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Entertainment Venues Will Thrive

Colorful stalls for indoor axe throwing

I’ve lived in the Temecula Valley for close to 20 years now. I’ve watched the landscape change dramatically over the years as the community has grown with an unchained ambition. One thing that has always seemed to dominate the town is the abundance of entertainment opportunities.

As a young Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton, I remember heading this direction on many a Friday night, either to wager any minimal funds I had left from my puny salary at the impressively sized tents of Pechanga, or try my hand at a boot scoot in The Stampede hoping to dazzle a lovely young lady with my ridiculous high and tight and some Go Fasters. You know what I mean, Marines.

My priorities have changed over the years, but one thing that hasn’t is the need to get out and relieve some stress in some form of exciting extracurricular entertainment. I’ve been a tattoo shop owner in the Valley for over nine years, but on January 1, 2022, with the help of my three partners, Jacob Pytlik, Tom Crunk, and Dane Wunderlich, we entered the entertainment industry when we signed a lease at The Outlets at Lake Elsinore. The mission? Create the best axe throwing lounge ever produced and name it The Mad Axer.

One and a half years later, we’ve successfully created that…at least that’s what we tell ourselves. It’s a 3,400 square foot facility with 10 axe throwing lanes, arcade games, air hockey, BYOB, and soon to also be a beer and wine bar, all departments willing.

We haven’t quite dominated the world yet, but I predict that brick-and-mortar retail stores are slowly becoming more and more difficult to keep alive. The internet and Amazon, while amazing resources, have made it very difficult to entice someone to leave their homes to buy the things they want or need, when they can have it delivered the next day for free, and most likely cheaper. Entertainment is now one of the industries that will thrive in physical locations. You can’t throw axes at a computer. Well, you can, but the game won’t last very long.

This is all just a minimally educated prediction, but for now, we’re going with it. In fact, we have just also acquired an escape room in Temecula. Currently it’s the Clever Fox, and soon will be Mad Adventures. More games will be available than just the epic escape rooms that were previously designed by our partner Tom, as this was owned by him personally before now.

It’s a rough economy right now. It’s difficult to take risks in this environment when the risks you’ve already taken may be getting more difficult to keep afloat. But let’s be real! Do you wait patiently for the economy to turn around so that everything can go back to normal? Hope that that happens before all of your backup plans are used up? Or, do you observe where reality puts us now and adjust? Use the experience you have to guide you toward what will work now? Seems like a solid plan to me!

Luke Pytlik is co-owner of The Mad Axer. Visit their website or contact:

(855)-Mad Axer
(855) 623-2937