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Paintball Photo Competition at Huntington Beach


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Photo of Paintball Stadium audience watching competition at Huntington Beach City Beach. April 9-11, 2010

Huntington Beach, Calif..―Without digging up the dirt (or sand), there are a few things our writers recall about the introduction of paintball to Huntington Beach. It started back in 2002 when the former council person or mayor at the time, Pam Houchen, pitched the idea of allowing an organization, National Professional Paintball League, to hold one leg of their national tour on the beaches of Huntington Beach. Among a variety of issues, it was determined that money could not be charged for watching the game, per laws that make the public beaches available to all free of charge.

A second issue was an environmental concern. Paintball is extremely messy. Though non-toxic paint capsules are used in play, the paint splatters all over the place. It is the nature of the game and is completely unavoidable. But through some crafting and design, it was determined that the sand and surrounding environs could be returned to their original state. Those council members who approved the event will remember better than our staff how the votes went and who said Nay or Yea.

BEACHCALIFORNIA Publisher Debbie Stock worked at the Huntington Beach Conference and Visitors Bureau (HBCVB) at the time and recalls posting the event on the HBCVB web site. The new paintball league owners were set to occupy the office space above the HBCVB office on 417 Main Street, and Brian Houchen's company performed the alterations on the office space for the NPPL offices. One partner in the NPPL company, Chuck Hendtsch, eventually sold his interest in the company and closed the office on Main in HB circa 2006-2007, we believe.

While much opposition initially existed to this event, the hotels and restaurants in town were jazzed that they were selling rooms and food. The paintball competitors spent lots of money locally, and the event, itself, was financed through sponsorships, team competition fees, and vendor expo sales.

What's remembered about this endeavor is that while some opposed (and may continue to dislike) the idea of paintball at the beach and in Huntington Beach, the merchants and hotels said the event was a real boom for their shoulder season revenues. And so in 2008, NPPL National Professional Paintball League returns to Huntington Beach, California for its fifth year. The hotel rooms sell out so if you plan to attend, book now, or look nearby in Newport Beach.  More

Paintball vacation guide: Where to stay in Huntington Beach is a problem if you don't book ahead. The rooms often sell out. If you find yourself caught unaware, there are some affordable nearby options that you can check out. One is the Seaport Marina Hotel in Long Beach. Another nearby popular choice is the Best Western on PCH in Newport Beach. If you need more ideas or help, you can send an email and we'll offer some advice. Email you event query to the email below, and we'll do a search for your criteria to see what's left in the closest area.

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