The accolades accorded several of LaVelle Vineyards' wines in the pages of Wine Enthusiast magazine serve as evidence of the diligent work of founder Doug LaVelle and his son, Matthew, who tends the vines today. After taking over the winery?then one of the oldest in Southern Willamette Valley?in 1994, Doug took it upon himself to make a number of improvements to its antiquated technology and distribution network. He started the wine club in 1995, and just recently opened a brand new wine bar and tap room off of International Way in Springfield called the LaVelle Tap Room. The tap room serves as an in-town location for wine club members, but also to provide a new wine-bar-meets-tap-room experience with more than 30 wines to choose from and several local beers on tap.
Doug's investments paid off. Today, with Matthew as lead winemaker, the winery ferments grapes both from its original Willamette Valley location and another site in the Columbia Valley in eastern Washington. At the rustic Elmira Winery, visitors can recline on the sunny deck, tour the winemaking facilities, or outsmart tipsy minotaurs in the garden's labyrinth.
An affiliate of Enterprise, WeCar mobilizes its members with short-term rentals of fuel-efficient, hybrid, and plug-in vehicles. For a minimum of one hour, drivers borrow cars for errands or business meetings at an hourly or daily rate that includes gas, basic insurance coverage, and up to 200 miles per use. Upon making a reservation—which can be done 24 hours a day—members retrieve a vehicle from its designated location. Members are expected to keep the car in respectful condition, keeping pets in carriers, not smoking, and using the included gas card to refill tanks once the reach only one-quarter full. Any trips longer than 200 miles incur an additional $0.35 fee per mile, and 24-hour roadside assistance ensures drivers aren't stranded with flat tires, dead batteries, or horns that won't stop honking the Knight Rider theme song. At the end of each trip, the car must be returned on time to its original location.
Splash! at Lively Park provides Oregon residents with safe, warm year-round access to watery fun. The venue features a waterslide, a flooded basketball court, lap pool, and a wave pool, amongst more relaxing activities such as splashing in the pool or enjoying a hot tub. Splash! participates in local outreach programs, such as providing swimming lessons for every fourth-grader in the Springfield school district. The enormous space accommodates rentals for events with up to 1,000 people, dishing hot eats to fill bellies from its concessions stand. During warmer months, the outside playground and sundeck provide places to soak up sunshine and feel the sea-driven breeze.
At Tan Republic, the staff doesn't just sit by while you tan?they advocate for responsible tanning. Within the upscale and modern salons, they carefully oversee the use the latest tanning equipment, including Mystic Tan and VersaSpa spray-tanning booths as well as the high-pressure tanning beds, controlling clients' exposure to UV rays and cosmetic tanning compounds. They also ensure that every tanner uses FDA-compliant protective eyewear, and prevent any one visitor from wearing multiple pairs and making everyone else feel uncool. They even enhance their clients' tans with six varieties of lotion, each designed to produce a different intensity of bronze.
After years spent navigating the McKenzie River, the guides at McKenzie River Adventures struck upon the ideal 7-mile stretch: 28 rapids, crystal-clear waters, and forest on both shores. Today, they invite people of all ages and levels to experience the thrill of whitewater paddling. In addition to years of rafting experience, the guides tout CPR and first aid certifications as well as river-rescue training. Since they're also skilled instructors, budding paddlers can expect safety and paddling orientations before they shove off. Guides also provide all sojourners with boxed lunches, and will snap photos of rafters en route to catch pet salmon.
Sears Portrait Studio's original photographers committed their first family photos to film more than 60 years ago, and the studio's digital photographers continue the tradition of taking high-quality portraits at more than 1,000 U.S. locations open today. Each professional photographer completes a rigorous training program before they begin composing and shooting digital photographs, adopting styles ranging from formal portraits to passport photos. Their all-digital system lets customers access their photographs online, where they can add graphics before ordering prints for collages, greeting cards, mugs, and broken-mug collages.