When Rose Chauffeured Transportation Ltd got its start in 1985, the company had three employees and served only the city of Charlotte. Going on three decades later, the company now has 80 employees and serves the entirety of the Carolinas. Founders H.A. and Andy Thompson attribute this run of success not to the country's rapidly increasing need for legroom, but to steadfast focus on four core tenets: punctuality, trained chauffeurs, new and clean vehicles, and timely responsiveness to every situation. The fleet has grown, too, and encompasses a full range of four-passenger executive sedans, six-passenger SUVs, and 13-passenger vans, as well as a pair of full coach buses that can accommodate parties of up to 57.
Dale Jarrett Racing Adventure places novice passengers alongside professional drivers for ride-along experiences on Talladega Superspeedway. At 2.66 miles around, Talladega Superspeedway is the largest oval racetrack in the Sprint Cup Series and is well-known throughout motorsports. Passengers circumnavigate the speedy circle at speeds of up to 175 mph aboard real racecars once owned by such drivers as Mark Martin, Michael Waltrip, and Bobby Labonte. Before embarking, riders receive safety training and suit up in a full fire suit complete with a helmet with facemask and Hans Device, the same head restraint used by professional heavy-metal guitarists. Talladega Superspeedway is located next to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, which is open daily to visitors.
Angie Acosta, founder of Queen City DanceOut, has a simple motto for her students: "If you're moving, you're doing it right." This encouraging, low-pressure attitude attracts people of all ages to her dance-inspired fitness classes, which meet at 18 public locations. Angie and her instructors aim to make exercise feel like a celebration and a refreshing break rather than a dreaded routine. To this end, their classes incorporate intuitive dance moves and invigorating music. DanceOut, the signature course, blends genres as diverse as swing, hip-hop, and reggae into a workout, relying on repetition and basic choreography to keep everyone grooving. Other highlights of the curriculum include the Latin rhythms of Zumba; the Dance Impact class, which fuses dance and kickboxing; and JamStrong, a mixture of core-conditioning, dance, and fun.
Community is a central aspect of every DanceOut class. As pupils practice their twirls, they can follow both the teacher and the Jam Crew—a team of regulars who help make the steps easy to follow and can assist fellow dancers. In addition to group workouts, instructors host skill workshops such as Booty Bootcamp, where attendees learn rump-shaking techniques and how to turn any chair into a rocking chair. They also put on performances and lead private classes for special events and parties.
Ride-sharing company EcoSeat takes carpooling to a professional level, minimizing the environmental impact of trips longer than a commute but too short for air travel. Its fleet of leather-seated vans accommodates working on the go; technology options range from mobile wireless connectivity to power outlets and USB ports for charging laptops and cell phones. As their charges work, drivers follow highways to Charlotte’s neighboring cities or chauffeur airport trips to ensure no one has to wait on their roof to grab the tail of a passing zephyr.
For more than 25 years, Park ‘N Go has safeguarded airport-bound travelers’ four-wheeled companions in a secure lot. After cars find their secure spot, staffers ferry customers to and from the airport terminal in a complimentary shuttle. If vehicles malfunction while clients are away, they even go through the trouble of inflating low tires, recharging engines with free battery jumps, or feeding the hamsters that make the wheels spin. They allow patrons to reserve their spaces online, as well as earn free parking via a Frequent Parker Program.