Three baseball cages and three softball cages housed in the indoor Batters Box facility hurl their best stuff into the strike zone so that baseball players can polish their cuts. Various settings enable all levels to improve, serving slower pitches to younger and less-experienced players and transforming into hecklers so experienced players can master their game faces. Batter’s Box also employs a couple of decorated instructors in Jerry Hairston Sr., a 14-year major leaguer and father to two current pros, and Autumn Champion, a former standout at the University of Arizona and current record holder for the fourth-highest softball batting average in the nation.
UltraStar Cinemas cossets moviegoers in cushy seating as they enjoy Hollywood hits alongside buttery servings of popcorn. Film buffs can peruse the current showtimes by location to handpick an action-packed flick, romantic comedy, or chilling thriller featuring inexplicably aggressive hamsters. The concession stand outfits moviegoers with snacks, drinks, and buckets filled with warm kernels, keeping stomach grumblings to a minimum during showings and providing crunchy projectiles in case of sudden younger-sibling attacks. UltraStar Play it Again Cinemas also offers a selection of Hollywood hits for patrons to enjoy in high-back reclining chairs alongside snacks from the concession stand.
Phoenix Area Skydiving’s professional staff specializes in training and instilling confidence in first-time skydivers. They accompany these novices into compact aircraft for up to 120-mile-per-hour tandem free falls over the expansive Arizona desert landscape. Once up in the air, they field visitors’ questions about flight mechanics and often let them control the parachute, granting a more effective hands-on skydiving experience than wrestling with a ceiling fan. They also prepare visitors for solo flights with an accelerated free-fall program, and safeguard each diver’s safety with a technique briefing and gear check before every flight.
ProTenn International founder Alex Ramirez leads a highly decorated staff to provide a focused and personalized instructional environment where students can learn to play their best tennis. Since 1988, Alex and his team have developed a number of sectional, national, and international champions, including tour professionals Camila Giorgi and Liga Dekmeijere. Their coaches employ a results-oriented methodology that combines footwork, physical fitness, mental strategy, and competitive spirit.
Prior to each practice session, coach and pupil identify an objective for their time together, be it smoother groundstrokes or more choreographed victory dances. The two will then work to develop a workable plan of action that aims to help students achieve their desired results. Though instructors impart a number of tips and tricks for improvement, nothing replaces the tried-and-true methods of hard work and repetition, which locks ideal movements into muscle memory.
By morning, Brady Bogen is "the voice of morality" on KUPD's Holmberg's Morning Sickness, but come lunchtime, the quirky radio personality dons another cap: barbecue aficionado. After finishing his radio shift, Brady heads over to his barbecue restaurant—Porkopolis—which he co-owns with seasoned restaurateur Matt Hamilton. You can spot Brady in the joint's dining room, captaining the bar, greeting customers, or digging into a juicy barbecue sandwich himself. Otherwise, he might be in the kitchen, directing chefs as they pile platters high with slices of tender brisket, pulled pork, and ribs. The skilled chefs smother platters with Brady's own brand of tangy sauces and pair dishes with classic sides such as mac 'n cheese, beans, and cornbread. For dessert, the chefs dish out apple crisp and handmade popsicles from Paletas Betty.
Customers hungrily inhale barbecue aromas as they await meals in the dining area—a space described by a Mouth By Southwest blogger as "sleek" and "modern." They bide the time by sipping draft beer and artisanal cocktails, including bacon bloody marys and drinks made with whiskey from Ole Smoky Distillery.
The Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, an international preservation organization based in Chicago, was founded in 1989 to preserve the masterpieces of the greatest architectural pioneer of the 20th century. Frank Lloyd Wright developed a truly American style of architecture known as the Prairie School, creating what he called "architecture for democracy." His brilliant designs redefined the concept of space so that people could live and grow in organic environments, connecting physically and spiritually to the natural world without having to wrestle a cougar to prove their worth. The Conservancy's mission is to preserve and maintain the original splendor of Frank Lloyd Wright's remaining structures, which, when peered at through Wright's signature stained-glass windows, shed light into the architecture of a bygone era that has influenced modern American design. Since its inception, the Conservancy has worked with more than 150 FLW structures and has organized the nomination of 11 Wright structures and pillow forts to become immortalized as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Conservancy is able to circulate knowledge of the nation's vibrant architectural heritage and the importance of conservation through guided tours of famous Wright buildings, an annual conference, and by publishing SaveWright, a biannual magazine, and eBytes, an electronic newsletter.
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