Have a drink, play with an ax.
What's not to like about an edgy, new business concept coming to metro Phoenix that promises to bring out the public's inner barbarian?
LumberjAxes, a Pittsburgh company, plans to open an indoor ax-throwing facility in Tempe sometime in mid-February, building on what a Forbes magazine writer recently called a "hot trend."
"There's a lot of satisfaction that comes from throwing a sharp, metal object into wood," said Corey Deasy, one of the firm's partners. "It's really a social event. It's a fun atmosphere we try to create."
Anyone can do it, he said, adding that he decided to get into the business after his wife won an ax-throwing competition.
The idea is to have fun, he said.
For an hourly fee, individual customers or groups will be able to throw 1.5-pound hatchets at wood-slab targets. An instructor will guide each group or person through the proper technique and safety procedures. Customers could compete with each other for points. For tiebreakers, the company breaks out a burlier 2.5-pound hatchet for the players, Deasy said.
The Pittsburgh location has been open for five months. Deasy said he and his partner plan a "rapid expansion" to open five more locations in the country this year.
The concept apparently began in Canada about 10 years ago, with about 50 ax-throwing clubs opening in Canada and the United States since then. As the Forbes article says, the concept appears to have started in Toronto in 2011, then spread to various cities in Canada and the United States. The ax-throwing room also follows the opening of two "rage rooms" in metro Phoenix last year that allow customers to smash objects for a price.
LumberjAxes in Tempe will be a "BYOB" facility, Deasy said, meaning customers can bring their own adult beverages.
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Sounds like someone could end up severing a limb, right?
Deasy won't guarantee no one will ever get hurt at the facility, but said he thinks it's unlikely. The company adheres to safety policies created by the National Axe Throwing Federation, an organization that coordinates competition leagues and provides some oversight for member companies.
"My biggest concern is a splinter, not really someone getting hit with a flying ax," he said.
The typical cost is $35 per person for a 2.5-hour session. For more details, check out the company's website.