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Thursday, April 30, 2015

New archery tag location in Vaughan

Archery is soaring in popularity, propelled by the Hunger Games film series with its bow-toting heroine and hit TV shows "Game of Thrones" and "Arrow" in which bows feature prominently as the weapon of choice.

Now three Markham entrepreneurs are aiming to capitalize on growing interest in the sport and they’re pretty confident they’ve hit the bull’s eye with a new 10,000-square-foot archery tag facility in Vaughan.

“We believe this is going to be a blast for people who live around this area,” said Shawn Huang, who along with partners Kent Chung and Kevin Park officially opened their facility dubbed The Archery Game on Saturday.

“We’re going to target corporate events, birthday events and other private events. It’s great for team building because it’s really simple game, but it involves a lot of strategy if you want to be serious about it,” he added.

Developed in the United States, archery tag pits two teams against each other in a dodgeball-type battle. But instead of balls, players try to take each other out with custom-made, foam tipped arrows that “feel like a birthday punch” when they hit you, Huang says.

“It’s not like paintball where you get bruised and two days after it hurts all over your body,” he said.

The official version of the game is played by two teams with five players each, but it can be played with teams consisting of as few as four players or as many as 10.

“It’s actually a really good workout as well,” Huang said. “You’re running around. You’re going up and down. It’s agility and upper body strength, so you burn tons of calories.”

The Archery Game is located at 2501 Rutherford Rd. unit 18, directly behind Reptilia.

Chung says they were fortunate to find a space in the heart of what could be considered Vaughan’s entertainment district, which boasts Canada’s Wonderland, Legoland Discovery Centre, Sky Zone indoor trampoline park, WEGZ stadium bar and Reptilia all within a few blocks.

‘It’s not like paintball where you get bruised and two days after it hurts all over your body’

“We were lucky to actually get a location here where all the fun is,” he said. “There’s a lot of energy here.”

Archery tag has caught fire in the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and British Columbia, but it’s just starting to take flight in Ontario, Chung said.

Vaughan is the second community in the GTA to host an archery tag facility. Toronto was first with The Archery District, which opened in Scarborough back in January.

“The reason we picked Vaughan is that we don’t really want to just focus on the Asian community,” Huang said. “A lot of Asians, know about this game, but there’s still a lot of people who don’t know about it. I’m sure because of the Hunger Games hype, people will want to try it and Vaughan is a very diverse place.”

And, Chung noted, they’re taking steps to set themselves apart from the competition.

“We do variations on the official game, we also invented a few of our own really unique creations,” he said.

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