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On Fran Bar: Maybe Danny Glover was Right...

Posted 07-20-2011 at 08:21 AM by Agent Spencer
Recently, it appears that there has been a slight resurgence of interest in playing at Fran Bar Park after nearly half a decade of semi-official boycotting by Airsoft Ohio members and events. I've been involved in airsoft since early '05, and so I do remember some of the larger events at Fran Bar, including the Full Throttle Series, as well as hosted a few events there myself, a long long time ago; Operation: Typhoon Rising to name one. During one of the events that I attended, a fellow member, Kurt Klaus, accidentally stepped on a nail, which went directly through his foot. Ouch.

That pretty much put the nail in the coffin of Fran Bar, which had been disaffectionately dubbed FUBAR Park. (No, I am not above puns, thank you.) In addition to the owner disregarding the multitude of physical dangers of the park itself, the owner can be extremely rude, careless and confrontational. In fact, at one point in time, during an event hosted by the 91st Wild Cards for charity, the owner walked over to the charity donation bin and scooped up "his cut" and left. 91st Wild Card member Spades can provide more information on that incident. That's after making all of the participants pay 15 dollars to shoot at each other in a death trap. Now I'm all for realism, but when an unexploded Soviet minefield in the middle of Kandahar seems like a safer option, enough is enough.

Throughout the years, there have been many AO members mostly often younger individuals, who eagerly realize that if the field can be rehabilitated, there would a Central Ohio Field. Calls have been made, Cleanup events organized. At one point (2009ish if I recall correctly) Miyagi and I even tried to get the field to let us host an event and a barbecue. Miyagi's call was met with the field owner acting like an irate meth head.

Money that you pay to other fields, be them Red Dragon, Battlefront, or Striker's Hidden Valley, goes to actual upkeep. It keeps fields up and running in playable states. The owner of Fran Bar simply pockets the money and disappears. He collects money from Paintballers, Haunted Hoochie goers and (now, again) airsofters, and frankly continuing to give him our money while the field is in such disrepair is condoning his negligence.

Sure, some of you will say, "Toughen up, Agent Spencer, all fields have risks, you signed a waiver, you released your right to sue and acknowledged you are in possible danger." And that's true, but the people who get hit and killed by hockey pucks at games waived their rights too, and they thought they'd be safe. Playing airsoft has risks, yes. I've seen people get teeth shot out, etc. But blatantly negligent hazards like nails, glass, jagged metal and splintered wood everywhere? Is it worth it?

Fran Bar won't be cleaned up by the owner, and I think it's horrendously moronic to clean it up for him. All of the build/clean up days that people have tried to organize were met with the owner wanting to charge $15 bucks a pop. To clean. Not to play. To clean up and make the field safe.

It is for all of these above reasons that Fran Bar was boycotted in the first place. It places players in danger. Younger players, looking for a shorter drive or easier place for their parents to take them to play flock to Fran Bar, and that doesn't bode well for me. Not at all.

I don't play airsoft regularly anymore or as regularly as I would like to be able to play. However if I'm paying to play somewhere, just to have fun, why wouldn't I vote with my money, and give it to a field owner who wasn't actively trying to murder his customers.

Maybe Danny Glover was right. Maybe I am just too old for this sh*t...
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  1. Old
    Texx's Avatar
    Old Spence is too damn old...
    Posted 07-20-2011 at 09:18 AM by Texx Texx is offline
  2. Old
    Conners's Avatar
    Thank you for bringing this up. Place is just plan not safe.
    I was just about to blog about the sudden interest in Fubar again. I dont understand it the place is a freaking **** hole. almost fell though a second story of a building in 07 hate to see what it looks like now.
    Posted 07-20-2011 at 06:44 PM by Conners Conners is offline
  3. Old
    Spetsnaz's Avatar
    That place has been a train wreck since...forever.

    I remember that whole incident where people wanted to clean it up and had to pay to get in. I was one of those interested at the time to help make the field better.

    I was only there for a couple of events...I do not think I'll ever go back!

    I would never say toughen up. Yes, all fields DO have risks but field owners need to make sure that it is as safe as possible with in their control. Leaving very blatant hazards is unforgivable.
    Posted 07-21-2011 at 09:11 AM by Spetsnaz Spetsnaz is offline
  4. Old
    JigglyBushMan's Avatar
    I have personally walked through the field a few times in the past 2 months to scope it out, the middle part with the buildings is all torn up and signs of raccoons and other wildlife are present. Got a tick on my shirt just walking around, everything is torn up, beer bottles everywhere. paintballs scattered everywhere, looks like a junkyard, everything is falling apart. Very hard to walk around, metal and rotten wood laying everywhere.

