Grizzly’s Hatchet House Among New Entertainment Growing in Danville

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Grizzly’s Hatchet House Among New Entertainment Growing in Danville

Axe Throwing involves two lanes, similar to bowling.

Axe Throwing involves two lanes, similar to bowling.

Axe Throwing involves two lanes, similar to bowling.

Axe Throwing involves two lanes, similar to bowling.

Jackson Prebe, Staff Writer

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Despite the beauty of Danville’s River District, unique sources of entertainment can be scarce at times. With the exception of a few restaurants, and the occasional community events on the weekend, the number of experiences to take in can be quite limited.

There is, however, a new kid on the block in the River District who hopes to bring a fresh, exciting experience to those looking for ways to spend their evenings in Danville. Christie Wall, owner of Grizzly’s Hatchet House, is bringing a bold new activity into the River District’s repertoire: axe throwing. Wall, a Danville native,  began her journey by taking advantage of the River District Association’s “Dreamlaunch Challenge” offering $75,000 for new business proposals in the area. Her plan, initially, was to start an escape room experience.

“I went with my daughter to Charleston, South Carolina, to look at the College of Charleston, where she goes to school now. We went to an escape room, because I was looking for something fun for us to do, and as soon as we left I started researching it.”

The idea of an escape room allowed Wall to tap into her creative energy, while also applying her entrepreneurial skills developed through years of working in high level positions in businesses around Danville. During the process of developing her business plan to submit to the River District Association, her husband noticed axe throwing on television, sparking Wall’s interest.

“I was really kind of iffy about it, because I did not really understand it. Then I was talking to some other escape room owners, for my business plan research, and when I told them I was in an area where rent wasn’t high (like in inner cities), they said ‘you know, you need to add axe throwing. You’d be on the cutting edge of it.’” Wall’s research then expanded into the world of axe throwing, where she incorporated it into her business model and learned more about the way things work.

“I was a nervous wreck, but once you do it, it’s nothing like you think. It’s so much fun, competitive, and it really is like the new twist on bowling/darts.”

It did not take long for Wall to find her space, and settle into one of Danville’s many former tobacco warehouses. After doing the measurements and securing the funding, the project was underway in March of this year. Due to the nature of the building’s history, the structure was barebones, and featured “no AC, very little electrical, and no plumbing.”

After six months, and around $250,000, the building was renovated and turned into a completely new space to accommodate Wall’s vision.

Currently, the axe throwing portion of the building is open for business, and $20 will get you an hour of competing with a group of friends in your own lane (much like bowling) with your own throwing coach, who teaches proper technique, gives advice, and ensures the safety of all involved. The escape rooms, which will be opening soon, will provide multiple experiences with varying themes, including an experience based on the wreck of the old 97.

While Danville has much to improve in the way of entertainment, Grizzly’s Hatchet House is a promising step in the right direction, and is hopefully a sign of even more entertainment opportunities to come in the future. Further information can be found on their website here .