By C.V. Moore
As rafting season officially launches at ACE Adventure Resort this weekend, the company is adding one more weapon to its adventure arsenal.
This Saturday, ACE is offering free play of its new paintball fields, which was built with local use and local history in mind.
ACE is hoping to attract both local and out-of-state guests to the facility to built on its rafting, zip-line and other outdoor adventure activities.
Guests who visit the complex Saturday evening will be welcome to play free in a series of impromptu games on the first of two fields opening this summer, according to project supervisor Brandon Shaw.
More easily accessible, the new fields replace three primitive fields that had been operated in a remote location on the 1,500-acre resort, according to Shaw.
Resort officials hope the new location, which includes increased parking, will help improve use beyond the resort’s traditional rafting-based audience.
“We’ve designed the new facility to accommodate paintball enthusiasts as well as full- scale paintball tournaments,” Shaw said.
More than 2,000 railroad ties have been recycled for use in construction of bunkers and other field structures, advancing green building methods at the resort and recalling the role of railroads in the New River Gorge.
The fields will include spectator areas and participants will top up their air guns and rent equipment at the resort’s new camp store.
The complex is being developed near the Mountain Top Campground on the upland area of the 1,500-acre adventure resort, where a new disc-golf course had recently been completed.
Shaw said resort officials plan to expand the complex, depending upon its initial success.
The public is invited to play free on Saturday at 5 p.m. Equipment rentals on opening night will be discounted to $20 per gun and $5 per round of 250 balls or $10 per 500 balls.
Just next door at the resort’s Lost Paddle Bar & Grille, a Cincinnati show band known as the Naked Karate Girls will perform from 8 to 11:30 p.m.
Reservations to play the fields are already coming in, according to ACE. To make a reservation, call 1-800-787-3982 or visit aceraft.com.
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