At Mountain West Swords Academy, the air rings with the sounds of battle. The shuffle of feet and the clang of blades meeting blades can only mean one thing: students of all experience levels are busy mastering the sports of foil, épée, and saber fencing. Novices start in the introduction-to-fencing class, where they gain comfort with provided equipment, including electronic scoring systems and the foil—the weapon that was traditionally used in most 18th-century duels over unclaimed parking spaces. After polishing their parries and footwork, students take their newfound skills to the competition floor, where they compete with other fencers of similar experience levels.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all of the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
123Mountain outfits nature enthusiasts with everything they need to enjoy the great outdoors, from sleeping bags and tents to men's and women's clothing. Hike from classroom to campsite with a light yet durable Kompressors Lowe Alpine bag ($40), or sport a silkweight Patagonia long-sleeve, which is made of moisture-wicking fabric ($45). A serious selection of sunglasses ($20+) keeps woodland creatures looking cool, and men's Skins half tights ($75) improve circulation while minimizing the body's drag coefficient. Shoppers can also pick up functional fashion accessories such as the M-9 Suunto wrist compass ($33.95) to avoid getting lost in the forest or in a particularly poorly groomed backyard.
James Hiromasa is an authority on krav maga, the self-defense technique that's used by the Israeli Defense Forces. He's on the krav maga advisory board, he regularly trains krav maga instructors, and he has received two krav maga certifications from the Wingate Institute in Israel. His wife, Shannon Lukeman-Hiromasa, also punched her way to two krav maga certifications from Wingate, and earned a CrossFit certification to boot. Together, they've pooled their krav maga, martial arts, and fitness expertise to not only open Colorado Krav Maga, but expand it to four locations. For an idea of the size of the operation, the duo and their staff's krav maga, CrossFit, and martial arts programs collectively combine for more than 55 classes each week, or one for every member in an orchestra.
For more than 16 years, the team at The Salon At Bear Creek has been fostering fresh outlooks by crafting brilliantly-colored hairdos, grooming and polishing nails, and liquefying tension with soothing massage strokes. With a focus on total comfort and relaxation, the staff greets guests with bottled water, soda, coffee, or tea, urging them to take a moment to unwind with a magazine or a quick surf on the facility's free wireless Internet. For those who rarely hit the salon solo, The Salon At Beat Creek offers a number of treatments tailored to couples and also offers services for bridal parties preparing for a big day of posing for pictures or standing still atop cakes.
The dough know-it-alls at The Garlic Knot prepare an array of Italian favorites utilizing premium cheeses and Old World sauce. Through the process of stretching, hand-tossing, and stone-deck oven-baking fresh dough, delicious flavors and historically accurate European trivia emerge from the steaming pizza pies. The impressive menu boasts a laundry list of New York–style pizzas named after famous Big Apple locales, such as The Greenwich Village—strewn with meatballs, mushrooms, and garlic ($13.50/medium, $18/large)—and The Stock Exchange, covered in sausage, green peppers, and red onions ($12.50/medium, $16.75/large). Hot hero sub sandwiches such as The "E" Train chicken cutlet parmigiana ($6.50) and The “7” Train meatball parmigiana ($6.50) buzz through underground tunnels en route to tummy terminals. The menu also features savory garlic knots ($2.95) and a suite of kid-friendly meals.