    At the 2 story building the glass on the door window was broken and the pieces are all over the ground, the stairs are gone, and part of the floor is gone. there is a swamp in the middle, snakes are very likely to be present. Grass in and around the other fields are not cut.

    I have seen no attempt to fix or repair anything. It is in horrible condition and looks like a landfill. The only reason I considered looking at it is that I only live 20 minutes away and there are structures for CQC. Other than that this field is a safety hazard and the boycott should continue until the owner shows some intention of repair and/or replacement of most structures and cleaning up the random junk.

    I do believe he pockets the money and does not use it to preform upkeep. I also find it kinda weird that the "office" is the back door of his house and when I asked to look around a little girl came up the door to me and said it would be alright. =/

    And the price is still $15.
    Posted 07-21-2011 at 01:53 PM by JigglyBushMan JigglyBushMan is offline
    Updated 07-21-2011 at 01:59 PM by JigglyBushMan
  5. Old
    Miyagi's Avatar
    A tragic memory remembered. That's too bad, the place, with alittle..I mean alot, of clean up would be a decent field.

    Posted 07-21-2011 at 03:09 PM by Miyagi Miyagi is offline
  6. Old
    Miyagi's Avatar
    Also, for some reason an event is on the calendar for such death trap.
    Posted 07-21-2011 at 04:54 PM by Miyagi Miyagi is offline
  7. Old
    Chief's Avatar
    I have been playing a couple years now. Never been here. Also, Never ever ever heard anything good about it.
    Heard lots of bad but never any good.
    Posted 07-21-2011 at 04:58 PM by Chief Chief is offline
  8. Old
    is this the very place that wbx 99.7 the blitz does the haunted hootchie thing every year at ?....if so why not git someone say, localy in the media to ...purse the owner and ask why the hell his place is said death trap/ garbage dump?
    Posted 07-22-2011 at 08:49 AM by Ozzsclan Ozzsclan is offline
  9. Old
    JigglyBushMan's Avatar
    I also believe that the sudden spark of interest for this place, is that most of the members that are going to this have only been members for like a month and do not know where better places to play are at and they are making due with what is nearby.
    Posted 07-22-2011 at 11:28 AM by JigglyBushMan JigglyBushMan is offline
  10. Old
    As for the rumors going around that the owner steals money from charity events, that’s ludicrous! I have been playing out at Fran Bar Park for at least 12 years and I know the owner fairly well. Fran Bar Park hosts all kinds of charity events and they have for many years. The owner has never been accused of stealing money from charity events before in fact he often donates a **** ton of his own money to charities. I would love to see some kind of proof that this actually happened but I’m sure no one can provide any.
    Posted 07-23-2011 at 12:46 PM by Death Angel 1911 Death Angel 1911 is offline
  11. Old
    I didn’t realize I was kicking a hornets’ nest when I posted Fran Bar Park. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, a lot of people love playing out there and apparently a lot of people hate it. I think the Hoochie field is bad *** and I know a lot of people agree, but even if you don’t like the Hoochie field, there are several other fields out there that are awesome as well.

    Some people have said that Fran Bar Is the most dangerous field in Ohio. I call Bull **** on that! I was playing at a field just a couple weeks ago that had 60 foot almost vertical drop offs in the middle of the woods. I have not seen anything at Fran Bar that is as dangerous as that. None the less, it was a great field and event, everyone had a great time, and no one was complaining about it. I appreciate the realism and challenges fields like this present.
    Posted 07-23-2011 at 12:47 PM by Death Angel 1911 Death Angel 1911 is offline
  12. Old
    There are environmental hazards everywhere you play, unless you’re playing in a little padded room. A little common sense goes a long way. You have to know your limitations and not do stupid things that might hurt you. Even when you are careful and think you’re doing everything right, accidents can still happen. That’s life, that’s air soft, that’s any sport you play! If you want to live your life in a little padded room so that nothing can ever hurt you, that’s your prerogative. I like having fun and enjoying life and that’s just what I, and many other people will be doing out at Fran Bar Park.
    Posted 07-23-2011 at 12:48 PM by Death Angel 1911 Death Angel 1911 is offline
  13. Old
    Agent Spencer's Avatar
    Wow. Cool it down, man. No one here in this blog is personally calling you out. We are simply concerned for the safety of the individual players and the sport as a whole.

