MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Axe throwing is growing in popularity across the nation and even overseas. But will the City of Myrtle Beach allow it?
A pair of local business partners are trying to bring the attraction to the center of Myrtle Beach, right near Ocean Boulevard at the corner of 8th Avenue North and Chester Street.
The proposed attraction would be located in one of the city's entertainment zones by the beach.
Irene Kirszt and George Vari are business partners and run escape rooms in Myrtle Beach on 9th Ave and in Surfside Beach. The pair actually brought one of the original escape rooms to Myrtle Beach a few years ago, so they're not unfamiliar with bringing in new attractions. Vari is partners with a group that has recently opened an axe-throwing venue in Miami, Florida. They said there is nothing like this in Myrtle Beach, and would offer the community something completely different to enjoy.
"We'd like to bring it to Myrtle Beach because I think It's going to be perfect, and people are just excited, lots of people come here. It's just something new, and it seems like it's booming everywhere, why not in Myrtle Beach?" said Kirszt.
The layout would look similar to batting cages, with fencing around 10 to 12 feet high and "buffer zones" throughout the property. Irene Kirszt said it would be completely enclosed to ensure no axes are thrown out of bounds.
She also said there would be a minimum age limit enforced at 18-years-old to throw the axes. There will be supervision, and axe throwers would have to go through an initial brief training on how to properly throw the axe. There would also be no alcohol served on the property.
The major concern is, of course, safety. Planning Director for the city of Myrtle Beach Carol Coleman said the city currently has no zoning ordinance for this type of axe throwing business yet. Therefore, they would have to ask the planning commission to write in special rules or appeal to the city's zoning board, proving it should allow this business.
"I think that it's great and innovative in terms of coming up with new ideas. To be honest when they came into town with the escape rooms, nobody knew what that was, so the thing about being successful in the commercial enterprise is that you need to be on the cutting edge. And you need to be having the new ideas that are coming along…and those new things are going to be the next big thing. So, you want to be kind of ahead of it and you want to be aware of it. This one just caught us completely by surprise. I mean I looked at it when they first came in and I was like.. well I guess that would be considered an amusement, but we have nothing to compare it to," said Coleman.
Kirszt and Vari both think this business would thrive in Myrtle Beach.
"I think it's wonderful. Since I moved here, I see all these walking people and it's a lot. It would be opened up and with music, and light.. and would give interest to whoever walks on the boardwalk and I think it brings interest to everyone. They can just stop by and you can even look through the fence to see how everything is, and if they like it, they can come in and try," said Kirszt.
The pair plans to iron out all of the details and present the idea in May. A public hearing may be scheduled for later that month.