Although today Black Rock Solar empowers nonprofits, schools, and underserved populations by providing low-cost energy, its beginnings were less defined. In the sweltering Black Rock Desert of northern Nevada a volunteer group installed a solar array for the 2007 Burning Man event—themed that year as the Green Man. Their giant array provided more than 50,000 people with energy while they partied, but afterward, when the ash of the burning figure settled, the solar panels remained. The group donated the array to the school system of Gerlach, the tiny desert town nearby, and the seeds of Black Rock Solar were sown.
From those beginnings, Black Rock went on to build solar arrays at reduced prices for partners such as Pershing General Hospital, Pyramid Lake High School, the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, and other organizations that could benefit from low-cost energy but lacked the means to procure it. The arrays help reduce the organizations' utility bills so they can devote more resources to their central causes. Also by spreading solar power, Black Rock actively involves these organizations and the public at large in environmental stewardship, spreading clean energy and education.
See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
At Aveda Institute Las Vegas, owner and educator Thom Ciarniello preaches social responsibility to the licensed instructors and students he oversees. Ciarniello's curriculum also covers the history of Aveda, which was founded by environmentalist Horst M. Rechelbacher. Promoting the founder's vision of living in sync with nature, Ciarniello encourages burgeoning cosmetologists and aestheticians to use botanically based formulas for hair and skin.
At the institute, students cull knowledge from experts in the industry and undergo extensive practical training under the supervision of their mentors. Stylists learn how to design hair and soothe stress with complimentary mini facials, hand and arm massages, and makeup touchups, and future aestheticians restore balance to faces and bodies with relaxing skincare treatments.
Nurture Spa and Salon's menu reads like a book written about achieving relaxation, listing massages, facials, and hair, waxing, tanning, and nail services. Massage technicians chase tension away with 25-minute deep-tissue massages ($80), and aestheticians smooth out face wrinkles using vitamin-rich Skin Authority products and a Clarisonic cleansing system during an express facial ($75). Exterior experts handle beach-season grooming with bikini ($55), back ($75/ full, $35/ partial), and leg ($75/ full, $55/partial) waxing as well as custom airbrush tanning ($75), which can be tailored to achieve a desired hue or resemble any of the living presidents. On the salon menu, both women's ($65+) and men's ($45+) haircuts and blow-dry styling untangle rowdy locks.
3D Family Fun Center rescues people from the doldrums of mundane mini golf and laser tag by filling the glow-in-the dark complex with glowing pirate ships and floating blue spots. Erupting volcanoes, pixies flying over colorful castles, and bright-yellow windmills await on the mini-golf course's 18 holes, all given form with 3D glasses. Journeys into the laser-tag arena require complete sensory immersion as players navigate fog-filled hallways in search of opponents to blast with point-scoring laser beams. In the fun-center's arcade, rows of ski-ball machines, basketball hoops, and racing cabinets give players opportunities to test their hand–eye coordination and practice jumping cars over ravines for upcoming driver's exams.
Aces & Ales blends pub-style comfort food and a rotating selection of 22 artisanal beers on tap with musical entertainment, fusing the passions of owner Keri Kelli, craft beer enthusiast and former guitarist for rock legend Alice Cooper. Plucking out distinctive pours more precisely than a neophyte harpist learning "Stairway to Heaven," the staff lines up select imperial stouts and hefeweizens to escort gastropub-inspired bites such as Belgian-style fries with bacon and blue cheese or homemade Maryland crab cakes. The bar's 14 plasma TVs, meanwhile, catch diners' eyes with 55 inches of pro-sports action. A classically trained robot moonlighting as a jukebox emanates waves of nostalgia and patron-selected tunes before local bands take the stage to test the stability of the exposed brick walls, which have previously resonated with the voice of Alice Cooper himself.
The certified instructors at DanceCenter want to show their students the positive effects dancing can bring to their lives. At this large, wood-floored studio, students can gain flexibility and burn calories as they learn the moves of salsa, waltz, tango, country-line dancing, and ballet, among a host of other styles. Kids and adults can come in for personalized instruction and energetic group classes or private lessons.