By Patrick Kernan The Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) "Hatchet-throwing" (yes, hefting a sharpened ax over your head and hurling it at a wall) is growing in popularity across the country. With that in mind, entrepreneurs, Denise Ogurkis and Nicole Smith have joined forces to "Kick Ax" with their new thrill-seeking venture.
Friday afternoon, a new business in Forty Fort had the most "kick ax" ribbon cutting of all time.
The Hatchet Factory, located 125 Welles St. in the borough, opened its doors for the first time on Friday afternoon during a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.
The new business is the first place in Northeastern Pennsylvania that's a hatchet-throwing destination, capitalizing on a sensation that's been taking off in popularity over the past few years.
The goal is a simple one: throw a hatchet at a large wooden target on the wall and try to get it to stick.
And while hefting a sharpened ax over your head and hurling it at a wall may seem a bit intimidating to some folks, owner Denise Ogurkis said there's nothing to be afraid of.
According to her, the place employs trained "axperts" who will show you the ropes.
"We'll show you the proper technique, the safeties, the dos and the don'ts, how to throw an ax, and before you leave you'll be stickin' it," she said.
Ogurkis said she was introduced to hatchet-throwing back in January, and was hooked since then. Later, she said a conversation with her business partner, Nicole Smith, led to the realization that both women wanted to start a business focusing on the activity.
"From May to the end of July, we put our blood, sweat and tears, our heart and soul into this," she said. "We built it all out, and here we are. We're thrilled to be here."
More than a dozen people from the Chamber of Commerce came out to try their hand at hatchet-throwing, and based on the looks on their faces, they all seemed thrilled to be there, too.
It took some practice, but a handful of those who tried their hand were able to sink bull's-eyes in no time.
Ogurkis said that The Hatchet Factory is the only business of its kind in the area. Open six days a week, it's the only place that is dedicated exclusively to hatchet-throwing that has the activity every day that it's open.
"If you haven't tried it, it's just like darts or pool; it's a competitive sport," she said. "Come on down, it's a kick-ax time."
You can go to The Hatchet Factory's website, thehatchetfactory.com, to find out information on how to book your 90 minute session, which includes training from a pro to help first-timers. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.