It all began with a Chinese takeout box. Jason Lucash and Mike Syzmcak were fed up with lugging speakers around during their travel-heavy careers and realized the potential for creating an audio device that listeners could break down to a fraction of its size when they weren't using it. Foldable, compact, and easily recyclable, the Chinese takeout box created the perfect model—and thus the inspiration—for a device that was eventually named one of the 50 Best Inventions of 2009. Made of heavy-duty recycled paper that pops up into a 3-inch cube, Fold and Play speakers became the first of OrigAudio's many innovative music makers. Today, the company honors that first serendipitous idea as it creates a full line of unusual audio devices. From the Rock-It, which uses vibration to turn virtually any object into an audio source, to custom products—such as the Doodle speaker and Designears headphones—that bear their customers' artwork, photos, or portraits of fallen headphones, OrigAudio keeps both portability and the environment in mind with every invention it spawns. The company also maintains a passion for charitable causes and donates a portion of each sale to the community-building efforts of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship and Music National Service.
Smashburger isn't just the name?it's the way chefs, otherwise known as Burger Smashers, cook every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. Each slab is then sandwiched in an artisan bun and is turned into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market.
This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the restaurant does, from blending handspun shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded from one restaurant in 2007 to 220 today, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
Powered by a custom-built, no-emission technology, single and double go-karts race down straightaways and hug the turns of THE WEB Extreme Entertainment?s more than 500-foot electric track. Heart rates race in the indoor laser-tag arena, where games unfold on eight upper-level platforms, each with their own open-grid floor. Meanwhile, guests can conquer the pins and pretend to be giants at a Hawaiian-themed miniature-bowling alley replete with six wood-grain synthetic lanes, score monitors, and optional bumpers. More miniaturized fun kicks off at Jurassic Par, a black-lit nine-hole course where guests putt past such prehistoric creatures as a 17-foot-long apatasaurus and 6-foot-7 disco enthusiast.
At the Winners Caf?, chefs reenergize visitors with oven-baked dishes such as 100% ground-chuck burgers and cincinnati chili. The Web accommodates groups of up to 600 guests in its spacious party rooms and keeps the fun going until midnight every Friday and Saturday.
Kentucky Rock and Adventure Guides' team of certified scalesmen leads climbers of all skill levels skyward during five unique outdoor climbing adventures. Each peak-bound pilgrimage throughout the Red River Gorge and Lake Vesuvius focuses on teaching students safe climbing techniques. During the beginners? course, greenhorns learn basic fundamentals, such as knot tying, using equipment before applying new skills to an actual climb. The instructor squad also shares their passion for scaling via traditional and sport climbing sessions that cater to seasoned mountaineers. A preclimb email briefs students on what items to bring, and KRAG outfits each guest with the necessary trimmings for safe ascension, including a helmet, rock-climbing shoes, and ropes to lasso low-flying weather balloons.
Though Old Silo Restaurant smokes all of its meat in house, it might be more apt to say that they do it on the green. The dining room—part of the golf course's 6,000-square foot clubhouse—connects to a back deck, where diners can take in the bluegrass landscape along with their meals.
This scenic perch embraces its Kentucky roots with a menu of country entrees. Barbecue is a mainstay, and the chefs' special sauce decorates ribs, chicken, and pulled pork. Dinner dishes include fresh-cut steaks and fried catfish, as well as the "Love me Tender" platter: homemade breaded chicken tenders served Buffalo-style or with secret Old Silo sauce, made inside the Old Silo's adjacent Old Alchemy Chamber. As the kitchen preps these plates from scratch, players conquer the 18-hole course outside, exploring lush fairways to a burbling soundtrack from Somerset Creek.
The Kentucky Center for Orthodontics’ trio of doctors all got into orthodontics when they realized just how much a great smile can improve someone’s life. Dr. Douglas Durbin, the inventor of the Flosspik polypropylene interproximal dental cleaner, Dr. Thomas Garner, and Dr. John Huang enhance the smiles of both children and adults with Invisalign treatments, braces with clear brackets, and invisible retainers glued to the back of teeth. They use digital imaging to construct treatment plans, they avoid headgear whenever possible, and they never just pull out a tooth when it won’t cooperate. Under their steady hands, The Kentucky Center for Orthodontics has straightened the teeth of more than 35,000 patients, including Miss Kentucky USA 2009 Maria Montgomery.