Skyline Paintball recovers from fire

STRASBURG – Three weeks after a fire erupted and destroyed storage and buildings at Skyline Paintball, Sue Haynes, part owner and operator of the business, said they are looking to recover and move on.

Haynes said the fire, which occurred around midnight Aug. 27, was determined to be an accident caused by an electrical wire.

“Everything that was in our building was lost, which was all of our rental equipment and all our pro shop equipment,” Haynes said. “Everything’s gone.”

She said the Strasburg location has remained open since the first weekend after the fire, which left the paintball fields untouched.

While remaining in business, Haynes said they are working to replenish more than 240 rental guns that can cost up to a couple of hundred dollars a piece, depending on the gun.

“Hopefully within the next month or so, we’ll be fine,” she said. “We’ve been able to take care of all of our customers that come out – we just don’t have a building.”

“We’ve been in business for 24 years, and so … all our vendors just stepped up and made sure we got what we needed to continue to operate,” Haynes noted, adding that the vendors have been helping them replace equipment every week.

Haynes said that both the building and the equipment in the building were insured, and that they are working through the insurance process to see how much compensation they are eligible for.

“We just kind of have to reconstruct all of the invoices … and it’s just the logistics of getting everything figured out,” she said.

However, despite the extensive rebuilding needed in this situation, Haynes said she believes the business will be able to recover – partly due to the help and support they have received.

“Ultimately, we’ll be able to get everything back up to speed – because we’re coming into our busy season,” Haynes said. “So we want to make sure that we take care of our customers.”

Haynes said the bulk of their business at the Strasburg location is from residents and paintball enthusiasts from the Washington, D.C., area.

Since the fire, Haynes said the business has received an outpouring of support and help from longtime customers and residents from around the Northern Virginia.

“The first weekend, I can’t tell you how many people came by that either played at the field growing up or had just known us … and everybody was just awesome,” Haynes said.

She added, “On my Facebook page, I just had comment after comment after comment of people who were just really worried about us … literally, you could just tell everybody cared. It was very touching.”

At the moment, Haynes noted that they are looking to get geared up for the fall season.

“I’m hoping that, long-term, it’s just going to be a blip and we’ll be OK,” she said. “Right now, it’s just a matter of getting replaced so we can still give our customers a great experience while they’re out there.”

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com