As the state capital, Columbus thrives primarily as a government hub, but Corporate America is beginning to change the city's "roll." Private sector businesses are replacing government buildings (e.g., the new Arena District once was the site of a state penitentary), professional sports teams are moving to town (e.g., NHL's Blue Jackets and MLS's Crew), and recognized commercial brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Bath & Body Works, CompuServe, Limited, Big Lots, Worthington Industries, and Borden Chemical, are based here and continue to grow.
One unique business that calls this Buckeye city home is American Whistle Corp., the country's only metal whistle manufacturer. Remember those high-pitched, piercing tones that brought everyone running for headcounts during grade school? Or how about running "ladders" in junior high PE class? Or even doing sprints on the high school track or getting called for a foul in basketball or soccer games? Chances are that all of those whistles came from here.
The whistle is part of the fabric and history of athletics, if you think about it. Not only is it a device for rule enforcement in team sports such as football, basketball, and soccer, you're likely to hear the compressed air blown on a pool deck during swim practice or water polo matches, at the start line of run races, in the stands among cheering fans (pick your sport), and on the roadside during the Tour de France. Baseball and golf are the only two "whistle-less" sports that come to mind. Much of the metal whistle's history comes right back to AWC's domain in Columbus. And, hour long plant tours can still be arranged for those interested in the design and fabrication process.
Fortunately for Athletic-Minded Travelers, we don't have to whistle "foul!" on Columbus for a lack of appealing healthy lifestyle options. Fitness-focused road warriors to this city will happily find several good stay, play, and eat outlets.