Locals can stop by Tomahawk Axe to try their hand at axe throwing. The new business held its grand opening on March 12.
Individuals can rent one of the 12 lanes for 75 minutes at a time or the entire facility can be rented by a group.
“It’s an alternative to other activities like bowling, skating and casinos, although this is a more family-friendly venue than casinos,” said Marvin Velazquez, co-owner of the new business. Their insurance covers children who are eight years and older, although kids must have a parent or legal guardian sign a waiver.
“It’s a place the community can come and can have a nice safe environment,” he said. He added that they can rent for groups such as bachelor parties or team building activities for businesses.
“We’ve always wanted to do something that gives back to the community and could be proud of,” said co-owner Dana Higgins, who is also Velazquez’ partner.
“When we tried axe throwing a while back we thought ‘this will be great, this will be fun,’” she said.
She added that anyone can throw an axe and that it is not that difficult.
The business has projected targets in their lanes.
“That is a lot more sophisticated and gives you six different games you can play,” said Velazquez. “It’s an adrenaline rush that is very competitive."
The lanes and target systems are designed to minimize bounces of the axe to create a safe environment.
“Lumberjack axe throwing has been part of this area for more than a hundred years,” said Velazquez.
The business is also a mini-billiards facility and will feature table games and 12 television screens to display sports and other entertainment.
“We’re in the process of completing our commercial kitchen,” said Velazquez, who expects the kitchen to be open in about a month.
It will be named Mel’s Kitchen after Velazquez’ father, Melvin Velazquez, who passed away last year.
“My dad will still be cooking in our hearts,” he said.
Velazquez was also inspired in part to open the new business by Tony Craig, a Tulalip Tribal member and former local gym member who passed away in 2020.
“I’d like to take a moment and thank Tony. He was an inspiration,” he said.
Velazquez, who is a Tulalip Tribal member himself, had a traditional blessing before his grand opening by tribal member Tony Hatch.
Hatch was glad to see a Tulalip member owned business open in areas where Native people used to live.
“We’re really close to the border of our lands before the reservation was put in place,” said Hatch.
He encouraged people to support the new business.
“It’s not an easy thing to do, to put everything you’ve got into a facility like this and take a chance,” he said.
Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert also welcomed the new business.
“These are people that feel passionate about the investment they’re making here and we hope to get the word out,” Tolbert said.
“We need indoor fun, and particularly after the last two years, we need to be able to come together socially,” she added.
Higgins thanked the city for their support. “The city of Arlington have been remarkable to work with,” she said. “They have been super supportive.”
Velazquez and Higgins said they hope to be a part of the community with their new business going forward as well.