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As some Orlando-area businesses face COVID-19 closures, new ones move forward with plans to open

'My Axes Place' set to open this weekend

APOPKA, Fla. – As the pandemic wears on, many established businesses are struggling to stay open, while others are moving forward with plans to open new ones.

Despite a rise in coronavirus cases statewide, Joe Lampp plans to formally open his new axe-throwing business, called “My Axes Place,” this weekend at its location at 50 E. 5th St. in Apopka.

“There is a huge weight going to be lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “I gave up my construction job, I remodeled houses and I stopped doing that, and I’m doing this. I don’t like to be told ‘No.‘”

The Department of Bureau Labor Statistics says 20% of businesses fail in their first year.

Lampp doesn’t mind staring down the old challenges of opening a new business during a pandemic.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the number of business applications statewide is up about 4.2% from March 1 to June 28, compared to the same time period last year.

The data doesn’t surprise Mayor Bryan Nelson with what he says he’s seeing in Apopka.

“We’re still cranking right along,” he said. “I would have thought June would have been a down month. We’re hoping this secondary spike gets over. People just want normalcy. Even normal at 75% normal people can deal with.”

As for Lampp, it’ll take time to see if this business hits its target.

“You come in and I teach you how to throw axes,” he said. “It’s the most stressful thing I’ve ever done in my life. I would not recommend it unless you have 100% drive and passion to do it.”

Walk-ins cost $25/hour per person, while groups can also book ahead for a two-hour block at $40/person.

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