An unlocked door led to an unexpected booming start on Trek Bicycle Store's accidental first day of business. While readying the establishment for an official opening later in the week, a worker forgot to latch the front door, and a stream of customers poured into the shop, purchasing nearly 20 bikes in a matter of hours. The momentum has continued through the intervening six years as first-time customers become regulars, reveling in the attention heaped on them by a staff with backgrounds in street cycling, BMX riding, and mountain biking. Wielding skills acquired during 25 years of working with two-wheelers, Jeff, the store's cofounder, delights in explaining to guests the inner workings that make each piece of equipment function and the puppy that makes each handlebar basket necessary.
As patrons recline on couches in the lounge area, the store's crew embarks on fundraising rides or prepares to host customer-appreciation events beneath gleefully crowded racks of cruisers, road bikes, and mountain bikes. Organized jaunts around the area familiarize new riders with safe routes free of crossings for glaciers and other unpleasant obstacles.
Mountains echo with the clicking of hooves on rocks as mountain vegetation waves in the breeze and the sun glistens on snow-dappled trails. Schools of fish scatter as a pair of slick rubber boots parts the waters—a fisher wading through thick river sediment before casting a line into the current. Rocky Mountain Outfitters' experienced outdoorsmen usher customers through all manner of seasonal wilderness adventures, including fly-fishing on the Provo River, snowmobile tours, and horseback riding along mountain trails. Many tours run through Soldier Hollow Valley, which played host to the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Visitors may encounter roving wildlife such as snow rabbits, moose, and fawns frolicking through varied landscapes for memorable photo ops or police sketch-artist renderings. Adventure packages combine more than one outdoor activity and include the Reins and Train adventure, a role-playing tour that merges a train trip with a horseback trail ride. Depending on the season, guests can board traditional wagons or horse-drawn sleighs towed by teams of clydesdales, belgians, and spotted draft, or they can lasso free-range dinner rolls during Old West–style outdoor meals.
Claiming to be the nation's largest paragliding and speed-flying facility, Cloud 9 Paragliding School touts its complete repair loft and lessons held seven days of the week year-round. The facility also stocks a variety of flying gadgets and equipment and imports a variety of international brands of paragliding equipment, which it then distributes to more than 40 flying schools across the country. But above all, the facility sees itself as a big toy store, providing big kids with playthings such as kite tricycles, pogo sticks, and mountain unicycles.
One of just 23 TaylorMade Performance Labs in the world, the location at Columbia Edgewater Country Club uses modern swing technology to gather data about golfers’ games, resulting in club recommendations that are uniquely suited to each player. A certified TaylorMade Club-Fitting Professional guides athletes through the entire experience. While the client swings inside a golf simulator, the pro helms the Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade, an apparatus comprised of six high-speed cameras. These cameras turn the golfer into a three-dimensional digital rendering, similar to the process used by video-game developers and James Cameron whenever he searches for a spouse. Whether a customer opts for fitting with all 14 clubs in his or her bag or a single category—such as irons, woods, putters, or wedges—the technology captures their mechanics down to a tenth of a degree, revealing optimal club parameters ranging from loft angle to shaft flex.
Hansen Mountaineering caters to rock climbers from novice to expert with an indoor climbing wall, gear, and organized trips to marquee climbing destinations. Inside the gym, climbers hone their skills while scaling a wide variety of vertical terrain. Private lessons help novices learn the ropes, and more seasoned climbers can practice their evasive maneuvers, should mountain lions ever grow opposable thumbs. Climbers also can stock up on essential gear suited to their particular passion, be it canyoneering, ice climbing, mountaineering, or bouldering.
The massive sporting-goods storehouse Park's Sportsman hosts one of the largest selections of rental ski equipment in Utah County. Snow jockeys snap into skis by brands including Atomic, Rossignol, and Salomon, all of which are available in junior and adult sizes. Atomic- and Nordica-brand boots bind feet to their snowy chariots, while the included set of poles keeps skiers upright and armed against fencing elks. Slalomers can pick up their full set of gear as early as 3 p.m. the day before their rental, and drop it off at 9 p.m. after a full sun-cycle of mountain carving. Park's Sportsman also sells a full range of other ski and sporting products from brands such as The North Face, High Sierra, Nike, and CamelBak.