    As for the field with the drop offs, (EDIT: which I assume to be Hidden Valley), I think you'll find that very few people (if any) have ever been hospitalized as a result of them being here.

    The field is not comprised of nothing but 60 foot drop offs, whereas Fran Bars main essence is dangerous. Gigantic geographical dangers are typically easier to accommodate than are 60,000 different varieties of metals, glasses, and other sharp objects, encompassing the entire field.

    But, people vote with their money, and Airsoft Ohio as a majority, has had negative experiences with Fran Bar and its owner. So if you personally feel like taking the unnecessary risk of playing there, have at it. I personally can't imagine hosting an event there and having a clear conscience that I am promoting the tenets of Airsoft Ohio.

    Leadership. Safety. Knowledge.

    And knowing, is half the battle.
    Posted 07-23-2011 at 03:12 PM by Agent Spencer Agent Spencer is offline
    Updated 07-23-2011 at 03:20 PM by Agent Spencer
  14. Old
    Spectre's Avatar
    There are environmental hazards everywhere you play, unless you’re playing in a little padded room. A little common sense goes a long way. You have to know your limitations and not do stupid things that might hurt you. Even when you are careful and think you’re doing everything right, accidents can still happen. That’s life, that’s air soft, that’s any sport you play! If you want to live your life in a little padded room so that nothing can ever hurt you, that’s your prerogative. I like having fun and enjoying life and that’s just what I, and many other people will be doing out at Fran Bar Park.
    There is a great difference between taking a risk and placing yourself needlessly in harms way. At most fields you might sprain an ankle or break a bone from slipping or falling from everyday play. You can do this in any sport. However, you wouldn't play basketball on a court covered in broken glass, or swim in a pool littered with scrap. People who have long been around in this community state that this field goes above and beyond risk. I've never played there, but because of them and their experiences to which I trust are accurate, I don't intend on playing there.

    Professionalism is key to successfully presenting yourself well. There is a very clear lack of professionalism with the way you address the risk of personal injury. Stepping on a concealed nail is not a boundary of one's limits, its an unnecessary injury resulting from an unnecessary risk.
    Posted 07-23-2011 at 08:59 PM by Spectre Spectre is offline
    Updated 07-23-2011 at 09:03 PM by Spectre
  15. Old
    JigglyBushMan's Avatar
    "unnecessary risk"- Spectre
    sums it all up
    Posted 07-23-2011 at 09:24 PM by JigglyBushMan JigglyBushMan is offline
  16. Old
    ReverseFlank's Avatar
    Professionalism is key to successfully presenting yourself well
    No that sums it up. If the man was a professional he would present both himself and his asset in the best possible manner. I have never had the chance to play at FUBAR Park, but I have heard enough from reputable members of the community to know that its not worth my time. Sorry death angel 1911, your opinion was lost on me the second you became brash and irrational, again professionalism.

    I see it this way, if the man wanted to be on the good side of the community he would help with clean up efforts. If he was even just in it for the money he would support the clean up efforts. So the fact he does not support the numerous attempts to help him leads me to believe he is just a fool and a poor businessman and not worth the time/concern of this community.
    Posted 07-23-2011 at 11:24 PM by ReverseFlank ReverseFlank is offline
    Updated 07-23-2011 at 11:31 PM by ReverseFlank
  17. Old
    Panda's Avatar
    There are environmental hazards everywhere you play, unless you’re playing in a little padded room. A little common sense goes a long way. You have to know your limitations and not do stupid things that might hurt you.
    I would like to say first that I have never been to this field, and judging by the thoughts and experiences of more experienced AO members, I never will. This field sounds terrible, unsafe, poorly ran, and an overall terrible place to play. I understand we sign a waiver, but that covers accidents. EXAMPLE: You get ran over by an ATV'er at Springfield (however unlikely Blade, it's possible). Stepping on an exposed nail is not a "stupid thing" on the part of the player.

    Even when you are careful and think you’re doing everything right, accidents can still happen. That’s life, that’s air soft, that’s any sport you play!
    Not every field has a terrible owner and terrible hazards everywhere. The ones that do, we don't go to. Hence, Fran Bar.

    If you want to live your life in a little padded room so that nothing can ever hurt you, that’s your prerogative. I like having fun and enjoying life and that’s just what I, and many other people will be doing out at Fran Bar Park
    To me, "enjoying life" isn't dodging broken glass, exposed nails, neck-high powerlines, wild animals, a jerk field owner, and nobody able to do anything about it. Also, if I may add, your tone is very unpleasant, and since you seem to be representing the field, more reason not to go there.

