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Indoor baseball facility opens in Kingsport

Staff • Dec 1, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Logan Laughlin, 7 years old and a first-grader at Lincoln Elementary School, gets ready to bat at Batter Up! on 516 Morelock Street. Photo by Erica Yoon.


KINGSPORT — Batter Up! — an indoor baseball facility — has opened in Kingsport.

Located at 516 Morelock St., Suite E, next to the old Kingsport Motor Speedway, Batter Up! caters to baseball, slow pitch softball, and fast pitch softball players and teams.

Owners Chris and Christi Laughlin said they didn’t set out to start the baseball facility as a business, but as a place for their son, Logan, to sharpen his baseball skills. After several area coaches and players showed interest, they decided to open the facility to the public.

Chris started playing baseball at age five, and grew up on baseball fields with his parents, Greg and Eileen Laughlin, and three older brothers. He eventually went on to play college baseball at Virginia Intermont. After college he started playing softball and coaching, and has since coached players from age 4 to 17.

“Batter Up! is a place where players can sharpen their skills of hitting, fielding, pitching, and even lightweight training designed for this type of sport,” Chris Laughlin said.

Group and one-on-one lessons are offered. The Laughlins said the goal is to help players excel.

Batter Up! offers individual, group, and team facility rates. Hours of operation are 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The facility is available for birthday parties, and features a game room. Gift certificates are available.

Those who bring a copy of this article to Batter Up! by Dec. 7 will receive 25 free pitches. Call (423) 247-BALL to reserve a time for private parties and team use.

Preserving Memories Art and Pottery

WEBER CITY, Va. — Preserving Memories Art and Pottery has opened for business on U.S. Highway 23 North in Weber City, next to Alltel.

The business features art work by Jim Spears and Kim Ross.

Ross was born and reared in Snowflake, Va., and now lives in Waynesville, N.C. The new store features her wheel-thrown pottery made the old-fashioned way. Many of her items are oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe. Ross has a large collection of bowls, mugs, and vases, and every three weeks, she brings more items on her visits here from North Carolina.

Ross said she had wanted to make and sell pottery since she was nine and now her dream has come true at Preserving Memories. She said her two sons make the hand-building portion of the pottery, forming mainly decorative pieces for the home, such as vases, trays, leaves, and more. They also make the “Old Man in the Mountain” faces for hanging indoors or outdoors.

Spears was born and reared in Alley Valley in Scott County, Va., and has lived here most of his life, except two years when he served in World War II. At age 81, Spears decided it “was now or never” to get into the business aspect of showing his paintings and sculptures. He has a large collection of oil and acrylic paintings, framed and unframed, showing floral, landscapes, local churches and homesteads, portraits, as well as many small sculptures and drawings. He has his tripod and canvas set up at the store and paints “on sight” throughout the day. He does paintings on commission as well.

Preserving Memories is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

For more information, call (276) 386-9452.

Skelton’s Towing & Roadside Service

CHURCH HILL — Skelton’s Towing & Roadside Service has opened for business at 1032 Goshen Valley Road in Church Hill.

Owned by Johnny Skelton, the business provides various services, such as towing and roadside assistance. Skelton will change tires, change or boost batteries, and unlock vehicles.

Skelton has 15 years of experience in the towing business. He said he decided to open the business because he’s always had a love of cars. He and his father always wanted to start a large successful towing business. After his father passed away last year, he decided to follow the dream and open Shelton’s Towing & Roadside Service.

The business is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For more information or for assistance, call (423) 357-8032 or 765-8932.

Studio Tan

KINGSPORT — A business offering tanning and teeth whitening services has opened in Kingsport.

Owned by Kristin and Reid Burton, Studio Tan is now operating in the Fort Henry Mall, on the lower level.

In January, the Burtons plan to open a second location in the new Food City Crown Point shopping center.

“Studio Tan is an upscale tanning studio featuring the latest technology in beds, bulbs and spray tanning,” according to the Burtons.

They said the business also features the most advanced teeth whitening products on the market.

“It begins with only a 15-minute step that whitens at least three shades, right in one of the studios,” according to the Burtons. Clients then take home a unique product that they can use any time to keep their smiles bright.

The business carries various other products, including a large selection of premier tanning lotions.

Gift certificates and gift bags are available and can be customized.

Studio Tan’s mall location will be open during mall hours. When it opens in the Crown Point center, the business will operate from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, contact the Burtons at relax@studio-tan.com or (423) 245-1805.

Caribbean Sol Tanning Salon

JOHNSON CITY — Caribbean Sol Tanning Salon has opened at 3043 Boones Creek Road, Suite 101, in The Summit Shopping Center, between Zak’s Furniture and Interstate 26.

A grand opening celebration is planned for early next year.

Owned and operated by Mike and Charlotte Patterson, the salon offers state-of-the-art equipment for both UV tanning and UV free sunless spray tanning in a clean, relaxing environment. UV tanning units feature AUVL’s Original Dr. Muller beds from Germany, as well as the Sun Capsule Perfect 10 stand-up unit. All beds have special features such as high-pressure facials, on-board cooling fans, and many beds offer amenities such as aromatherapy, air-ionizers and air-conditioning. Caribbean Sol’s top level bed, the SunGate, also offers high-pressure shoulder tanners and luxury touches like a misting feature.

The salon’s UV free spray tanning unit is the VersaSpa by Magic Tan. The VersaSpa is an advanced and versatile spray tanning unit offering a natural looking tan and optional skin treatments, such as an anti-aging, moisturizing and a pH balancing skin prep to maximize tanning, according to a release.

The salon stocks an extensive selection of indoor tanning products and lotions.

The Pattersons said they opened the business to fill the need for an upscale, professional tanning salon for the Tri-Cities. They said they conducted careful research and traveled extensively before selecting equipment and designing the salon. Charlotte manages the salon. She and Mike are certified by the International Smart Tan Institute.

“We want to educate our customers on the proper way to achieve and maintain a beautiful tan and we are so pleased with the response. Everyone has been very complimentary on our equipment, the salon’s décor and the great results they are seeing,” Mike Patterson said. “We’ve gone to great lengths to provide the best equipment and a clean, relaxing spa-like atmosphere. We look forward to many years of service to the Tri-Cities.”

Caribbean Sol Tanning Salon is open seven days a week and walk-ins are welcome. For more information, call the salon at (423) 282-1876 or e-mail caribbeansol@embarqmail.com.


KINGSPORT — Books-A-Million, Inc. has opened a new store at the Kingsport Pavilion.

The 15,500-square-foot store, at 2554 East Stone Drive, marks the company’s 17th store in Tennessee. Locally, Books-A-Million also operates stores in Bristol and Johnson City.

Books-A-Million offers an expansive selection of books, magazines, collectibles, gifts and more. The store stocks more than 2,000 magazines and newspapers, including hundreds of hard-to-find specialty publications. Books-A-Million’s Faithpoint section features an immense selection of Bibles, Christian living and Christian fiction books. The store also includes a Kids-A-Million department and Books-A-Million’s own Joe Muggs Cafe provides customers with a place to relax and enjoy coffee, tea, espresso and pastries.

Books-A-Million offers a Millionaire’s Club where members save 40 percent off hardback and paperback bestsellers, 20 percent off of hundreds of items throughout the store, and 10 percent off everything, everyday. Millionaire’s Club members can also take advantage of Wi-Fi available throughout the store and cafe, a service included in the annual membership.

Books-A-Million is one of the nation’s leading book retailers and sells on the Internet at www.booksamillion.com. The company operates more than 200 stores in 20 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at www.booksamillioninc.com.

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