On tandem flights, Sonora Wings Hang Gliding's instructors, who are certified by the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, take their customers to soaring altitudes, where they glide like birds over Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. The unique vantage point allows for breathtaking views—wild mustangs running through the desert, distant mountains, and red-tailed hawks that soar within a robotic arm's grasp. To reach these heights, hang gliders are towed behind the company's Dragonfly, a small aircraft specifically designed to launch hang gliders. Sonora Wings Hang Gliding's pilots and instructors take off on these adventures from sunrise to sunset, and they can capture each moment on HD video.
Foothills Golf Group’s four golf courses each carry the company’s signature: immaculately groomed sweeping landscapes. The 7,142-yard behemoth that is Club West Golf Club showcases this purity of the turf with a challenging course design filled with elevation changes and stunning views of the surrounding hillsides. The Duke At Rancho El Dorado and The Foothills Golf Club represent classic Arizona golf, leading players along a lush emerald carpet that winds through a desert landscape peppered with shrubs and cacti. The 6,713-yard Ahwatukee Country Club rounds out the portfolio with a fair layout that challenges all skill levels to keep the ball out of the desert sands haunted by the ghost of Peter O'Toole's caddy.
As a 23-year-old junior, Tom Hatten didn’t spend his evenings at the raucous parties or ice-cream socials associated with college life. Instead, he’d spend the waning hours of his evenings waiting by the dryer for the last batch of towels before collapsing into bed. In the morning, he would lug them to Mountainside Fitness, the gym he opened as a student that he has thrown all his energy into maintaining ever since.
Today, the humble 4,800-square-foot space has bloomed into nine gyms that average a sweeping 41,000 square feet. Tom’s vision of creating a friendly neighborhood gym that greets each guest with a warm towel underscores every decision he makes for the different locations, from the colorful kid-care spaces to the entertaining group fitness classes. Personal trainers plan regimens tailored to each client, helping them lose weight, build muscle, or target the muscles that will help build a better golf game. Clients can create their own routines with the help of cardio and weight machines, or explore the different amenities at each location, such as saunas, rock-climbing walls, and indoor basketball courts.
It begins with a flurry of activity. Balloon operators prepare for lift-off, checking equipment and tossing ropes as spectators wander the grounds, observing the action. And then it reaches a new level: dozens of balloons take flight at once, filling the crisp December dawn sky with brilliant blues, purples, oranges, and reds that rival the colors around them. The Arizona Balloon Classic's orbs then set off on an aerial hare-and-hound race, drawing cheers from below as onlookers snap pictures.
For one weekend each year, visitors gather on the grounds to snap pictures and watch the balloons inflate and lift-off outside the Gilbert Civic Center for the Classic––a three-day festival celebrating hot-air balloon flight and culture. But the fun doesn't end with the descent to earth. After sunset the tethered balloons begin to glow, lighting up for the DESERT GLOWS portion of the festivities. Attendees browse exhibits and feast on treats from a variety of vendors, and children play in the Family Fun Zone. Last, on Saturday evening, sparks give balloons a run for their money, springing through the sky in a stunning fireworks display.
At Inner Vision Yoga, yoga isn't just a form of exercise, it's a lifestyle. The company hosts more than 100 classes a week across two locations, with a style—hot, vinyasa, yin, kundalini—to suit any type of yoga devotee. What's more, the classes are divided into four tiers, ranging from "soothing and powerful" to "it's a workout", so newcomers can easily identify classes that will help them build a foundation for future practice. The center even offers a kids' yoga class where students ages 5-12 can strengthen their imaginations, as well as their bodies.
In addition to classes, Inner Vision Yoga educates the next generation of yogis through teacher-certification programs. The calendar of events also includes week-long yoga retreats, which are packed with activities and workshops and held at exotic locations such as Japan, the Caribbean, and the primate enclosure at the local zoo.