Founded in 1914, the original New York City location of Sterling Optical doled out frames amid the Ford Model Ts and paperboys that swarmed the city's financial district. The original band of eyesight experts weathered years of economic depression by impressing customers with speedy, full-service vision care, later launching a second store near Washington, DC. Today, a century of steady franchise expansion has given rise to almost 200 store locations in 23 states. Most locations continue the tradition of offering one-stop optical services, giving customers access to exams and onsite labs that manufacture glasses in one hour. The spectacle provider has been named one of the nation's leading franchises by Entrepreneur magazine.
No matter where they are in the country, clients of Heartland Dental Care Affiliates are bound to find a dentist just as skilled as the one at home. That’s because more than 400 offices in 19 states are affiliated with the dental network, whose administrative support, guiding principles, and focus on continuing education ensure that their dentists will be talented wherever they work. The company also strives for community improvement—they’ve contributed more than $250,000 to such charities as the American Red Cross, The Oral Cancer Foundation, and the Smiles for Life campaign.
Hilltop Golf Club’s 9-hole, par 31 course lets clubbers hack their way through 2,268 yards of elevated Virginia countryside. Architect Lindsay Bruce Ervin modeled aspects of the executive course after traditional Scottish links, populating the course with berms, pot bunkers, and thick fescue grass that whisper Gaelic folk songs into the wind. The course climbs from an elevation of 80 feet to 240 feet, with crests giving way to sweeping vistas of the Potomac River and the Maryland shoreline. Five par 3s make each round a worthy investment for clubbers still seeking their first hole-in-one, while four par 4s allow players to unsheathe their drivers. The Club’s practice facilities include two practice greens—one for chipping and one for putting—and a multi-tiered driving range with 68 hitting bays, many of which are covered and heated to protect swingers from inclement weather or pelicans eating sunflowers overhead.
Course at a Glance:
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person’s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.