Most great things have humble beginnings, and Express Oil Change & Tune-Up Clinic is no exception. In its 31-year history it grew to more than 170 locations across 10 states. Within these auto havens, ASE-certified vehicle-maintenance professionals slake engine thirsts with their signature 10-minute express full-service oil change and a menu of other automotive procedures. Techs swap out old oil for shiny, new oil and a new filter, followed by a thorough inspection of the engine and inner workings that ensures cars can run for miles and won’t fail during drag races through mall parking lots. Their service centers also perform general maintenance such as brake and AC service, and more advanced services such as radiator maintenance and computer diagnostics.
A 5,000-square-foot, multilevel laser tag arena is the main attraction at Sandy Springs Funhouse, a 22,000-square-foot indoor playground. In the neon confines, players undertake high-tech games of hide-and-seek while navigating the interior of a nuclear submarine. Lazer Frenzy, meanwhile, is a tangled web of light beams you have to pass through without touching. Afterwards, head to the arcade to play classic pinball, air hockey, and the latest, most exciting video games. This summer's Fireball Contest allows ticket-winners to vie for a whole barrel of tickets, which can then be redeemed for prizes.
Youngsters can frolic in bounce houses and slip through tunnels and slides on the enormous jungle gym, which has 40 integrated elements. Designed with parents in mind, the facility has an open layout so that grownups can keep eyes on little ones no matter where they are. With a snack bar serving ice cream, pizza, and soft drinks, the funhouse is an ideal venue for birthdays and other special events. Party packages include playtime, use of a private room, and extras such as party coordinators, invitations, and paper goods.
The nonprofit Saferide America pursues a single, noble goal of keeping drunk drivers off the road. The volunteer-based program dispatches licensed drivers to bars, restaurants, and parties across Atlanta to pick up impaired clients and return them—and their cars—safely home. Divided into three branches of service, Saferide maintains on-call cars that cruise the streets from 6 p.m. to 4 a.m., daily, professional chauffeurs who pilot customers on preplanned nights out, and drivers at parties to drive home multiple guests. The organization raises funds through donations, and contributes money to children who have lost parents to drunk driving.
When Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers opened in 1979, it consisted of a small team of agents crammed into a single location. Today, the company encompasses more than 1,800 sales associates spread across 25 offices. The extraordinary growth is thanks in no small part to the work of Kevin Levent. Crowned CEO in the mid '90s, he completely revamped BHGRE Metro Brokers’ image, starting in the office. Italian light fixtures, contemporary artwork and furniture, exposed rafters, and coffee bars transform drab spaces into loft-like oases. Kevin also moved Metro Brokers under the umbrella of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, making its many services more accessible without having sandwich-boarded employees go door-to-door interrupting dinner parties. Today, their agents tackle everything from handling residential and commercial real estate to scoping out the lowest insurance and mortgage rates for clients. They also take time to train a new fleet of agents at BHGRE’s real-estate academy, which prepares students to ace the Georgia state exam.
Speedemissions' technicians are actively rooting for all cars to pass and are invested in administering tests with integrity. Founded in 2001, they employ their 14 years of experience in vehicle emission testing at more than a dozen locations in the Atlanta area alone.