On a trip to Chicago from his native Italy, young Mario Tricoci changed his life forever. The fledgling hairdresser stopped in at a prestigious salon, where he impressed the owner with his impeccable display of skill and landed himself a job. The next six decades brought strings of industry awards and the opening of his very own salon, which soon exploded into 26 locations in four states. With his styling prowess proven both to the industry and to the clients he encountered each day, the coiffeur decided to share his gift with others. In 2004, he established Tricoci University to foster a new generation of cosmetologists and spa technicians trained to thrive in the luxury-spa industry.
Throughout the Midwest, Tricoci protégés study a rigorous curriculum in high-end salon and spa surroundings to learn how to create beautiful hairdos, choose skin-flattering cosmetics, and beautify nails and skin. A team of experienced industry professionals readies pupils for the beauty world with in-depth classes, and outside education arrives via video demonstrations and guest-artist lectures on Vidal Sassoon's Wedge-Bob Postulate. More advanced students get a preview of their career to come by beautifying real people during instructor-supervised treatments, which lend the stylist essential experience as the client enjoys a pampering session at a discounted rate.
A shotgun blast signals the start of the race, and the runners tear off through the woods. All the while, the sounds of growls and moans behind them grow closer. Though held in broad daylight, The Running Dead presents its participants with a chilling challenge: if you're a runner, make it to the finish line in one piece, and if you're a zombie, track down your prey. Regardless of affiliation, the 5K challenges all its guests with a series of man-made and natural obstacles.
Throughout the course, runners are encouraged to work as a team. At the end, those who survive are rewarded with a beer or soft drink and a truce with the zombies. After the race, all are welcome to the Zombie Prom after-party: a horror-centric celebration featuring vegan and carnivore-friendly food, an awards ceremony for the most convincing zombie getups, and a chance to argue with a local principal that the undead shouldn't have to do homework. A DJ drops beats throughout the event, while two local cover bands and a headliner provide a live soundtrack.
The 20 taps at the Beer Geeks' pub are filled with a rotating selection of microbrews and craft beers from around the world. Cask-conditioned ales are the product of the pub’s on-site beer engine, and the rest of the bar's staggering selection beers and ciders come bottled. The bottles include craft brews, mass-produced classics, and Trappist beers brewed at seven Trapist monasteries in Belgium and the Netherlands where monks still make beer by hand. To complement the bitter hops of their suds, Beer Geeks hosts top Chicago blues musicians every Tuesday night.
The only full-service women-only gym in Highland, Womens Core Fitness Center is a supportive, laid-back environment that welcomes all women to come and work up a sweat. There are multiple cardio and strength-training machines, and clients can work out individually or in small-group fitness classes. Certified instructors lead more than 25 classes per week, ranging from Zumba to INSANITY and Turbo Kick. Personal training and childcare are available as well.