Owners Rita and Eldon Larson constantly refine their eclectic cellar stocked with more than 700 varietals from every corner of the planet. During wine tastings, guests sample premium vinos such as Don Olegario Albarino and Vietti Nebbiolo. Throughout, knowledgeable and accessible staff members happily answers questions and demonstrate the 25 different pronunciations of the word tannin.
At the adjoining café’s elegant tables, forks spear seared sea scallops and other savory entrees designed for pairing with selections from the 150-bottle wine list. Peckish patrons can also pluck heirloom prosciutto from charcuterie plates or bait traps for classy mice with morsels from 11 different cheese plates. Chef Jason Lee alleviates the stress of decision making with his prix fixe wine dinners, which complement entrees with appropriate sips.
Shoppers at Southlands can take a break by taking a turn on this icy outdoor skating rink. Families and friends can lace up rented hockey or figure skates, then take to the ice to enjoy the crisp, cold air as they practice spins and backward maneuvers or fine-tune impersonations of a baby deer learning to walk.
Within Game Shack’s digital den, flat-screen TVs line the walls, flickering with the polygonal derring-do of gamers locked in virtual competition with titles for platforms including Xbox, Wii, and PC. While their plush leather video-game chairs make extended sessions as comfortable as they are engaging, Game Shack also brings games to life in their multi-floor, tiered laser-tag arena. Illuminated by black lights, players take aim at opponents against a tropical-themed backdrop depicting a moonlit waterfall, a spooky temple, and tiki men impersonating their favorite Bond villains. The party room hosts large groups for celebrations such as birthdays and special events, with party packages available that arm each member with unlimited laser tag and console gaming. Game Shack also hosts competitive-gaming events, with an official Elo-based ranking system that assigns seeding for tournaments. As players dash and game to their hearts’ delight, the Snack Shack keeps them properly fueled with food such as pizza, hot dogs, chicken wings, Monster energy drinks, and sodas.
The YMCA aims to better Denver-area minds and bodies with fitness classes, sports leagues, and exercise facilities for users of all ages. Membership (an $84 value) grants full access for two adults, their dependent children, and as many imaginary friends they can think up. Members enjoy use of top-notch amenities that vary by location, ranging from free-weight and resistance-machine workout rooms to swimming pools and basketball courts. Outgoing endurance-testers come together during athletic classes to create a calorie-consuming hive mind unattainable to solo toners. New members in need of assistance achieving fitness goals plan out nutritional and exercise routines in their two wellness sessions (a $100 value). Personal-wellness coaches develop a distinct program for each client to help prospective workout warriors evaluate their overall health, identify specific places to improve, and build muscles regardless of superfluous zoning restrictions.
Bobby Hodge just wants people to find total wellness, but he doesn’t expect them to do it all alone. So he founded Physicality to help them achieve their fitness goals. He offers boot-camp classes for all fitness levels, advanced sports performance training for high school to professional athletes, and super hero training for amateur super heroes. Boot-camp participants also receive a complimentary nutritional analysis and food guide to help them shed pounds quicker, and the sports performance package includes customized workouts and nutritional plans so athletes are in peak health.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help to manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use participants' own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottles to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can. Between each weight station lies a recovery board where ladies cool down while walking, jogging, or running in place to keep up momentum. With each workout warrior at a different station, the only competition that exists is with one's own burgeoning muscles.