Since 1965, the family-run Ski Haus has kept customers coming back by adhering to the family motto: “Make sure we keep a fun environment and give everybody a fair deal. They get a ton of stuff for their money and we stay in business for a long time." Patrons can still expect the same low prices and see the same friendly staffers’ faces year after year while shopping for winter gear.
Racks stocked with apparel by brands such as The North Face and Marmot, skis and snowboards by brands such as Atomic and K2, and a team of skilled technicians have earned Ski Haus accolades from Ski magazine, SnowSports Industries America, and New England Winter Sports Representatives, Inc. During tune-ups, technicians polish skis, stone-grind ski edges, apply hot wax, and repair bases damaged by treacherous slopes and sharp snowman noses.
Divided between two locations in Manchester and Nashua, Vertical Dreams' 15,000 square feet of simulated mountainside are packed with obstacles and tough sections to challenge climbers of all skill levels. At the Manchester gym, gutted elevator shafts lined with hand grips extend four stories upward, creating 70-foot vertical surfaces. The Nashua location boasts 10,000 square feet of wall space, with textured surfaces that respond realistically to climber's hands and feet and fill their nostrils with simulated rock smells.
Vertical Dreams' staff of veteran climbers teaches students one-on-one or in groups. In beginner lesson packages, instructors show aspiring climbers the figurative and literal ropes involved in belaying, climbing, and knot tying, and the teachers in advanced top-roping and sport-climbing classes push their students' abilities to climb solo or in a lead position.
Drawing on martial-arts techniques purportedly passed down from ancient Japanese ninjas, Shinobi Martial Arts imbues its pupils with self-defense skills and spiritual tools aimed toward self-improvement. The only accredited To-Shin Do school in New Hampshire, the studio follows the teachings of legendary black belt Stephen K. Hayes, who spent time in Japan studying under ninjutsu master Masaaki Hatsumi in the 1970s. This experience inspired him to create his own school that merged the ancient with the modern, much like proving string theory with an abacus. Shinobi’s teachers tailor their instruction to each practitioner, teaching versatile physical-combat techniques and effective violence-avoidance strategies.
Certified martial arts instructors lead self-defense classes for students of all ages. They guide students through dynamic strikes and blocks while emphasizing the importance of conflict-avoidance, discipline, and self-confidence. They also conduct a rigorous fitness program, leading students through high-intensity exercises in kickboxing, cardio boot camp, and personal training sessions. Additionally, they offer a masters clubs, where athletes who have successfully earned a black belt learn the exclusive secrets of the art, from highly advanced techniques to a list of Bruce Lee's high school crushes lifted from his diary.
Owners Brian and Teena Veth call on their skills as former gymnasts and cheerleaders as well as current parents to safely introduce kids to the world of gymnastics and circus arts. Their energetic instructors help children to learn social and listening skills while teaching them coordination, strength, and flexibility. Instructors encourage students to move at their own pace while bouncing atop trampolines, deftly crossing balance beams, and somersaulting across cushy floor mats. Parents look on from an open seating area, offering words of encouragement or quotes on spiritual balance from Confucius.
Fall, winter, and spring classes are organized by age group and often feature seasonally themed lesson plans. In addition to summer camps, where kids stay busy with creative games and activities, the center also hosts birthday parties and special events.