When youngsters from a nearby school for disabled children visited his old Halloween store in Indianapolis, Don Surenkamp happily walked and wheeled them through the aisles and explained the holiday's traditions. After he relocated to Florida, Don remember those children and created a handicap-accessible haunted house whose proceeds support The Angelus, a group home for cerebral palsy, reports the Tampa Bay Times. What began with a dozen spooky rooms now lures intrepid guests with 25 rooms occupied by skeletons and demons. Spines continue tingling on a haunted hayride down a 1-mile haunted trail and through the outdoor pirated-themed haunt, which includes a spooky 40-foot pirate ship. Don lets the fainter hearted pass through until 8 p.m. with glow sticks in hand to keep away scary monsters, pirates, and photocopies of failed spelling quizzes.
At more than 1,200 Mattress Firm locations around the country, shoppers sink into plush mattresses, recline on firm beds, and belly-flop onto pillow tops. Knowledgeable staffers can help customers create an ideal bedtime environment by dispensing advice based on sleep preferences and illuminating the difference between the many kinds of mattresses. And to the delight of their customers, much of Mattress Firm's bedding wears the label of a premium brand, such as Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, or Stearns & Foster.
Famous Tate, open since 1954, stocks and displays more than 60 refrigerators, 60 washers and dryers, 85 major cooking products, 35 dishwashers, and 40 different sleep sets . But even with all of this merchandise, staffers recognize that the store might not have exactly what a client is looking for, which is why a team of merchandisers is on hand to special order items.
The shop also features a section of clearance appliances that have cosmetic defects such as scratches and unremovable “Mondale for President” stickers. Some of these appliances are even luxury display items that need to be sold to make room for incoming models, allowing customers to find the perfect bed, refrigerator, or oven that fits their budget. When clients find what they need, a service department helps them navigate extended-warranty purchases, financing, and delivery options.
Like most success stories, Leader's Casual Furniture didn't start at the top. Founded in a single west Florida show room in 1971, the company now boasts 19 retail show rooms, a 150,000-square-foot distribution center, and an ever-increasing selection of rattan, wicker, and patio furniture. Upon browsing the virtual show room, visitors find rattan dining sets, beds, and entertainment centers as well as wicker tables with stone or glass tops. Custom fabrics and tropical-themed pieces add personal flair to interiors or exteriors, and an online room plannerhelps customers get a feel for how chosen pieces will fit into their homes.
Since 1988, Pet Supplies Plus has welcomed millions of furry critters of every stripe—from llamas and monkeys to potbellied pigs—into their animal-friendly stores. The shop is designed so that both pets and their owners can easily navigate the inventory of more than 10,000 items. Wide aisles give leashed pups enough room to roam, colorful signage keeps shoppers moving in the right direction, and low shelves allow dogs to sniff out their preferred brand of rawhide chew. A self-serve dog wash enables guests to scrub their canine companions' coats to a youthful, puppy-like shine, whereas grooming services enlist professionals to tackle tougher jobs, such as brushing out matted fur or convincing dalmatians to stop mixing white and black after Labor Day.
This annual 5K run winds through Genesis Preparatory School's campus?varied terrain that encompasses hills, pine-covered flatwoods, and, of course, gallons of mud. Racers slog through it, and navigate a sprinkling of obstacles, too, but it's worth it at the finish line. Afterwards, participants can enjoy live music and enough food to ensure that no one has to refuel by running the race backward.