Utah Man Hopes Third Startup Will Be the Charm

Jul 15, 2018, 10:38 PM | Updated: 10:48 pm
A customer at Prodigious Entertainment reacts after his axe falls to the ground. (July 3, 2018)...
A customer at Prodigious Entertainment reacts after his axe falls to the ground. (July 3, 2018)
(July 3, 2018)

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — If you ask Taylor Reynolds, running a successful business is all about persistence — having the tenacity to keep going, no matter what.

Reynolds just launched his own axe-throwing company.  He first heard of the sport in Canada, and thought it would draw in those who wanted a break from the fast-paced world of smartphones and freeways.

“We can get stagnant very easily, right?” Reynolds said.  “There’s not a lot of novelty.  There’s not a lot of new challenge.”

And the challenge for him is almost being the first, then finding himself entering a crowded market.

“A lot of us had the same idea around the same time,” he said.

Reynolds took note when a similar company opened in Ogden, but shrugged it off because he felt people in Utah County probably wouldn’t be making the drive up.  But he’ll never forget the day he heard one was opening right in his backyard.

“That one rattled me,” he said.  “I actually was at a point where I would’ve had a building, and was working on the final lease arrangement agreements in May of last year.  And then at the last moment, the landlord decided to give the space to somebody else.  If I’d got that original space, I would’ve been the first one in Utah County.”

But Reynolds thrives on novelty.  He feeds on new challenges.  Believe it or not, this is his third startup.

“They think I’m crazy, but I keep doing it, so at least I’m consistent,” he said.

The cuts from his first defeat still sting.

“It was an absolute failure,” said Reynolds, thinking back on an industrial noise-canceling business he started after college.  “I had just bought a house.  And we’d just had a baby.”

His missed the target the second time too.   And this time?

“This could fail spectacularly,” Reynolds said.  “And if it does, I’m up the creek.”

So he’s trying to branch out — expanding the offerings of his business, Prodigious Entertainment, to include atlatl throwing, which is an ancient method of flinging spears.  And he’s prepared to shift at a moment’s notice.

“If people decide all of the sudden that they don’t like to do axe-throwing, that’s okay,” Reynolds said.  “I can do other things.”

He’s added a number of virtual reality offerings, and has plans for pretty much anything else that will fit within the scope of his business plan.

“We’re going to be adding blowguns, and slingshots, and slingbows, and whatever else that we can think of that people will have fun doing something unique,” he said.

Reynolds is still working his day job, but thinks persistence is the key — even while staring in the face of crushing defeat.

“I’ve had moments where I just lose faith and the confidence in this endeavor, and just flat-out have a panic attack,” he said.  “Be

prepared to fail.  There’s a high probability of it, right?  In my opinion, the probability of failure is not worth sitting on the sidelines.”

And as for the future?  Win or lose, Reynolds is already planning his next venture.

“It’s about the creation,” he said.  “That’s what’s fun to me.  Taking something from an idea in your brain to a fully developed business that is benefiting or adding value to the world?  That’s what I love.”


Taylor Reynolds gives out tips at his business in Pleasant Grove. (July 3rd, 2018)

Customers line up their shots at Prodigious Entertainment. (July 3rd, 2018)

A customer throws an axe at a target at Prodigious Entertainment in Pleasant Grove. (July 3rd, 2018)

Taylor Reynolds shows the proper way to use an atlatl. (July 3rd, 2018)

A customer at Prodigious Entertainment reacts after his axe falls to the ground. (July 3rd, 2018)

Taylor Reynolds demonstrates how to fling an axe. (July 3rd, 2018)

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Utah Man Hopes Third Startup Will Be the Charm