Editor's note: This article has been edited from its original version.
If you wanted to throw axes at wooden targets in Grand Junction a year ago, you would have to do it in your neighbor’s yard when they weren’t home. But now you can do that same activity without running the risk of trespassing.
Axeology and Kodiaxe opened in Grand Junction in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Axeology was set to open April 15 before delaying to the end of May and Kodiaxe opened July 1.
“Trying to open an establishment during that time was scary,” said Travis Ridley, owner of Axeology. “I don’t have it all figured out. I’m just a guy with a day job, and this is not at all an essential business. But, you have to take a risk. Who cares about ‘What ifs?’ You have to roll the dice in life.”
Though the core activity of both businesses is the same, they have been able to diverge paths to make themselves unique.
Marcus Deans, owner and founder of Kodiaxe, is from Colorado Springs but graduated from Colorado Mesa University in 2012.
He tried ax-throwing the first time in San Diego and that planted the seed that grew into his dream.
“I always knew I wanted to start my own business. But I never thought it would be in ax-throwing.” Deans said. “I like it because it’s a physical activity. When going out, we’d always go bowling or to a bar. This is something different.”
Kodiaxe is located at 115 Grand Ave., next to Subway.
“It’s such a unique business,” he said.
Prices at Kodiaxe are $15 for an hour or $25 for two hours. They have five lanes for throwing They also offer beer, wine or snacks. You can also order food from DoorDash or GrubHub.
Ridley’s business epiphany came when he was working his day job for Verizon. He sells and maintains contracts with other businesses. When he saw those owners as people, he knew that starting a business of his own was doable.
“I thought, ‘Why can’t I do that?’ so I hit the ground running,” Ridley said. “I sell cellphones, data, tablets, all that stuff. So it’s nice now to be able to sell some happiness.”
When starting Axeology, though, it was important to Ridley that anyone could enjoy it. So there’s no alcohol. He doesn’t want a mother giving her two kids a chance to have fun to be worried about their safety, he said.
“If I wouldn’t take my wife and kids here, I wouldn’t be running this place,” he said. “Sure, I could make more money selling liquor. But my customers may not be as happy and I wouldn’t be. Happiness is more important than money.”
Axeology is at 2487 Industrial Blvd., behind Sportsman’s Warehouse in the Grand Mesa Center on U.S. Highway 6&50. There are 14 throwing lanes, and each lane is priced at $15 to $20 an hour depending on the party size.
Once you’ve used up your time, feel free to hang out for a bit and play one of the 10 arcade consoles, cornhole, ping ping or board games, Ridley said.
Both businesses are floating the possibility of creating a partnership and having league matches once they get settled.
Axeology is open from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 3 p.m. to midnight on Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.
Kodiaxe is open from 6 to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the weekend. There will be a grand opening ceremony on Friday from 6 to 11 p.m.
“Who knows what happens next; there might be another shutdown and that’s it for us,” Ridley said. “That would suck, but at least I tried and had fun.”