Paintball, in its simplest form, is an opportunity for individuals to work as a team, build friendships, push players to their limits in a safe and healthy environment, build confidence and get plenty of exercise while having fun in the process.
That is the mission of the husband and wife combo of Kim and Tim Fillion of Fillion Paintball, who own and operate two paintball parks — Hurricane in Palm Bay and Battlefield Orlando in East Orlando.
On Dec. 26, 2014, Hurricane marked its five-year anniversary under management of the Fillions. The Palm Bay park has come a long way since its beginnings in 2003. After bouncing around between four owners, Hurricane paintball, as well as its players, are happy with the current management.
“Paintball was my son, Allen’s passion,” Kim said. “He played at Hurricane and is a member of Hurricane’s home team, Warmachine. His dream was to own and operate a paintball park.
“The city of Palm Bay contacted him and asked him to put in a bid to lease Hurricane. We formed a family company and won the bid in December of 2009. After five years in paintball, Allen graduated from college, started a new career, became engaged and left paintball. Tim and I continue to operate Fillion Paintball as a family business.”
A similar process was used in getting Battlefield, formerly known as Orange County Paintball Park. They found the park on Craigslist, and got the 32-acre spread for large scenario games since Hurricane gets crowded with more than 150 players on the field at a time.
Kim has 30 years experience in the medical field, while Tim remained a superintendent for a construction company. They have three children and three grandchildren, yet still find the time to maintain and run both paintball parks.
Hurricane caters to players from Vero Beach to Cocoa to Orlando. The park has several types of fields, including open field, woodsball in thick pines, and speedball. Players take their pick with referees trained for all scenarios or obstacles.
Battlefield is strictly woodsball with a small open scenario city style on which to play. Players travel from Orlando and all over the Space Coast to play.
While Hurricane staff consists solely of Warmachine members, Battlefield Orlando is operated by Team Savage, The Bad Monkeys, Oddity, The Narcoossee Swamp Soldiers and Warmachine for large events.
The Fillions have nurtured two places where players, experienced or novice, can learn and love the extreme sport of Paintball. Referees roam the fields guiding the players and providing safe and enjoyable atmospheres.
At the end of the day, players walk away with a sense of accomplishment and new stories to tell until their next arrival at the parks.
“Paintball is a welcomed change,” Kim said. “Hurricane and Battlefield are happy places. I get to spend my days watching people have fun. As a paintball park owner, if I can create a safe place to play, I have done my part.”