The following article was previously published by CambridgeToday.
After years spent trying to obtain a zoning bylaw amendment for his Kossuth Road property to make it fit for recreational use, Joe Kimpson has given up the fight and is selling the former home of Flag Raiders paintball.
When reached about the listing, Kimpson said the opportunity to sell made sense but that doesn't mean the business is dead.
"The property is listed for sale and with a lot of proposed growth in the area, it would be silly not to," he said.
"There has been a lot of activity in the area with long time property owners selling to developers."
The listing for 1500 Kossuth Road, which has been posted for nearly three weeks on realtor.ca, pegs the price at $2,499,900.
The listing describes the more than 60-acre property as a "fantastic opportunity for a land investment" and says it is "across from the expanding Waterloo Regional Airport."
Zoned for agricultural use, the property is described as "a great place to build your dream home surrounded by protected forest and open areas."
The listing also suggests it could be a "strategic purchase for future development" as the city and region continues to expand around the airport.
The Kimpson siblings, Corey, a Ward 3 councillor in Cambridge, and Joe operated the business on the property under a number of temporary use exemptions between 2001 and 2008.
The Kossuth Road land wasn't zoned for commercial-recreational use, so the Kimpson's were forced to relocate and found their way next to Bingemans in Kitchener.
The Kitchener location was then sold for redevelopment in 2020, leaving Flag Raiders without a home and Joe and Corey fighting to secure zoning for the Kossuth Road property.
Having not operated since 2020, the business has taken a significant monetary hit, Joe admits.
"It's been a very challenging time for our business and family," he said.
"I started the business in 1983 while in college. We've lost years of revenue and it's devastating, I'm not afraid to say that. It’s baffling there's nowhere in the region we can operate. Don’t you think if there was somewhere else to go, we wouldn't have done that?"
Despite the stress and exhaustive process that's led to this point, Kimpson said there's still high demand from the paintball community and he's hopeful a location will be found where Flag Raiders can re-open.
And while the door isn't completely closed on the current location, Joe calls it unlikely.
"The provincial league wants host events centrally in this area and that could be a boom for the tourism economy," he said.
"Flag Raiders continues to look at changes to the planning policy that allows us to operate there while also alternative locations."