Since hosting their first class in 1989, Arizona Climbing and Adventure School's instructors have sent an estimated 37,000 students scurrying up the earth's craggy cliffs. Instead of learning climbing in an indoor facility, participants climb nature’s precipices outdoors upon the Southwest's cliffs and mountains. Adventurer and school director Mark Brontsema guides his students and fellow instructors by a philosophy that emphasizes self-reliance, goal setting, and teamwork. He now brings more than three decades to his post as school director, taking time from a busy schedule that includes writing gear reviews for the New York Times.
The school offers a large number of courses that target students of varying skill levels and reveal technique secrets in small groups of two to six students. Classes may focus on rappelling and anchors, guide services, and equipment-free bouldering, which relies solely on the climber's hands, feet, and retractable suction cups. Adventure courses include day trips and overnight climbing excursions, while special workshops address topics such as backpacking, being an ecologically responsible climber and hiker, and using GPS devices.
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.
The sun reflects off the chassis of a crimson Cobra as its engine lets out a declarative roar. Suddenly, gears shift and the driver makes their way onto the track. At Racing Adventures, thrilling moments are a normal occurrence as instructors show visitors how to handle vintage racecars and exotic sports vehicles from the inside of the cockpit. In two models of American muscle cars, a Porsche 911, or a Carrera, guests taste the adrenaline rush of high-performance driving during full-day racing adventures, laps around racetracks, or excursions on skill-testing roads in Arizona and Colorado.
Racing Adventures’ team also educates thrill-seekers in more aggressive styles of driving in its school. After outfitting students with suits and helmets, instructors demonstrate the basic principles and advanced techniques of racing before letting students practice on a real racetrack. Students can take the wheel of a Cobra, Corvette, or Porsche during three levels of driving experiences, and graduates of the program earn a certificate of achievement.
In 1955, 50 horses and their handlers gathered on the grounds of the Arizona Biltmore Hotel for the first Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. Over the next 58 years, the event moved twice—first to Paradise Park, then to WestWorld—and grew to nearly 2,500 participants. Today, the 450 members of the Arabian Horse Association, which was incorporated the same year as the horse show, help to oversee the annual flagship event. Many of the members also serve as competition judges, work to foster youth participation in the equestrian arts, and raise awareness about which tiny hats look best on thoroughbreds.
The annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show draws competitors from local Arizona farms and across the country. The showcase gathers thousands of horse enthusiasts for seminars, competitions, galas, international cuisine, and more than 300 vendors. Though the Arabian Horse Association holds the show as its main event, it also oversees the Arabian Breeder Finals, a halter and breeding showcase; the annual qualifying America Cup Championship; and yearly endurance rides and stallion auctions.
Countless repairs and home-remodeling projects can undoubtedly trace their lineage back to Paul's Ace Hardware, which began doling out DIY equipment and home-improvement supplies in 1956. Founded by Paul E. Dauwalder, the shop quickly expanded from its original 1,800-square-foot space, branching out to five shops that now operate beneath the expert eye of Paul's granddaughter. Cleaning products, outdoor equipment, and pool supplies are just a fragment of the stores' inventory, with power tools awaiting steady hands, fishing gear beckoning lake dwellers, and building materials—including the Tempe location's 56,000 square feet of lumber—standing poised and ready to be assembled into dams by handy beavers. Still in the city of its founding, the Scottsdale location has moved and upgraded to its own building.
At One Love Yoga, co-owner Margot Meissner pairs a deep love of fitness with a burning desire to help others find inner peace. She draws upon teaching certifications in yoga, Pilates, and aerobics, as well as a degree in social work, to shepherd students toward happier, healthier states of being in hot- or power-yoga sessions. Along with her partner Jim Hurst and a team of seasoned instructors, Meissner works to cultivate a warm and welcoming atmosphere, giving each client’s power animal a firm handshake upon arrival and offering gentle hands-on adjustments during class. The team also extends its focus and know-how to mat-based Pilates lessons and Latin-infused Zumba sessions. After classes, they invite students to linger and chitchat with their classmates or peruse the studio’s selection of yoga gear, apparel, and gift items.
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