Dustin Roskam is hoping to create an “authentically Revelstoke” experience.
Earlier this month, he opened the doors to Peak Axe Throwing, a project nearly a year in the making.
“I love experience,” said Roskam. “I’m trying to share that with people.”
Peak officially opened on Feb. 10.
The facility, located between Lordco and Minh Tuyet’s, features four lanes and a spacious lounge and is wheelchair accessible. The walls are decorated with archival images of loggers and with the tools they would have used.
Kids have been throwing axes around camp fires for ages, but Roskam was first introduced to the concept of a dedicated indoor facility at a birthday party in Toronto.
Roskam moved to Revelstoke in November 2016 after a few seasons in the Lake Louise hospitality industry. He immediately saw a need for more apres skiing opportunities that didn’t involve a bar or sitting around a table.
He plans to be open six days a week in the afternoon and evenings.
Roskam is a one-man show. He created a plan for the business last spring and summer and then spent the winter renovating the space.
While the other indoor axe-throwing facilities use lumber for their targets, Roskam hangs four Downie Timber cookies – sliced sections of a tree trunk– at the ends of the throwing lanes. He spray-paints the targets and flips them every few weeks, replacing the targets about once a month.
Roskam doesn’t allow outside axes to be used. The axes for customers are carefully selected and are a specific length and weight.
Roskam is in the business of selling positive experiences. His enthusiasm is infectious. He is coach and the host.
Leave your ‘I’m not going to be good at it’ or feel embarrassed,” he says. “Everyone is a beginner. Most people are not axe throwers.”
He’ll show you proper safety (children under 10 aren’t permitted to throw) and demonstrate perfect technique. He also has some games, posted up high on the black walls.
“So it’s not just throwing at a bullseye constantly,” he says.
Since opening, the business has been popular.
“I want this to be somewhere people in Revelstoke want to spend their birthday, want to spend their group event,” he says.
Eventually, Roskam hopes to offer a league as well.
To learn more about axe throwing in Revelstoke, head to peakaxethrowing.ca.