Benjamin Allen believes outdoor pursuits can positively influence those in need. This belief has led him all over the continent, building a ropes course for an orphanage in Mexico and setting up two courses for troubled youth at Provo Canyon School, a bit closer to home. Wanting to share his knowledge of nature with the public, he set up a course, CLAS Ropes Course, near Utah Lake nearly 20 years ago. Benjamin and his crew have since erected more than 50 ropes courses around the country, continuing to inspect ropes and train others how to run them.
CLAS Ropes Course continues to grow each year, creating obstacles such as a giant swing that releases passengers 40 feet in the air, a 400-foot zipline that whizzes through forest canopy, and a "leap of faith," where adventure seekers jump from a treetop platform to a trapeze. A log balance beam hung 30 feet above the ground and a 24-foot-tall rock-climbing tower test agility and endurance, and a fleet of 20 canoes lets paddlers navigate a mile and a half of river. Many of these structures play host to team-building activities focused on developing a group's creativity and tolerance for hearing one another sing. Staff members tailor their instruction to families, dating groups, or athletic teams. They often apply their approach to athletes, such as a professional golfer who traveled all the way from Texas hoping to conquer her fear of not qualifying for tournaments. She defeated the log balance beam, departed victorious, and qualified during her next tryout two weeks later.
When a great white shark approaches with opened jaws, the last thing you want to do is swing a golf club. But when that same scenario presents itself at Laser Assault, swinging a golf club is exactly what you should do—the path through those jaws leads to one of nine holes on the black-light mini-golf course. Other menacing creatures such as snakes and T-rexes guard the remaining eight holes, which wind their way through murals of aquatic critters and verdant jungle brush.
More creepy neon wall paintings illumine Laser Assault's two-level laser tag arena, whose labyrinthine corridors twist and turn past clusters of barrels and through clouds of fog—a one-minute video grants a vivid tour. Outside the arena, only an air hockey table glows inside the arcade, a non black-light space with classic games such as Hoop Fever—the more exciting sequel to Hoop Indifference.
"This is your 'let's be realistic but also make it simple and enjoyable' kind of health company!" Health Movement declares on its website, differentiating itself from its competitors. That's because the company swaps out diet drinks and weight-loss supplements for a program that focuses on mindful eating and combating emotional eating with exercise and plenty of sleep. It recognizes the importance of consistency when seeking long-lasting weight loss and works with each client to help meet goals.
The company's dedication to health shines through in its community involvement, too. Health Movement donates 5% of its profits to its community program, which funds projects including playgrounds and community gardens.
At each of FatCats' five locations, strikes and spares light up the screens of automatic scoring systems. Bowling balls roll down lanes in normal conditions, against retractable bumpers, or under the fluorescent glow of Thunder Alley, when the facility transforms into a music-filled fusion of a bowling alley and dance club. Each lane's crashing pins echo the softer clacking of putters at the glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course and the ringing lightshow of the arcade. Elsewhere, the scents of pizza and wings waft through the fun haven. Each FatCats location partners with different restaurants, including The Pizza Factory and Champzz Bar at its Salt Lake facility.
Classic Fun Center's Sandy location boasts a water park with four super-long slides helps kids cool off, while a dimecade lets visitors play more than 50 video arcade games for only ten cents per play. Big inflatables allow hours of bouncing, and 3D laser tag invites adults and kids ages 7 and older to chase each other in a glow-in-the-dark arena. The Layton facility shelters its various attractions in a pirate-themed playground. Guests can rack up strikes on the mini-bowling lanes or ascend a three-story rock wall. The park also hosts a bounce area with inflatable slides and obstacles courses, as well as an arcade with more than 50 games such as skee-ball and Deal or No Deal, where kids teach the computer how to pinky swear. Guests at Classic Fun Center's Riverdale location can cool off on the water park's four 300-foot slides, super-sized "fat" slide, kiddie splash ground, or inflatable slip-n-slide.