It’s not just residents that are struggling to make it in the Bay, but also businesses.
A long-time South Bay family business now says they’re being priced out and will have to shut their business down.
They hope management will reconsider because they are the only full-time tenants at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.
Santa Clara Paintball has seen thousands of people come through its gates, including quite a few regulars.
But after 21 years, the owners are putting up the white flag.
“We’re here every weekend, all year round,” said Brody Hoops of Santa Clara Paintball. “They have nothing to replace us, they’re just doing this, and we just don’t get it.”
Hoops’ family owns and runs the business.
“It’s sad that this is happening at all, and it’s going to be heartbreaking for a lot of families, not just mine,” said Hoops.
They claim the corporation that manages the property tripled their rent in 2019 and has now raised it again.
Now they say that’s just one too many hits to survive.
“They just don’t think that we should be here anymore,” said Hoops. “They’re pushing us out, mainly by pricing us out several years ago. We’ve been battling that already, shrinking the paintball park to half its original size.”
Noah Briano has worked there for seven years, but with the looming closure, he now needs to find another job.
“This place pretty much put me through my undergrad and then I’m currently working on a master’s at San Jose State and this place has literally put me through it because I’ve been here since and the place is flexible enough to work with me,” he said.
The family said the final day of operations will be Oct. 29.
They haven’t been able to find a permanent site.
The Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Management Corporation didn’t respond to NBC Bay Area’s questions, but wrote in a statement that the paintball company told them they were looking for other sites but agreed to a contract earlier this year.
They said in part, “…both parties signed the agreement in May, which gave paintball sufficient time to break down its current site and relocate to a new location by the end of October. We plan to reprogram the area in the coming year for the 2024 county fair. We wish them well in their new location.”
The owners contend it was the only contract they were offered to keep operating.
But the family is hoping for one last shot.
“The first and primary goal will always be to stay here, our community is here, our family is here, our staff is here. This is where we’ve been for decades,” said Hoops.
Read the full Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Management Corporation statement bellow:
“In December 2022, the owners of Paintball International, Inc., came to the fairgrounds management corporation to advise us of their plan to relocate to another permanent site. We worked diligently with paintball on a new license agreement that was finalized and executed in May 2023. The contract includes a mutually agreed upon termination date of Oct. 31, 2023. Both parties signed the agreement in May, which gave paintball sufficient time to break down its current site and relocate to a new location by the end of October. We plan to reprogram the area in the coming year for the 2024 county fair. We wish them well in their new location.”
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