After owning Duffy electric boats in Newport Beach, California, where the company has its headquarters, the Textor family decided to introduce the fun-filled and stress-free world of electric boating to Lake Norman in 2010. Thanks to the electric motor and patented Power Rudder propulsion device, Duffy boats carry passengers over water with a remarkable speed and maneuverability and cost as little as $1 per day to maintain. Since 1970, Duffy shipwrights have constructed each vessel exactly to the client's specifications, outfitting crafts with Duff-Eze cabin enclosures that allow captains to pilot their ship in any climate and ensure that boats never have to be winterized, covered, or sent to Florida because of cold weather.
Customers can rent out 21-foot Avalon models that carry 10–12 passengers for brief lakefront voyages, dancing to tunes from the onboard mp3 and CD hookups, warming themselves with the heater on chilly nights, and sunbathing on the bow. Specialty cruises entertain guests with floating wine tastings, catered feasts from Lake Norman cottage, and movie nights, and a seasonal schedule of special events dazzles families with upcoming attractions such as electric-boat sleigh rides.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
After graduating from college, two North Carolina natives started Charity Chase as an entertaining way to give back to their community. Envisioning an activity that would draw all sorts of people together, they put their energies into cultivating an abundant natural resource: mud. After testing their physical and mental fortitude at dirt-carved racecourses throughout the area, runners sprint across the finish line to find lively after parties. Crowds swap battle stories to the rousing tunes of live musicians, and costume contests grade the creative garb of contestants, spectators, and mud beasts disturbed from their subterranean homes by the ruckus. Benefiting groups include an assortment of charities and school organizations, depending on the event.
Wooden Stone's airy, 5,000-square-foot gallery space showcases fine American crafts that blend artistry and function. Now representing more than 600 American craftspeople, 100 of who are Carolinas natives, Wooden Stone primarily highlights work made by small numbers of artists at a time. The selection of finely crafted, functional artwork ranges from furniture to jewelry, and each of the pieces—composed of materials including ceramics, wood, glass, and metal—greets buyers with its own distinct feel and favorite knock-knock joke.