Everyone wishes they could skip those long airport-security lines—and Springs Aviation holds the key to doing just that. Its experienced, certified instructors teach aspiring flyers the skills and knowledge they need to earn their private pilot license, opening up an airborne world of possibilities. Students train on fixed-wing aircraft, including 1985 and 1997 Cessnas, and they also spend time in ground-school classrooms. The staff of pilots also makes civilians' dreams of flying come true during flights, which put flyers in the cockpit of a small airplane before they take over the controls for most of the flight, so the instructor finally has time to finish his airplane-peanut art project.
Before becoming business partners, Jonathan and Lindsay Betz fell in love in the shadow of the St. Louis Arch. When they first met, John was just beginning a photography career while volunteering as a firefighter and Lindsay was a music therapist serving children with special needs. After their marriage, they both agreed that the perfect backdrop for their new life together needed more mountains and fewer geometry-inspired landmarks, so they went on road trips to find the perfect place to build a home and raise a family. They eventually landed in Colorado Springs, where their two children now frolic through grassy fields while Jonathan snaps photos amid the Rockies.
A member of the Professional Photographers of America, Jonathan's work has graced the pages of the New York Times. When he isn't capturing the candid smiles of high school seniors or families, or chronicling the happiest moments at weddings, he stays busy in the lab, retouching each image he captures to ensure that all colors are balanced and all Waldos are accounted for. He also hosts four-week, six-week, and one-day workshops, during which he fills students in on fundamental skills, image editing, and how to turn a photography hobby into a business.
Briarhurst Manor Restaurant has overlooked Garden of the Gods Park in the shadow of Pikes Peak since 1876, when Manitou Springs town founder Dr. William Bell constructed the pink sandstone Tudor-style manor. The English country architecture showcases elegant flourishes such as a tiled fireplace, dark-wood boiserie, and a garden room where sunlight streams through towering windows. Not surprisingly, Briarhurst Manor has been hailed as one of the 100 most romantic restaurants in the country according to OpenTable's 2012 and 2013 Diners' Choice awards.
The cuisine matches the interior’s opulence: Chef Neal Moreno glazes duck-shank confit in a gooseberry cassis, and augments the flavor of Colorado lamb chops with chestnut fig jus. Cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays from Napa Valley punctuate the restaurant's extensive wine list and give beer a reason to feel as insecure as a styrofoam rabbit marooned amid a pack of real wolves.
A nominee of CityVoter's 2011 award for Best Day Spa, Pure Daily Bliss Day Spa houses a team of skillful aestheticians who assuage clients' skin conditions through a blend of holistic and med-spa treatments. Five massage modalities—including Swedish, deep tissue, prenatal, sports, and combination—soothe generally tense or injured muscles, and microdermabrasion and specialized facials treat specific skin conditions and rearrange freckle constellations. Pores receive fruit and floral infusions from back scrubs, as well as from custom facials crafted with blueberry, pumpkin, and pomegranate. Waxing and spray-tanning services smooth and shade epidermises, enabling bodies to discreetly snorkel in penny-filled wishing wells.
From its nest at Colorado Springs Airport, Peak Aviation Center opens the skyways for fledgling aviators through aircraft rentals and a variety of flying courses. During their Introductory Flights, the center’s seasoned instructors relinquish controls of a light sport aircraft to students hungering to dominate gravity. Learning aeronauts can control the flying machines for up to an hour as they ascend, descend, and dodge shots from surprisingly powerful T-shirt cannons. Peak Aviations enthusiastic masters of the clouds also guide flying protégés to private and sport pilot certificates through hands-on flight training. Flying lessons are held every day of the week, including Sunday even when their offices are closed.
At locations throughout the world, Fit Body Bootcamp's instructors share a common goal: to guide clients toward their fitness and weight-loss goals through regimented training programs. At the Colorado Springs Location, head trainer Nathan Cragg combines the techniques he gained from 12 years of army training with Fit Body Bootcamp's tried-and-true fitness strategies. He and his team of trainers lead group classes that integrate cardio with resistance training, strength training, and light alligator wrestling. He designs workouts to be time efficient and varied, avoiding workout plateaus that may leave clients uninspired. In addition to motivating clients to work their bodies, Nathan also empowers them with healthy eating guidelines.