Heber Hatchets, located on 2015 N. Division St., opened its doors for ax throwing mayhem about three months ago.
This family-friendly business has six locations across three states, Utah, Idaho and now Washington. Yet, the Spokane location has quickly risen to the No. 1 performing spot among their locations, according to Dave Kelley, the Heber Hatchets Spokane manager. Kelley said that the business model revolving around fun is the main reason they have grown so quickly.
“Throwing axes is fun, unique, edgy and a little dangerous, which adds to the attraction,” Kelley said.
Heber Hatchets employee Freyja Herzog thinks that the activity and the environment draw people in for a good time.
"Heber Hatchets is a fun and exciting place to work," Herzog said. "The friendly staff, atmosphere and all the ax throwing I could ever want, make it one of the best recreational businesses in Spokane."
Upon opening, their rapid growth in combination with the demographics of customers, has been the most surprising aspect to Kelley and his small team.
“The amount of women and girls that are into ax throwing easily outweighs the men,” Kelley said. “With women consisting of about 70% of our customers.”
College towns like Spokane have been the ideal business location for Heber Hatchets. Its location in Provo, Utah, has become a popular activity among the students. In September, on the day of the “Holy War” football game — a rival game between Brigham Young University and University of Utah, the team — mascots and fans went to Heber Hatchets for some pregame fun. Kelley said that this kind of relationship is one they want to build with Gonzaga University as well.
Heber Hatchets invites everyone, no matter the skill level, to come in and throw axes. This lumberjack-themed spot is lined with ax throwing lanes ending in a wood target where groups of throwers can play a variety of competitive games like “The Gambler,” or “High Noon.” They offer both 6.5 lb. axes and 4 lb. axes to accommodate anyone that wants to give it a try.
“The key to ax throwing is having it rotate only one time before hitting the board,” Kelley said after hitting three bullseyes in a row.
Taken up as a hobby, Kelley has been throwing axes for about 13 years. Aside from ax throwing, Kelley teaches graphic design at North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene. He uses his expertise at Heber Hatchets by designing their signs and merchandise.
Pro-tip: stop on in and grab a free sticker when you play.
The going rates decrease with party size, charging $15 per person for groups of three or fewer, $12 per person for groups between four and seven people, and $10 per person for groups larger than eight.
The company caters to big groups like bachelor parties or corporate events and they gladly take reservations.
For those that are skeptical because of viral videos of ax throwing gone wrong, Kelley combats this phenomenon with their detailed business operation.
Kelley said that Heber Hatchets is set apart by the thorough safety education given to each thrower and committing to safe surroundings. The most popular viral video that displayed the dangers of ax throwing was at a business that had wood axes and concrete floor, which is not a good combination, resulting in dangerous bounce back.
At Heber Hatchets, the floors are made of soft mulch-like material and the heavy axes have the bottom rubber lining removed so the axes can only bounce back so far. They do not try to shy away from the fact that it is dangerous, they just emphasize and prioritize safety.
Heber Hatchets is open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 5 p.m. to midnight and Saturday 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.