I know Capone and I can vouch for the East,
But yeah Airsoft is becoming very large. I work at a field and we have hordes of 10-16 year olds playing every weekend. Almost as if the 17-20's are still in paintball but anyone younger or older flocks to airsoft. A generation gap so to speak. I actually hate it because its only so fun to tool on young kids until it gets boring. But 2-5 years from now there will definitely be a large boom in the event playing airsofters.
Just this November, Capone and I attended an Event with about 390 players, many traveling from states away just to play.
I moved on from paintball, way too much money. I can get decent bbs at 5000 a bottle for only $10. And the guns are much better for customization. As a gun tech I do feel the guns are not as reliable when you first get them compared to paintball but after $50 of internals you can make them last forever.
What field do you work at?
Also if you want something to last 50,000-100,000 rounds get a Stock Cyma Ak or M14. Parts might fall off but they seem to go on and on and on and on.
Xtreme action sports in Walpole. Its CQB so there is a ton of younger kids. I just got a Cyma RPK added to my collection, only 10k rounds through it but so far so good.