I first saw some teases about something fun and new coming to the Iron Range on social media. Then, during the Iron Range Home, Sport & Travel Show the mobile axe throwing trailer was revealed, along with even bigger plans.

The name of the business is "The Forge Social Haus." The owners are working on developing the business in downtown Virginia, Minnesota. We'll talk about more on that later. For now, they have debuted their mobile axe throwing trailer that's available to rent.

According to the Mesabi Tribune, the trailer can be rented for any kind of event. They'll deliver the trailer, set it up, and show you how to throw an axe and keep score. When the event is over, they'll wrap it up and take it away.

 

The rental fee is $200 an hour with a two-hour minimum. For four hours, the fee is $650, and a full eight-hour day rental is $1,000. You can rent the trailer by calling 218-248-7195. I asked the Social Haus about how far they will bring the trailer to rent, and they said within an hour's drive.

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Bigger plans are in the works to open a business location in downtown Virginia. Business partners are couples and friends, Keith & Lindsay Niemi and Brad & Kim Gustafson. They describe themselves as two middle-class families that are looking to bring something new to the area. Axe throwing is a fast-growing sport. Studies are showing that in the last three years business has jumped 500% at axe throwing centers across the country. Still, getting financing for the project has been challenging.

They've been working on the project for a year. They purchased the old Manseau's Range Music building at 224 Chestnut Street, along with two adjacent lots. The plan is to have an axe throwing inside in the back, along with a patio for yard games and socializing. Their plan is to offer craft beers, seltzers, and non-alcoholic drinks for people to enjoy. They also want to encourage people to bring food in from local restaurants and establishments to help support downtown. Both business partners and their families are originally from Virginia, Minnesota. They had moved away to the Twin Cities, but ultimately came back. According to Brad Gustafson (co-owner), they want to revitalize the downtown area to give back to the place they grew up in.

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They've been working with local business development agencies and the City of Virginia to make sure they have a solid business model and that they keep the location visually historically accurate. They also have had professional plans drawn up for the layout of The Social House.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with start-up costs, as securing financing has been a challenge. It's a new concept for an area, and without comparable data and business models, banks are hesitant to loan money. Their goal is to raise $25,000. What they need the most help with is the money to set up the four lanes of axe throwing. That alone is expected to be nearly $200,000 in construction costs.

The owners continue to look for new funding, grants, and financing. They say as it stands now, they're on track for opening doors at The Social Haus in downtown Virginia at the beginning of 2023.

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