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.
Since opening their first spa—Sassy SunTan & Oxygen Bar—Heather and Adam Larribas have added a second sunning sanctuary called Sassy Tan & Spa. In addition to providing tanning services, the original location features an aromatherapeutic oxygen bar, while its counterpart on Star Ranch Road offers massage therapy. Visitors to the oxygen bar inhale air that's 90–95% oxygen, as opposed to the 21% usually found in everyday air. Meanwhile, aromatherapy scents such as vanilla, piña colada, and orange bolster the energizing effects of the vapor as soothing eucalyptus scents attract curious koalas.
Both locations offer bronzing via UV beds as well as airbrush gear. In accordance with a mission statement prioritizing cleanliness and comfort, staffers stock each private treatment room with tissues, water, deodorant, and candy. Here, tanners bask in the glow of beds equipped with varying levels of intensity, or close their eyes as a cloud of bronzing mist settles on their skin during an airbrush tan.
Beauty may only be skin deep, but at Zolarium Tanning Studio, that's OK. Versed in a vast array of tanning and skincare services, the studio’s technicians help their clientele achieve golden-bronze hues without having to withstand the sun's creepy leer. Each one is Smart Tan certified, a benchmark that measures each operator's knowledge of ultraviolet light, safe tanning practices, and ability to disassemble a tanning bed should it become sentient. They use this knowledge to monitor each tanner in their studio simultaneously, through Zolarium's networked array of horizontal and vertical tanning beds.
The beautifying treatments don't stop at tanning; DaVinci teeth whitening, Evolv airbrush, and a plethora of skincare lotions help clients maintain all manner of youthful glows. Zolarium also keeps the community looking good, giving back through charitable efforts such as sponsoring the Denver Firefighter Calendar every year.
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.
The experienced, FAA-certified flight instructors at A-Cent Aviation use their aerial expertise to help new flyers learn to navigate the clear Colorado skies. An FAA-approved, category IV AATD, fully enclosed flight simulator offers 120 degree, high-resolution visuals and can be configured to teach students the controls and trick to packing overhead luggage compartments in 25 different models of aircraft. VA-approved courses offer instruction for manning everything from recreational and commercial planes, to single-engine aircraft, with an FAA-testing center on-site to test developing skills. A-Cent Aviation also plays matchmaker by maintaining a small fleet of new and used aircraft to pair with lonely pilots, while a pilot shop provides access to shelves stocked with study materials, cockpit supplies, and pterodactyl repellents.
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.