By David Rogers. March 4, 2020. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Those yelps and howls you might hear in the distance are not coming from a Native American tepee, but scores of High Country visitors and residents alike coming to terms with frontier instincts at Tomahawk Hill.
COVER IMAGE: Billy Chick, representing the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, is about to hurl the tomahawk at the unsuspecting bulls’ eye target some 20 feet away. All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
On Tuesday, some three dozen members of the Blowing Rock and Boone Chambers of Commerce converged on Tomahawk Hill for a ribbon-cutting, including a Chamber vs. Chamber tomahawk throwing contest.
It sounds simple enough, but harder than it looks. If the blade of the tomahawk is even a little bit sideways or flat when it strikes the wooden surface, the would-be weapon of yesteryear’s frontier days clangs harmlessly — even embarrassingly — against the surface and falls to the ground. If you don’t throw it hard enough…well, that doesn’t end well, either. Like just about everything else in life, throwing a tomahawk requires a certain amount of practiced skill.
A great lesson for any business owner is to listen to his or her customers. Mystery Hill’s Matt and Wayne Underwood did just that and, as a result, are quite literally “scalping” dollars from a new profit center.
At first blush, throwing a tomahawk at a bulls’ eye target some 20 feet away doesn’t sound like much of a business, but after launching Tomahawk Hill on property adjacent to Mystery Hill last May, the Underwoods saw 170,000 throws by the end of December.
Even if you garner just one dollar a throw, that is $170,000 in high margin revenue from a highly scalable business unit.
“We talked with many of our customers,” Matt Underwood explained to Blowing Rock News after the ribbon-cutting. “and especially those with families said that their kids were more interested in having fun than in, say, a museum experience. Throwing a tomahawk is both physical and fun.”
Underwood also offered that it is not just tourists that