Axe Throwing Is the Hottest New Party Trend in the Hudson Valley
Thanks to budding local start-ups, you can throw an axe and have a blast at birthday parties, team buildings, and even date nights.
Photos by Sarah Wilson
Eyes on the target, grasp on the handle, and...hurl!
At Vikings Hatchet Hurling (VHH) in Port Jervis, you can get your lumberjack on and try your hand at tossing hatchets at a designated target.
This is no April Fools' Day joke. In fact, VHH marks the migration of axe throwing north of NYC into the Hudson Valley. The Port Jervis business, which opened in October 2018, was co-founded by Sarah Wilson, a young business owner and student at the State University of New York Empire State College.
“Axe throwing has become a new trend, especially in Pennsylvania and New Jersey,” says Wilson. “We concluded it was only a matter of time before it came to the Hudson Valley.”
Wilson, 20, came up with the inspiration for a hatchet hurling business from her previous boss, Dustin Adams. Using her business management studies, she formed a three-person partnership with Adams and her father, Karsten Wilson.
After interning at the Orange Couny IDA and The Accelerator, Wilson and VHH joined The Accelerator’s Workplace for Emerging Businesses (WEB) program, which aims to help Generation-Z business owners get their feet wet and their businesses off the ground. The program provides workforce training, assists with mentoring programs, and fosters connections among professionals. Currently, Wilson uses the WEB platform for mentorship, although she hopes to eventually graduate to The Accelerator to expand and improve her business even further.
“I am really excited to see Vikings Hatchet Hurling become the go-to place for parties and for friends’ nights out,” she says. “It would also be cool to see a revival in Port Jervis and see the town become a location with exciting recreational activities to do on the weekends.”
Coming up at VHH, stay tuned for hatchet leagues, parties, corporate events, and team building programs. On Thursday nights, the Port Jervis destination even hosts a knife club, through which members can practice their knife throwing skills inside safe, designated spaces.
Want more axe-citing action? Check out Hudson Valley Hatchet, a mobile hatchet hurling company that travels to locations throughout the region for events. Thanks to the niche business, locals can chuck axes at pop-up spots or book the service for festivals, weddings, birthdays, or private parties. Also on ax-throwing bandwagon is The Castle Fun Center in Chester, which staffs a trained “axepert” to instruct guests on how to toss correctly and hit the perfect bullseye. If you crave a bit of relaxation to counter the heart-racing excitement, Mohonk Mountain House sometimes hosts tomahawk throwing classes to complement its spa programming.