• Megann Horstead

New ax throwing business aims to fill unique market in Plainfield

Updated: Jun 8


Dale Musick believes he and his wife, Tracy, hit the bull’s-eye when they decided to open up their own ax throwing business in Plainfield.

“We live in the Joliet-Shorewood area, and we were just looking for a good fit for our business,” he said. “With Backroads Pub right next to us, it just seemed like a good fit.”

Axe Factor Throwing opened for business last month, and is located at 13717 S. Route 30 in Plainfield.

The Musicks have visited several ax throwing businesses.

“We thought the sport was really cool, but how it was laid out wasn’t good,” Dale said.

The Musicks wanted to change that. In November 2018, they took steps to the make the business a reality

“We thought, ‘this could be a pretty good business opportunity, but we definitely want to do it differently,’” Dale said.

Axe Factor Throwing is equipped for 96 ax throwers at a time. The facility is 5,000 square feet. In addition, there is 1,000 square feet of space to accommodate corporate and private events.

Dale said they had to approach officials representing the village of Plainfield with their request to set up shop in town

“At the beginning, it was hard for them to get their head around the whole concept of ax throwing,” he said. “They’re pretty unfamiliar with it. … My background is in industrial safety, so that was a big selling point.”

Axe Factor Throwing strives to fill a niche market in the Plainfield area.

“The one thing we tried to do (was) make more of a hangout kind of place, where it’s a comfortable atmosphere,” Dale said.

A number of establishments offer ax throwing in the Chicago area, including one in Montgomery.

Axe Factor Throwing features seating and music throughout the building, which Dale said separates his business from similar operations.

Axe Factor Throwing is open to the public for walk-ins, group bookings and private events.

“A lot of families and groups have been showing up,” Dale said.

He said the business casts a wide net.

“About 65% of our customers so far have been women,” Dale said. “We’ve had some bachelorette parties and such show up. We’ve had teachers after school wanting to blow a little steam off come over and throw axes.”

Axe Factor Throwing is an affiliate of the World Axe Throwing League.

“The World Axe Throwing League championships were recently on ESPN,” Dale said. “It’s definitely gaining popularity.”

Dale said the craze surrounding ax throwing is not hard to pinpoint.

“It’s just different,” Dale said. “The big craze is people come in and they think it’s a dangerous thing, but it really isn’t when we run everybody through the … and show the correct way to throw axes and the proper way to be safe while doing it.”

For more information about the Plainfield establishment, visit axefactorthrowing.com.

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