SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane's rapid growth was hardly slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as construction continued in downtown Spokane and surrounding areas.
Despite the growth, some Spokane businesses were directly impacted, being forced to close their doors as the pandemic continued.
One local business in downtown Spokane opened its doors at the beginning of the pandemic, and the owner said his passion drove him to beat the odds.
Miguel Tamburini is the owner of Jumping Jackalope Axe Throwing, a Spokane business that allows curious locals to learn the basics of ax throwing from a professional former champion.
Tamburini moved to America and eventually became a professional ax thrower. He was quickly ranked number one in the world just a few years after his career began.
"Coming from a third world country in a household with only one single mom and you're in a poor neighborhood, it's been going against the statistics all of my life," Tamburini said. "I was number one in the world for the first time in the winter season 2020 and in the winter season 2021 again."
Tamburini opened Jumping Jackalope in October 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact Spokane. When Gov. Jay Inslee moved the state into Phase One of its reopening plan, the doors opened for good.
"Building this and building a business during the pandemic is just going against the statistics. but again, I've been going against the statistics since I was born," Tamburini said.
Business started booming for Tamburini. However, Garage Land later closed down.
"We sure miss garage land you know?" he said. "They closed, the walk-ins start going down and then they started building this huge building right next to us. They take the whole street so nobody knows we're here, so we have no walk-ins."
With no walk-ins, Jumping Jackalope is relying only on online bookings. Despite all the challenges, Tamburini said his passion inspires him to keep growing his business.
"This is the community's favorite venue award," he said. "That's the major accomplishment I have."