was a VM-68). While the emphasis on safety is of utmost importance, a simple reminder the first time a barrel shroud is removed is often sufficient, not yelling in the face of a 14 year old until he is on the brink of tears for an innocent mistake. This shows the lack of tact and class of this field.
The fields aren't bad, but nothing special. They are mostly all wooded, with large rocks and various natural obstacles. There is a small speedball course, and a castle for attack and defend. Avoid these fields if you can unless you have a bottomless wallet, because they will get you on paint.
In conclusion, it would seem that Poco Loco is out to capitalize on the naivete of the new player. Most people don't know that paint doesn't actually cost $99 a case, field fee shouldn't be $30, and that field staff shouldn't be pompous idiots. Poco Loco is able to line it's pockets off of this ignorance, but it definitely isn't ensuring its continued success. People have fun because PAINTBALL is fun; once they make the game come before the bottom line, I may come back. Until then, I give them a 2, simply because the refs we had did a good job.
Ok lets get started with my experience here
I've went here several times but my last experience is the most interesting. We start out with the orientation and then onto getting our gear at the trailer. WATCH OUT, because the lady running the trailer is as mean as anything. Her name is Lori, long reddish brown hair. Be careful with this lady, for some reason any information you recieved from the owner is no longer valid. If the owner is not there you are out of luck. Any prices you had locked in will change when you talk to her, plan on getting free goggles or a gun, it ain't happening. We went twice with over 15 people and then never gave us goggles. We tried telling the lady about this but she basically called us liars and gave us a hard time about the whole thing. Next you buy all your paint, get your mastecard ready because it is expensive. The price of paint with taxes is 104 dollars. Goggles fogging up that will cost you an extra nine dollars. The loaders and hoppers on most of the equipment are shot, but if they break it is your fault and it will costs you. You lose anything, (including your sanity) it will costs you. Any problems with the gun, and they will find a reason it is your fault. They assign us picnic tables, for some reason we're sharing the picnic tables with another team on the field. That means we can not leave our stuff on the tables, they give us nowhere to put our stuff, but i guess that is not their problem. Next, you go out onto the field. If you get the ref nicknamed SARGE, run. He'll tell you all these stories about how he can outrun anyone and how he has been playing for so long. This guy makes your experience truly unpleasant. I have something to tell Sarge, the war is over, Vietnam was 30 years ago. He will nag you the entire time, do anything at all wrong and he'll scream like you're a child. I go to paintball for one reason, to have fun. The staff is completely useless, the prices are crazy, and the fields are overrated.
Last edited on Tuesday, May 20th, 2003 at 9:12 pm PST
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.
Skirmish - Poco has less fields, although most are just as good, is just as expensive as Skirmish, and there's less of a drive to Poco from Philly, and MUCH less walking on the field.
Cobra Command - Poco beats Cobra in every respect but price.
Fireball Mountain - Poco has 1 or 2 more fields, field quality is about equal, Poco's reffing is MUCH better; too much cheating and bad reffing at Fireball. This may have changed recently, though - I understand Fireball's refs have gotten better.
I've been playing at Poco for quite a while, although I don't play there as much as I used to. I've reffed there as well as at other fields; however, I don't ref any more. The fields are good, and are getting better because Poco is putting money back into the field unlike many other fields (otherwise I'd be bored with them by now). It's the only field in the tri-state Philly area that has anywhere near the field quality of Skirmish. Poco also puts a huge emphasis on safety; I've played on a LOT of East Coast fields, and Poco is in the top 3 for safety. They don't allow screwing around in the dead zones, are always telling people to put bags on their barrels and whistle games dead if a mask is pulled. They've got a store onsite that has every basic item you need. It's a great field for newbies, corporate events, bachelor parties and weeked warriors.
That being said, experienced and tournament players won't be happy with only 1 speedball field, no walk-on paint and the fact that there are kids and newbs in most groups.
Poco's not perfect, but the complaints of some of the other reviewers are exaggerated. Frankly, the negative comments seem like sour grapes or whining. The refs don't allow cheating, and there is NO 'house team' whatsoever. Refs do wipe splatter from newbies to prevent confusion. There is FAR less walking than at Skirmish, and the prices at Poco and Skirmish are IDENTICAL (I just checked both web sites), and if you are anywhere near the Philly area the drive to Skirmish is an hour or more longer.
The pricing is what gets most people. Just like Skirmish, it's $99 a case for field paint. Field paint is almost always Team Colors. However, you can buy a membership that brings the price down to $65 a case. If you play 4 times or more a year, you make your membership fee back, and then some.
A couple of people complained about the refs being 'too talkative' and then said they 'weren't approachable.' MAKE UP YOUR MINDS ALREADY! Do you want them to talk to you or not? The refs are used to talking because they are used to newbs and kids. I know several talk too much smack, but so what? Get in there and play and quit whining!
Personally, I prefer fields that let you buy your own paint (Marbs!) and have more experienced players on the field. However, in the Philly area, if you want to play woodsball, Poco's the best there is. Just buy the doggone membership! If you want tournament play, a lot of speedball, or no refs looking over your shoulder, go somewhere else. I've heard Dell Hobbies in New Jersey is great for speedball and runs a pretty tight ship.
I give Poco Loc an 8; I subtracted points for pricing and for too many newbs/kids.
I recently played two tournaments here. This place really is out to just empty yor wallet. Nothing here involves fun, just lining the pockets of the employees. The refs show extreme favoritism and my team and I even saw one instance where an obvious hit was wiped by the ref off of a house team member. Do not go here. Also, having a ton of fields does not matter if they are all junk.
Well, this was the field I first started playing on. The prices weren't all that bad the first time, cause it was a young guns day(when the price is cheaper for people 18 and under) I was there for the day with a few friends thought it was fun. This was before they put in the Castle field. The Ref dude that walked us around and stuff was really annoying and wouldn't stop talking. He got hit once and flipped out. So did some other refs. I went back there 3 times more after that. The castle field is awesome, that's it. The prices are ca-ca-ca-crazy. If you can make the extra few minute drive to skirmish, go there.
Okay i went to this field with my camp this summer. I was one of the few experienced players there. This place isnt too good at all. The prices are rediculous, youd be better off going to the World Cup if you have a budget. The guy that took us through it all was the cockiest person ever. He was like "yea ive got 18 years of experience and if the tip of your barrel is out of your bunker i would be able to hit it with 1 shot with my mag." It was real annoying, I know plenty of people with that much experience and arent any where near that annoying. Then if you needed to refill you would have to walk down this big hill just to get back to the starting point and walk back up if you wanted to go back into the game (very tiring). But they had 1 field i played at which was cool, it was like defend the castle stuff, that was fun. There speedball field needs some help, really bad setup and bad angles from most bunkers. I wouldnt recomend this field to most people.