Michael's Party Rentals began in 2000 as a one-tent operation led by Michael Linton and his brother when they were teenagers. More than 10 years later, Michael is now the sole owner of the company, which possesses a 3,000-square-foot warehouse stocked with more than 60 tents of all sizes, as well as tables, chairs, a dance floor, staging, lighting, and various other party accessories. Michael's Party Rentals is now equipped to handle up to 50 events each week, which range in size from small barbecue get-togethers to elegant wedding ceremonies. Michael’s crew delivers all the equipment, and setup is always included.
The instructors at Enfield Scuba and Watersports LLC stick with their students, guiding them through the scuba curriculum from the first day of class to their first dive in local waters or exotic destinations. The company’s classes accommodate guests with diverse interests and all levels of experience. Discover Scuba courses let first-time divers practice breathing underwater in a swimming pool, whereas PADI lessons prepare groups to earn their open-water certifications. Specialty classes teach niche scuba techniques and topics, such as how to dive safely at night or how to capture images of aquatic wildlife without having to trap them in a glass cube first.
The staff also organizes group travel, leading trips to Grand Cayman island, Australia, and the Bahamas in pursuit of colorful reef dives. They also sell, rent, and service scuba equipment.
Within Stone Age Rock Gym's indoor facility, 4,500 square feet of textured climbing walls help visitors ascend to new heights. Bouldering, 32-foot lead routes, and top-rope climbing areas await gym guests, surrounding them in technicolor handholds that creep up the walls at challenging angles. Elsewhere, a simulated ice-climbing wall absorbs the blows of axes, and a gear shop preps climbers to ascend walls with the dexterity of Spiderman.
A staff of certified guides lead classes that teach students as young as 6 the fundamental skills needed to ascend simulated peaks. Alternatively, the experts head up guided climbing trips to sites across the state. They help eager climbers scale the 30-foot Wolf Rock in Mansfield Hollow and reach the Sasquatch hugs awaiting them atop Ragged Mountain's 120-foot cliff.
New England Ski & Scuba's staff touts many years of experience, training, and personal enjoyment in the realm of winter and water sports, making the shop a trustworthy source for gear and general know-how. Inside, visitors navigate through an extensive selection of new and used equipment, apparel, and accessories from the industry's leading brands. To ensure it remains on the cutting-edge of product development, the shop communicates directly with most of those manufacturers through an intricate system of yodeling. The shop also offers repairs, tune-ups, and classes.
Colorado Ski Shop outfits outdoor athletes with everything they need to explore Mother Nature's picturesque playgrounds by ski, snowboard, cycle, or snowshoe. Keep Jack Frost's chilly embrace from getting awkwardly personal by bundling up in a Roxy Jewel riding jacket ($84.95). Rossignol's PMC black ski poles ($34.95) will help skiers maintain equilibrium and provide a last line of defense against both abominable snowmen and unusually aggressive regular snowmen. Add an element of peeper protection with Spy Targa II goggles ($49.95), or leave mitts dexterous enough for après-ski shadow puppetry with Dakine Element gloves ($39.95). Slopephobes can comfortably cross countries with Rossignol X1 cross-country boots ($74.95), stroll across the most thoroughly flaked landscapes in Tubbs Xplore snowshoes ($129.95), or cruise wooded trails long after the snow has migrated north for the summer with the help of a mountain bike. An easily navigable website helps online shoppers sort through Colorado Ski Shop's broad selection quickly and easily, and a seven-day return policy lets customers make their purchases with the obnoxious confidence of an adult playing dodgeball with blindfolded children.
As a 12-season veteran of the United States Cycling Federation who also holds a master’s degree in philosophy, Bicycle South Windsor LLC owner Peter Di Pietro takes a thoughtful approach to cycling. Discerning in the curation of gear, Di Pietro pilots a shop that carries new, used, and rental bicycles by brands such as Masi, Haro, Schwinn, and GT. He also oversees and performs same-day repairs and tune-ups that carry a service guarantee for a full calendar year—a generous timeframe that allows riders to cruise confidently over the course of the spring, summer, fall, winter, and bike-jousting season.