If you’ve got an ax to grind, Daniel Dittmeyer has some great news for you.
Because on Dec. 20, Dittmeyer and his wife Ae will open Lawton Axe Throwing. You’ll be able to work out your issues with some high-flying fun with a cutting edge. It’s everything you could “ax” for and more.
The venue, located in the old Bill’s Scoreboard building at 1010 W. Gore, houses six lanes for competitive ax throwing. There are other areas that will include activities like cornhole games, pool tables and virtual reality paintball. Soon to follow will be the tactical team laser tag area.
Dittmeyer, who with his wife, also owns Lawton inflatables, said the butterflies are swirling in his stomach as the grand opening nears. It’s not a bad thing when you’re onto something big.
“They say that excited and nervous are the same thing,” he said. “It just depends on how you look at it.”
When you look at the venture through the right lens, Dittmeyer is following his heart.
“You’re supposed to do what you love,” he said.
Any way you cut it, Lawton Axe Throwing offers something exciting and new for those looking for something fun to do. Dittmeyer said that unique, outside the ordinary activities are something lacking in the Southwest Oklahoma corridor.
“I think this place needs a lot of stuff to do,” he said.
The targets are 2x6x8 wooden boards formed into a target area. Inside its boundary is a bullseye and circling rings ranging from 4 to 1 points as you move to the outer areas.
“It’s kind of like darts,” Dittmeyer said.
The 2-pound hatchets are light enough that anyone can send them safely flying toward a target. Getting them to stick takes a skill you pick up quickly, Dittmeyer said. That it’s not really as much about the sharpness of the blade as the delivery of the ax making it land true on target is part of the nuance found in the sport.
Dittmeyer said he didn’t know ax throwing was even a thing until he began speaking with people from the escape room community. He and his wife first opened a local escape room a couple of years ago and were wanting to find the next big thing. It didn’t take long for the notion to develop into a love affair.
“I didn’t try it until we started doing it,” he said. “Now, I’m hooked.”
After researching what it takes and how other venues operate, Dittmeyer said he realized it was feasible to bring the business together and at a lower rate than in more metropolitan areas. By offering hour rates ranging from $15 to $25 depending on when you come in, it’s a far more economical choice than in Oklahoma City where the rate is $40 per hour, he said.
“Our prices compared to other markets are already lower,” he said.
That’s pretty good considering the cost of liability insurance. Dittmeyer said that he learned that medical marijuana dispensaries pay about one-fifth the rate he does to operate.
“It’s kind of crazy,” he said.
Another attraction is the virtual reality paintball. It allows the player to work in tandem with other players for team tactical play. Because of being in the virtual reality world, once you establish your equilibrium and get past momentary bouts of nausea, it’s a world unto itself.
“You’ve got to play it awhile to get used to it,” Dittmeyer said.
R. L. Smith, membership director for the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce, stopped into the building during Dittmeyer’s interview. With the smell of sawdust in the air and the interior of the building coming together, he sensed the excitement of the project.
“Daniel, man, he’s a man of vision,” Smith said. “You ain’t going to find nothing cooler than this in town.”
With his assessment about the Dittmeyers and Lawton Axe Throwing, Smith appears to be on target.