Class Dismissed

Going To Extremes

Entrepreneurs play as hard as they work.

Entrepreneurs are finding thrills in their own backyards. In the past five years, 98 million Americans "roughed" it while on vacation, according to the Travel Industry Association of America. One-third of these people engaged in such adventure activities as mountain biking and scuba diving.

Too busy to get away for a week? Technology brings adventure to people who can't travel far. The latest night vision goggles, for example, let you enjoy the outdoors after nightfall. "It allows executives to lengthen their day," says Richard Hall, sales manager of commercial products for ITT Industries Night Vision.

The eyewear is also being used on wilderness excursions in Arizona and rafting trips in Colorado. But seeing in the dark doesn't come cheap--one pair of goggles can cost upwards of $1,900.

If you prefer something offbeat, hotels offer adventures you once had to travel thousands of miles to experience. At The Equinox in Manchester Village, Vermont, guests sharpen their off-road skills at the Land Rover Driving School and handle birds of prey at the British School of Falconry. "You're given everything you need. The adventure is self-contained," says Meryl Pearlstein of The Equinox.

But you don't have to leave your office for a taste of adventure. The Travelon.com Web site details packages ranging from scuba diving to hiking. Also included are vacation tips, forums, and a search engine (should you find the time for that adventure after all).

Christopher Elliott is an Orlando, Fla., writer and independent producer who specializes in technology, travel and mobile computing. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and online. You can find out more about him on his website or sign up for his free weekly newsletter.

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This article was originally published in the May 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Class Dismissed.

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