The site of the former Calverton Links golf course has been vacant for more than two years. But come spring the lot will be in use again — full of muddy runners, zombie-clad people and children doused in color.
The co-owners of Cousins Paintball on Edwards Avenue in Calverton recently signed a three-year lease on the 83-acre property, which they will use to host a variety of events from zombie runs to survival races. Paul Sattler and Dean De Prete, the cousin duo — hence the name Cousins Paintball — also own Long Island Sports Park, which organizes 15 family-centered events each year around the country. Three of those events are held annually in Riverhead: the zombie run, survival race and bubblepalooza.
The newly acquired property is adjacent the Calverton paintball facility, one of five they own throughout the country.
Mr. Del Prete said the move allows them to host events in one spot rather than lease multiple locations.
“Now I have a much better infrastructure to hand out equipment,” he said. “It’s going to be much better for my business.”
In the past, the owners often leased land at the 4-H camp in Riverhead.
“It’s just a beautiful piece of land that’s not utilized,” Mr. Sattler said of the new property. “It was just a wise choice for us. Now we don’t have to look for properties. We can focus more on creating new events.”
Mr. Del Prete and Mr. Sattler, who have owned Cousins Paintball since 1987, said they have no initial plans to expand the paintball and airsoft fields onto the new property, though they wouldn’t rule it out in the future.
A pro shop on the new site will sell paintball gear. People can purchase gear there and then drive a few feet down the road to the next entrance, Mr. Sattler said.
While the new space will solely be used to host events right now, the owners said they hope to expand to eventually host concerts, festivals, art shows and more. The site also came with a catering hall, which Mr. Del Prete said he doesn’t have any plans for yet.
Cousins Paintball will move its headquarters, which are currently in Medford, to the new property. Mr. Del Prete described the new space as the “hub” for his other four locations in Staten Island, the Hudson Valley, New Jersey and Texas. Anyone who has questions or would like to make reservations for any of the five locations are directed to this office, he said.
Expanding the number of events they host is the cousins’ favorite, and most important part, of their project. Mr. Del Prete said seeing people’s reactions during races, like when they complete an obstacle they didn’t think they could do, makes it all worthwhile.
“That’s pretty powerful,” he said.
Photo Caption: The entrance to Calverton Links in 2014. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)