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Minneapolis St. Paul News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | Minneapolis, Minnesota | kare11.com

Local axe throwing business is pivoting during the pandemic

The owners of U.S. Axe Throwing are taking their business on the road while the brick and mortars struggle under COVID restrictions.

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — One Minnesota couple is making a proactive move to take their business back from COVID-19 restrictions. They're reworking their entire business plan and taking their axe-throwing business on the road.  

Like the old saying goes, "timing is everything." Nobody knows that better than Dustin and Niki Knight, who had to cancel both their first and second grand openings.

In March the entrepreneurs opened U.S. Axe Throwing in Alexandria, just days before the state’s lockdown went into effect. 

When restrictions eased over the summer the Knights expanded with a location in St. Cloud. But less than a month later restrictions tightened again, resulting in lost bookings.

With the businesses opening in 2020, the couple didn’t qualify for COVID relief funding since that is determined by 2019 tax returns. 

With few options remaining, the couple are taking their axe-throwing business mobile. “We basically sold everything that won’t fit in an RV," Niki said. "We sold our bed, all of our stuff, moving into an RV, just taking our dogs and pulling our mobile unit to Florida.”

Dustin says the decision to hit the road comes out of necessity and an uncertain future in Minnesota. “Like we could get rockin’ and rollin’ here again and get shut down in a few months, depending on what the Department of Health says and what the governor says.”

That uncertainty pushed the couple to put the mobile unit into operation in an attempt to prop up their two brick and mortar businesses, which are currently operating with a 25% capacity limit. 

The couple does plan to return to Minnesota after hitting big events like the Super Bowl, Daytona 500 and the Master’s in Augusta. In the end there could be a silver lining to the hardships of the pandemic, perhaps in a fleet of mobile axe throwing units.