Troy Mickelson wants to introduce the area to an exciting new sport - ax throwing.
Mickelson is ready to break ground on a 2,400-square-foot building in Ashby as soon as the permits are granted. He got the green light for his 40-by-60 foot structure from the Ashby City Council in April.
“I’m excited about it,” Mickelson said Thursday. “It’ll be fun for both older people and younger people.”
For those unfamiliar with the sport, it involves throwing an ax with a 14-inch handle and a 1-pound head a distance of 12 feet.
“It’s a lot more about skill than it is brute force,” Mickelson said. “It’s not about how hard you can throw that ax. It’s more about form than it is strength.”
There is a similarity between ax throwing and bowling according to Mickelson. It is also similar to the game of darts.
The business that will be coming up at 208 Larson Avenue is downtown Ashby will offer six lanes and 12 targets. In his time as a competitive ax thrower, Mickelson has bumped into throwers as young as 12 and as old as 75.
Youngsters 12-16 years of age will be able to throw at Mickelson’s facility if accompanied by a parent or guardian.
“Once they turn 15 they can throw alone if they provide a waiver from a parent or guardian,” Mickelson said.
Mickelson has big plans for his business. He wants to establish leagues and hold a men’s night, a doubles night and offer axe throwing in all four seasons of the year.
Ax throwing migrated into the United States from Canada about eight years ago according to Mickelson.
Mickelson’s business will be tied to the World Axe Throwing League and scores established at his range will be eligible for registration.
“We’ll be a hub here,” Mickelson said.
While food will be available, Mickelson said it will be coming from outside sources. He did not want to start a business that competes with the food businesses already established in the Grant County community. He also plans to offer beverages but nothing with alcohol. He has been in contact with a couple of breweries that supply nonalcoholic beer.
“I wanted to give people a reason to come to Ashby,” Mickelson said. “Hopefully we’ll be up in August.”