Florida ax-throwing venue goes mobile across Treasure Coast
The first and only ax throwing entertainment venue on the Treasure Coast has gone mobile.
Axe Em, which opened in June on U.S. 1, built an ax-throwing trailer to rent for events and to give people across the region a taste of the trend growing in popularity, said co-owner Eric Perez.
“It gives people the experience without coming into our shop,” Perez said, “and it would also encourage them to come into our shop.”
Now, the trailer — containing two regulation-length lanes and targets — has become another option for people not comfortable going to the indoor venue during the coronavirus pandemic.
Axe Em, which closed mid-March because of the coronavirus, reopened last week by appointment only. It was a slow start, but Perez said he was was pleased to get two bookings in the first day for the 17-foot-long trailer. Before the pandemic, it traveled to St. Lucie West, Vero Beach and Jupiter.
He also booked appointments for the venue. Before booking, customers have been asking what precautions are being taken because they’re wary of getting sick.
“It’s just getting the momentum rolling again of people being comfortable,” Perez said.
Staff members are continuing to wipe down ax handles, tables and chairs with disinfectant after every use as they did before COVID-19, he said.
The big change is the maximum number of people allowed inside the venue at one time. He typically allowed up to 45 people, but that now is limited to 10 — two staff members and eight customers.
“It does keep people more comfortable,” Perez said. “They’re not around a ton of strangers.”
Axe Em never had to close, he said, but people started canceling their appointments.
“They didn’t want to be around other people,” Perez said. “They were afraid of the virus.”
He refunded nearly $2,000.
“We were willing to keep with social distancing and keep 10 and under,” Perez said. “With the way our lanes are spread out, we can keep people spread out.”
Still, he and co-owner Michael Shine decided to close and ride it out.
As the operator of a business that’s been open less than a year, Perez said, he’s been riding an anxiety-filled wave for the past six weeks.
He believes throwing axes is essential right now.
“It’s therapeutic,” Perez said. “It lets out frustration. It gets you out of the house. It’s a different environment. It’s learning a new skill.”
Laurie K. Blandford is TCPalm's entertainment reporter and columnist dedicated to finding the best things to do on the Treasure Coast. Follow her on Twitter at @TCPalmLaurie or Facebook at faceboook.com/TCPalmLaurie.
Address: 8440 S. U.S. 1, Port St. Lucie (Lakes Plaza, north of Savanna Club Boulevard, east side of U.S. 1)
Cost: $25 per person for 1 hour; $40 per person for 2 hours; $50 for two people for 1 hour; $80 for two people for 2 hours; $100 deposit required for groups at $35 per person for two hours
Mobile ax throwing: $400 for two hours ($200 deposit required); available to go within 30 miles of venue, each extra mile is $1.50
Notes: Call or go online to book appointment; wear close-toed shoes
This story originally published to tcpalm.com and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.