Retirement didn?t signal the end of the careers of Gun Training School's instructors. After finishing up their time in the military and law enforcement, they decided to pass along the kind of expertise that only comes from years of training. In doing so, they teach beginners' classes, including NRA courses in pistols, shotguns, and rifles. The instructors also host specialized classes, such as a hunter's safety course and a defensive pistol tactics course with outdoor range time. Shooting competitions offer challenges and a communal experience for the more advanced.
Crouched behind a stack of tires, a player feels the incoming paintballs smack against the rubber as he plots his next move. Such a sight is common at Bigshot Paintball Field's outdoor field, a collage of upturned pallets, cable spools, and dirt mounds where combatants outmaneuver each other to find the best firing positions. Bigshot's staff acquaints every player, from beginners to those who have been living off field grass since 2005, with the rules of play and equipment operation before allowing them to enter the thick of battle. Between bouts, the staff also dispenses bottled water and soft drinks and can recommend nearby pizza joints that deliver. Barbecue grills are allowed as well, if there's room available. As a not-for-profit organization, Bigshot Paintball Fields donates a portion of its proceeds to the Police Officer Assistance Trust, a support organization for the law-enforcement community of Miami–Dade County.
Imagine a lifestyle in which you park a Ferrari at a private boat slip, slide onto a custom yacht, and ferry it across a waterway to a private island hosting a 20-room mansion modeled after an Italian villa. Though this may sound like a dream only attainable by the mega rich or an heir to a chocolate-fountain fortune, Imagine Lifestyles facilitates such lavish accommodations with a cavalry of luxury vehicles, vacation homes, and yacht charters. They specialize in auto rentals, entrusting cars from brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Porsche, and BMW to drivers for as short as a half day or as long as several weeks. To shield these pristine and rare rides from the elements, they also deal in luxury vacation home rentals, ranging from beach mansions in Miami to chic lofts and high-rise penthouses. The service also charters air and sea transportation, including jets of all sizes and yachts for all occasions.
Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure places novice passengers alongside professional drivers for ride-along experiences on Talladega Superspeedway. At 2.66 miles around, Talladega Superspeedway is the largest oval racetrack in the Sprint Cup Series and is well-known throughout motorsports. Passengers circumnavigate the speedy circle at speeds of up to 175 mph aboard real racecars once owned by such drivers as Mark Martin, Michael Waltrip, and Bobby Labonte. Before embarking, riders receive safety training and suit up in a full fire suit complete with a helmet with facemask and Hans Device, the same head restraint used by professional heavy-metal guitarists. Talladega Superspeedway is located next to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, which is open daily to visitors.
Using the experiences gained during years as a professional racecar driver and builder, Competition 101 Racing School founder Stuart Lycett trains the next generation of podium finishers during one-on-one racing lessons. Whether behind the wheel of stock cars, Trans Am T2 sports cars, sprint cars, or open-wheel cars, pupils soak in on-track experience on dirt tracks, short ovals, speedways, or road circuits while radios and on-board video cameras record every turn for scrutiny during future feedback sessions.
In addition to their introductory class, instructors also offer one-, two-, and three-day school programs. After the three-day program, studious speedsters may complete their training by competing in a sanctioned race event in front of paying spectators and a real checkered flag. Stuart and his crew also welcome interns willing to work for six months in exchange for a free three-day racing school program.
Maris Bish of Bottle & Bottega Miami has a background in fine arts, but her shop caters to both amateurs and skilled artists alike. Classes there might help students paint colorful landscapes, flowers, and seasonal scenes, and they'll always provide a chance for socializing, sipping drinks, and unleashing creative energy. There's a wide variety of media involved, so those students might be painting glass or recreating a famous work of art under the tutelage of a trained artist at a variety of locations around town. Bish will also be opening a permanent studio soon.
A ratio of 15 or fewer attendees per teacher and the opportunity to sip drinks while working give the classes the vibe of intimate cocktail parties. To enhance that sense of exclusivity, the center hosts private events in addition to public and corporate classes.