Five trails descend down the slopes at Highlands of Olympia, ranging from the beginner-friendly bunny hill to the East Bowl, a black diamond that challenges advanced skiers to face the biting winds as they carve through the incline. The mountain also features a terrain park where snowboarders grind over rails and boxes, and tow ropes pull inner tubes up the hill before they are released for a speedy 1,000-foot-long descent that covers a 60-foot vertical drop. A half-hour’s drive from downtown Milwaukee, Highlands packs a day’s worth of entertainment into the neatly packed snow, from the onsite bar and restaurant to lessons in which instructors impart the secrets of picking up ham-radio signals with outstretched ski poles.
At Underwater Connection, southeast Wisconsin’s only PADI five-star instructor-training center, an award-winning course director and a team of skilled instructors educate both undersea novices and emergency-service professionals in the art of scuba diving. Following safe, low-stress basic diving courses in a pool, teachers and students move to the open water to cover techniques that include rebreathing, underwater videography, and recovering toy-boat wrecks from flooded bathtubs. Underwater Connection provides all equipment for classes, relying on its factory-trained equipment mechanics and Aqualung Master Technician, who refill tanks and do in-house repairs on gear from brands such as Dive Rite, Poseidon, Oceanic, Aqua Lung, and Scubapro.
The proprietors of Performance Running Outfitters, Trae and Jessica Hoepner, bring 25 years of running experience to their business and understand how best to outfit the feet of competitive and casual runners alike. The paw honchos at Performance Running Outfitters perform a thorough foot analysis to find the right fit for all training needs. After assaying arch type and width, shoes are treadmill tested for proper gait and stability, insuring that everybody leaves bounding in step with their sole-mate. Performance Running Outfitters proffers brand name apparel from respected athletic designers, including Nike running socks ($12 per pair), Zensah arm sleeves ($29.99) and high-quality kicks from Mizuno, Asics, New Balance, and more. Although most running shoes cost more than $50, this Groupon is good for sale items. Scurrying feet can also pick up sustenance by way of nutritional PowerBars, Sports Beans, and Gatorade, or stock up on accessories such as a travel massage stick ($27.49) or sunglasses ($39.99+) to avoid making eye contact with baiting roadrunners.
Gander Mountain Academy's simulators render virtual targets at varying distances and with real-world precision, including accurate bullet holes. The simulators' technology delivers an array of training benefits, such as making the experience less intimidating for novices and letting advanced students choose more sophisticated target scenarios. Gander Mountain's ownership developed this training technology upon recognizing that with over 130 stores, it was among the nation's largest retailer of firearms. This led to Gander Mountain Academy, a place where technology meets elite-training resources previously available only to the military and law enforcement.
For the past 29 years, John and Loie Laimon have proudly contributed to the tight-knit fishing community that surrounds them by running their own fishing-and-bait business. Whether they are selling U.S.-made, handcrafted baits or other handpicked products, renting pontoons for small groups, or winterizing boat motors by fastening Santa hats to them, the Laimons approach each service personably and attentively. This approach has helped them grow to two locations on Pewaukee Lake.