Family shoots for fun and profit |

Family shoots for fun and profit

by Jo Rafferty

Jen Saunders, 21, wasn’t too sure about it when her father and brother decided to take their passion for paintball and make it the family business.

Now she has joined in their excitement.

“It was my dad and brother’s idea,” said Saunders. “They’re really into it. They’ve been playing for about 5-6 years now.

“It’s a lot more popular than I thought it was,” said Jen. “It’s pretty good working here.”

Jen’s family, including her father and mother, Pat and Phyllis Saunders, opened GTP Paintball Pro Shop at Carson Valley Plaza in Indian Hills in mid-August.

Pat and his son, Tyler Saunders, 17, enjoyed playing paintball together and noticed that the sport didn’t seem to be losing its popularity. Since there wasn’t a local store that carried everything they needed, Pat thought he would create his own, according to Jen.

“They just thought there wasn’t really a store like how they wanted it to be,” said Jen, who is a sales clerk in the store during the day.

Jen’s mom, Phyllis, does the bookkeeping at GTP Paintball and her brother works in the store after school.

Since the store opened they have had a steady stream of customers, both experienced and novice players.

Paintball guns at the store come in a wide range of prices, and packages are available for those who are just breaking into the sport.

Packages include a hopper (attaches to the gun to hold the balls), a battle swab (for cleaning the gun), a 12-ounce CO2 bottle and a protective mask.

The prices for packages are $40, $50 and $60, and vary depending on the quality of the mask.

“With the packages you can buy everything you need,” said Jen. “Pretty much you could just buy a gun, a package and some balls and you’re ready to go.”

Spyder, WGP, Dye, Tippman and Smart Parts are the brands GTP carries in paintball guns. The cost varies considerably, from $89 to $1,249.

A paintballer may decide to venture into tournaments, or get into “rec ball,” played in groups in a natural setting.

“That’s the most popular thing around here,” said Jen. “It’s played in the woods.”

GTP has accessories for both types of paintballing including, gloves, goggles, pods (to hold extra balls), knee and shin guards, paint carrying belts and duffle bags.

Serious paintballers who need specialized clothing can find a full line of tournament gear and next year the store will add a camouflage section, according to Jen.

Paintball gun parts, repairs, cleaning and oiling, CO2 refills and gift certificates are available at GTP Paintball.

“Basically we can get anything,” said Jen.

For more information, call GTP Paintball Pro Shop at 267-4180.

— Jo Rafferty can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 213.


What: GTP Paintball Pro Shop

Where: 911 Topsy Lane, Suite 222, Indian Hills

Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

For information: Call 267-4180