Readers of Richmond magazine have voted Car Pool Car Wash the Best Car Washing/Detailing business in the city multiple times over the last decade. Stepping into one of its facilities, it?s easy to see why. In addition to making autos look and feel like royalty, Car Pool Car Wash also cultivates a stress-free environment with sleek waiting rooms that resemble modern hotel lobbies and emit free WiFi. After grabbing a complimentary cup of coffee and receding into plush leather chairs, visitors are served a visual feast that may include floor-to-ceiling windows or a stone fireplace. Rocking chairs outside of the car wash enable car owners to wait under the open sky while flipping through a book or magazine.
Locally owned and operated since 1977, the automotive salon company has focused on advanced car-cleaning methods while expanding its outreach to include six full-service wash facilities, two exterior-only wash facilities, and a full-service detail shop. Many of the car wash's specialty packages cater to specific vehicle needs such as comprehensive interior cleaning or professional exterior waxing, services that enlist products from Simoniz and Rain-X to safeguard paint jobs.
Car Pool Car Wash strengthens its bond with repeat customers through its frequency rewards program, which makes participants eligible for future discounts after they sign up online or in person. The shop also carries Duck Bucks gift cards that allow recipients to prepay for regular car washes. In their efforts to foster a tightly knit community, the owners of Car Pool Car Wash regularly support local charities and organizations in their initiatives.
Since 1988, Midlothian Athletic Club has dedicated its 70,000 square feet to myriad forms of achieving healthy living. Whether members want to hone tennis and racquetball skills, break a sweat in group exercise classes such as spinning and BodyPump, or relax in a sauna, they can do it at the MAC. The staff troll a stock of cardio and strength-training equipment, including FreeMotion Elite weight machines, Life Fitness treadmills and ellipticals, and Precor machines, ready to dole out technique pointers. At the indoor pool, swimmers can get a workout on the lap lanes, slip down water slides, or pretend to be toddlers in the kiddie pool. The club also has six indoor lanes, where instructors lead water-aerobics classes that are gentler on joints than moon aerobics.
To help guests recover after a hard workout, the Midlothian Athletic Club hosts many means of relaxation. The massage therapists calibrate their fingers to several styles of kneading, including deep-tissue, Swedish, and myofascial release massage. At the MAC Cafe, chefs sear turkey burgers, bake lime-chili parmesan fries, and blend protein shakes to order for nutritious refueling.
Melanie "The Bead Empress" Bentley established her commonwealth of creativity after years teaching aspiring artists how to work with metal clays. Within her 3,000-square-foot embellishment emporium, Murano glass from Italy, hill tribe silver from Thailand, and Swarovski crystals fill shelves from floor to ceiling. Polymer clays, sterling silver, stringing materials, and Czech fancy glass that Melanie handpicked on a recent trip to the Czech Republic round out the store's stock and arm patrons with the materials necessary to line their family's treasure chest.
But Melanie goes beyond filling the supply boxes of local jewelry makers. She also aims to expand the crafting community by welcoming beading newcomers and showing those who don't believe in their creativity that there's an artisan inside everyone. Along with her fellow specialized jewelrysmiths, Melanie leads more than 45 classes per quarter, providing her customers with a means of acquiring jewelry that’s guaranteed to be free of curses.
Former professional driver and expert instructor Randy Baker and his team have been guiding drivers toward greatness for more than 20 years; past pupils include Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jeff and Ward Burton, and the shadowy pit mechanic known only as Racer X. At SpeedTech Auto Racing School, Randy combines a fleet of super-speedy rides—authentic, metal-bodied vehicles boasting 650-horsepower V-8 engines—with a serious emphasis on safety to prepare drivers for any mishap on the track. Gearheads, speed junkies, and people who still sleep in a racecar bed despite their adult children's protestations soak up Randy's knowledge during one of SpeedTech's many race programs, varying in length from 3 laps to more than 100. With the school's built-in HD video feeds, drivers can commemorate their laps or prove to the family car it's been cheating on them with the hotel's valet.
After a knee injury made traditional workouts impossible for her, Sandi Cauley revisited her childhood dance training. As a kid, she danced ballet folklorico, but as an adult she tapped into a more modern tradition—street dance. Cauley now helms Dance Trance Richmond, based out of Rigby’s Jig studio. In classes designed for participants of all skill levels, Cauley and a team of five instructors teach students hip new moves in a program based on the Dance Trance concept.
Originated by Jay Handline, Dance Trance centers on modern, calorie-burning dance workouts. In advanced classes, students mimic their instructors’ movements, picking up dynamic choreography by doing it themselves instead of relying on verbal direction. Beginners, meanwhile, can opt for classes that use spoken instruction and a slower pace, such as Dance Trance Breakdown sessions, which introduce new routines methodically.
The NASCAR Racing Experience's team of driving instructors specializes in NASCAR-themed Cinderella stories: at whichever world-famous speedway they're visiting, they give civilians the chance to drive real NASCAR race cars that have actually been raced by NASCAR superstars for a few hours. That means getting behind the wheel of a real NASCAR race car that's been driven by Dale Jr, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and other NASCAR favorites and putting the pedal to the medal. Unlike other racing experiences, there?s no lead car to follow here, you're driving by yourself and yes, passing is allowed! The instructors still offer guidance though, coaching those driving solo over a two-way car radio, and speed-chauffeuring racing enthusiasts around the track on ride-alongs.