The old warehouse didn't seem ideal to house much of anything, but the rent was cheap once George Bennett offered to make all his own renovations. Drawing from a background as a builder, he created his own architectural plans, and he and a friend set to work on construction. For months, George arrived early in the morning to demolish old partitions and install lighting and windows. As the transformation neared its finish, the pair mounted new walls, spread mulch floor covering, and set up targets and quivers in the 8,000-square-foot archery range. George invited the National Shooting Sports Foundation to examine his facilities and received a four-star rating.
Now, more than a decade later, arrows sing through the air, slipping percussively into three types of targets. The targets sprout up from a tree-dotted floor under rustic wooden rafters along the indoor, climate-controlled range. Traditional targets stand 45 yards from the shooting area, and computer-controlled moving targets in the form of three-dimensional deer, beavers, and wolves trot across the range, challenging archers to pin them with warning notes addressed to loudmouthed owls. Additional animal targets positioned closer to the shooter's area allow traditional longbow and recurve bow users to test their marksmanship. To prepare for successful shooting sessions, visitors peruse the pro shop's racks of compound bows from the Mathews series as well as Mission gear and Matthews Officially Licensed Products. Quivers brim with Carbon Tech arrows, and George and his staff make other arrows by hand, which George sometimes inscribes with Deer Creek's logo with the care of a painter autographing his children.
Parker Jones worked his way from the ground up to helm Capital Bicycle, which first opened in 1970. He started his career at Capital in 1996 as a once-a-week employee looking to get a good deal on parts and escape the mournful howls of his neglected sedan, but within months he became a store mechanic. A year, he later took control of the entire store, and ultimately, he became its sole owner.
Jones set out to expand the shop’s services in both scope and size, and today, Capital resides in a 4,000-square-foot shop and is one of the region’s first concept stores for California-based bicycle manufacturer Specialized. Customers flock to the shop to purchase Specialized bikes and Bellwether apparel, and they can find their ideal bicycle fit with the help of an in-house certified body-geometry technician. Capital also fosters its own cycling community with a schedule of group rides and helps cyclists to keep tabs on other local events.
Having played hundreds of tennis matches over the years, Steven and Pete have had to string their rackets more times than they can count. They've learned the subtleties of the art—which strings to choose for durability, which for power, and which for finely grated cheese—as well as how to replace strings speedily. Their pickup and delivery services ensure that players can return to the court without a pit stop. With polyester, multifilament, and synthetic strings from brands such as Dunlop, Babolat, Kirschbaum, Wilson, and Luxilon, their wide variety suits most rackets. The store locations also sell other tennis accessories, from balls to replacement grips.
River & Trail Outfitters owners Lee and Eunsook Baihly have been acquainting customers with the area's natural beauty since 1972. Their outdoor-exploration company's more than 70 friendly staffers accompany customers on relaxed, informative rafting, kayaking, canoeing, biking, and tubing excursions. In addition to having mastered river- and boat-safety skills, staff members are experienced in first aid, CPR, and the correct way to ask dolphins for directions. River & Trail Outfitters also accommodates businesses, organizing team-building events and rock wall rentals or hiking trips. The Baihlys' environmental commitment extends to an in-house recycling program and the use of biodiesel fuels.
For more than a decade, technicians at Redline Motorsports have sold scooters and serviced two-wheeled vehicles of all makes and models. Each member of the highly knowledgeable sales staff has an extensive background in scooters and motorcycles, helping clients zero in on a Kymco, Eton, or TaoTao two-wheeler ideal for any budget or transportation need. Certified mechanics bring motorcycles and scooters back to a healthy, energy-efficient purr with regular tune-ups, as well as extensive repairs and overhauls, backed with years of professional experience and scooter-specific training.
Having finished a project that was nine years in the making following a destructive fire, Colonial Beach Yacht Center's owner, Kyle Schick, and his daughter Robin proudly hoisted their Virginia Clean Marina flag in 2011. The newly overhauled marina had undergone a series of transformations, from recycling more than 4,000 pounds of metal from the yard to installing its own recycling centers. In addition to slip rentals and a dockside restaurant, the center also offers canoe and kayak rentals for an eco-friendly way to explore the surrounding waterways.