    I will never go there as long as blatant safety issues and ***hole owners exist.
    Posted 07-25-2011 at 07:35 PM by Panda Panda is offline
  18. Old
    First of all, I am not the owner. I am just someone who plays at Fran Bar and has for many years. I posted the field after a lot of people asked me to do so.

    Despite your “boycott”, there are still a ton of people that love playing at Fran Bar. We had a good turn out this past weekend. Everyone seemed to have a great time despite the heat and we did not have a single injury. The last injury that I have even heard of was from 2007 when someone stepped on a nail. The owner has cleaned up the field as he does every year at the beginning of the season and he has always been quick to address safety concerns when they are brought to his attention. I guess some people have had negative experiences with the owner but I have played at Fran Bar for a long time and he has always treated me and everyone else that I know with respect.

    No one is supposed to go onto the second floor of any of the buildings. If you read the rules you will see that spelled out very clearly. The owner has removed the stairs and ladders that lead up to the second floor of all the buildings to prevent this from happening.

    For those of you that have never been to Fran Bar and are going off of other people’s opinions (which I seem to see a lot of), I would suggest you check out the field for yourself and form your own opinion. I have come to find out that there are some political games being played in an attempt to make the owner look bad. Fran Bar is open every weekend and you can check out the fields without paying admission. I will be posting some field pix as soon as possible as well. There were several people that showed up this past weekend that had never been to Fran Bar before and every one of them said they loved the fields.

    For those that say this field looks like a death trap, duh, it used to be a haunted attraction so it was made to LOOK scary. It’s not really haunted… I promise…

    Simply said, if you don’t like Fran Bar, then don’t play there. Those of us that like the fields at Fran Bar will continue to play out there and have fun.
    Posted 07-25-2011 at 09:12 PM by Death Angel 1911 Death Angel 1911 is offline
  19. Old
    Grease Man's Avatar
    I'm not sure what political games you're referring to. The owner was a **** to me and many others when I played there (many times). I'm not really sure how that's political. I guess the only reason we played there was because at that time, it was really one of the only places to play.

    But I do agree with you, people should make their own opinions of the field. I have mine, that are pretty much shared by a lot of people. When Fran Bar gets brought up on this board a lot of negativity exists, because that's how we were treated back then. There is nothing wrong with us telling our experiences in the past.

    If things have changed, then great. However, for a lot of us, it's too late. I gave Fran Bar a ton of chances when games were being held there.

    However, I'm also glad you guys are out there having fun and, I assume, properly representing Airsoft as a hobby
    Posted 07-26-2011 at 12:03 PM by Grease Man Grease Man is offline
  20. Old
    Red's Avatar
    Death Angel,

    Please keep in mind that people generally do not form opinions out of no where. I've played there numerous times in the past, and I've never personally spoken to the owner. This is not due to a lack of trying on my part. This alone is a reason for me to not spend my money there. I am a firm believer in proper PR and attitudes.

    I've spoken to the owner of every other field in Ohio, and as well, other fields in other states. I've never encountered an owner who didn't come out to talk to the players or say hi, or show his appreciation/promote his business. It was often very prompt, succinct, and to the point, which was "give me the money, here's your wrist band." This is as much communication as I have had with the gentlemen.

    I do know that with attempts to clean up the field, the owner did attempt to charge us per head to clean up his field. This is not a rumor.

    The Barbeque in 2009 was shot down by the owner and was received with a less than enthusiastic response from him.

    A respected player in the AO community sustained a serious physical injury that was not within the range of a normal injury at an airsoft field, and this was entirely at the fault of the field's condition, NOT the player or circumstances.

    The owner does not put money back into the field like he should. If he did at any point in time, he never improved it and thus, I am of the opinion that he does not know how to run a field properly due to implementing his funds in areas where customers will not notice the improvement.

    I am a 20 year old kid. Quite frankly, I am 100% confident that I could run an airsoft field better than this gentlemen has, and it is not that I am some spectacularly business savvy person, as I am not.

    If he has changed his business ways, fantastic. I am all for it. However, from the reports from a member or two I know personally, it sounds like it has not. This saddens me.

    I hope that the owner wises up and brings back the field to better conditions - I know all ill will, opinion and the like will go away as if it was never there if the field becomes a safe & fun place to play again.


    Posted 07-27-2011 at 04:08 AM by Red Red is offline

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