Initially conceived of in 1987 as a way for an avid paintball player and his friends to acquire discounted merchandise, Lone Wolf Paintball swiftly evolved into a multi-location business throughout Michigan. One year after opening, Bristol Apple Orchard in Almont accommodated the budding business with its first playing field. These days, an indoor field allows for year-round paintball. The 20,000 sq. ft. facility encompasses a speedball field with artificial turf, which spectators can observe from viewing areas including a second-story observation deck. Referees ensure that each player competes safely.
Rana Khami worked for years on the business side of the fitness industry, staring through the glass at all the people she was helping. She found her position in sales unfulfilling without the personal contact with clients working-out on the floor. So, she left and pursued a personal-training certification, returning to the industry a mere six months later as a trainer. She left behind the traditional gym setting, as well, creating a program that she could teach to clients in their own homes. Today, she runs Changing Lives Personal Training, helping people to live healthier lives through one-on-one training sessions and nutritional advice.
No art school degree is necessary to paint at Wine and Canvas--all participants need is a canvas, art supplies, and an apron, all of which are included in each class. The local artist instructor gives step-by-step directions throughout, helping students select their colors and turn the canvas right side up. Drink specials add to the festive milieu, and afterwards, participants can take their paintings home with them.
Staffed by experienced coaches and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a high-definition video display to get results. Sensors chirp with approval whenever they detect the perfect stroke or an especially witty golfing joke. GolfTEC’s certified personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.
Piper's Alley pairs a varied menu of made-from-scratch pub fare with almost 40 beers from around the world, including a variety from Michigan. The lunch specials—unlike sautéing a credit card—can please both one's palate and wallet; try the veggie melt with provolone cheese ($4.95). Meanwhile, the half-pound Alley burger ($8.99) bathes in a mix of marinara and guacamole before enrobing itself in four different types of cheese, grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, and applewood-smoked bacon. Marinated grilled chicken fajitas step to a stage of warm flour tortilla, sidekicked by an entourage of shredded cheese, sweet onions, tap-dancing bodyguards, and bell peppers ($10.99). Made-from-scratch cheesecake ($4.99) delivers a sweet finale to the meal. Alongside universal favorites, the beer menu showcases many of Michigan's brews; fill up a glass with the Mackinaw pale ale from the tap or sip on a bottle of the Bell's Seasonal.
In 2003, two fitness-industry veterans, both tired of gyms' reputations as exclusive and elitist establishments, decided to start Fitness 19, a series of gyms dedicated to cultivating a friendly and convenient environment for families to work out in. Needless to say, they experienced meteoric growth—a Fitness 19 logo now hangs above the gym doors of numerous locations spread across 26 states. The gym's owners invest entirely in equipment, outfitting each location with dozens of treadmills, free weights, and resistance-training machines. They also ensure every location has a kids' playroom with games appropriate for the youngest tykes, as well as TVs and DVD players so that tots can watch their favorite shows, such as Thomas the Tank Engine's Total Body Workout.