Category: Local Attractions

Root Cause Analysis Training in Vancouver: Canada Local Attractions

October 2nd, 2014 by

On November 3-7, TapRooT® will be hosting a 5-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training Course in Vancouver, BC. Canada is proud to say that Vancouver has been ranked in the Top 5 cities for the best “quality of life” for the past decade. As you explore through this beautiful city, you’ll see why. The variety of culture, architecture and landscape filling every corner brings Vancouver to life, as well as each and every tourist. Come enjoy this spectacular city with TapRooT®.



Blue Water Cafe: Come enjoy some fresh seafood, raw or deliciously cooked. Blue Water Cafe was voted one of the best seafood restaurants in Vancouver, so it’s sure to please you!

Rain or Shine: Who doesn’t love homemade ice cream? Rain or Shine has a little bit of everything: a variety of flavors, toppings, cones and more.

Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House: Feast on steak, shrimp or steak and shrimp. You can have it all here at Joe Fortes along with an impressive wine list.


Vancouver TheatreSports League: You’re sure to get a good laugh at any of their shows. Check out their schedule to see what they’ll be offering during your visit!

Science World: Bringing the family to Vancouver with you? Science World is sure to entertain you and your family with interactive exhibits, films and programs.

Deeley Motorcycle Exhibition: For all those motorcycle connoisseurs, take a guided tour through the history and evolution of motorcycles!

Register today at:

Root Cause Analysis Training in Tulsa: Local Attractions

September 25th, 2014 by




Enjoy the artistic and historic culture of Tulsa with TapRooT® at our upcoming 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training Course on October 20th. Tulsa is filled with American Indian and Western heritage that will take you back in time. All the cultural attractions and food that you can venture out into are sure to be educational and fun. Come join us and explore deeper into root cause analysis training and Tulsa’s rich heritage.


Burn Co. Barbecue: When’s the last time you had perfectly smoked, delicious BBQ? Burn Co. Barbecue is one of the most popular restaurants in town with the best BBQ!

Savastanos Pizzeria: Authentic Chicago style pizza is the only way to go in Tulsa! Treat yourself to a thick, original Chicago style pizza and a beer!

Kilkenny’s Irish Pub and Eatery: Irish pubs always have a fun atmosphere, great beer and delicious food! Bring your friends to Kilkenny’s and enjoy a night out!


Native American Art Museum: A specialized, intriguing art museum containing only artifacts and archives from Native American history.

Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium: This museum is fun for all ages! Enjoy learning about the vintage airplanes used in the 1930’s and experience the interactive exhibits.

Marshall Brewing Co.: Come tour this unique, local brewery and taste their authentic ales and lager!

Have you registered for the course yet? Click here for more info or to register for our 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training Course in Tulsa, Oklahoma held October 20-24, 2014.

Root Cause Analysis Training in Pittsburgh: Local Attractions

September 11th, 2014 by



Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is full of wonderful attractions including the 2-day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course on October 15th. As you enjoy your time after the course, explore the rich history that Pittsburgh holds on every corner. Between museums, Civil War monuments, the United States Steel Corp. and much more, the overwhelming amount of knowledge and history is there for your enjoyment.


The Capital Grille of Pittsburgh: The Capital Grille is nestled in the luxurious downtown area surrounded by some of the best attractions Pittsburgh has to offer. Enjoy a little of everything, seafood, steak, hors d’oeuvres, wine, etc, with the whole family.

Lidia’s: When’s the last time you really enjoyed authentic Italian food? Lidia’s is ready to serve you some of the best Italian food around.

The Original Fish Market: The name says it all, The Original Fish Market. If you love fresh, tasty seafood then this is the place for you.



The Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area: Tours, driving guides and attractions are only a few of the fun things that this historic area has to offer.

Andy Warhol Museum: This visual arts museum is a must see. One of America’s most talented artists comes to life through his paintings, videos, interactive sections, and prints.

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum: Have an interest in American history? The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum is an elegant honorary hall dedicated to all past and present, men and women fighting for our country.


Have you registered for the course yet? Click here for more info or to register for our 2-day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course in Pittsburgh, PA held October 15-16, 2014.

Root Cause Analysis Training in Iceland: Reykjavík Local Attractions

September 4th, 2014 by


Reykjavík is home to beautiful nature, buzzing nightlife, and rich Viking heritage. When you’re in town for the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training October 20-24, 2014, check out the delicious food, attractions, and beautiful scenery that the city has to offer.


Fjorugardurinn – Viking style decor and meals make this a one-of-a-kind Icelandic experience you won’t soon forget!

Icelandic Fish & Chips – Traditional English-style food with an organic & Icelandic spin.

Gandhi – Indian cuisine using a combination of local ingredients and spices shipped straight from India.

Hereford Steakhouse – Carefully selected cuts of steak, chicken, and pork in an upscale setting.

Laundromat Cafe – A quirky cafe offering breakfast, brunch, and lunch in a casual atmosphere.



Nightlife – Reykjavík is famous for its nightlife that has only just begun when the clock strikes midnight.

Whale watching – Join a tour group to see these majestic creatures.

Fishing – Go alone or with a day tour group and enjoy the waters of Iceland.

Hallgrímskirkja – The largest church building in Iceland houses a pipe organ reaching 15 meters tall and weighing 25 tons. It is truly a beautiful sight to see, no matter your religious affiliation.

Rauðhólar – Meaning “red hills,” these beautiful pseudo craters are located about 6 miles from town, but are worth the trip for their beauty.

Tjörnin – “The pond” in Icelandic, this small lake is located in the city center and is perfect for strolling or just relaxing after a long week of learning TapRooT®.


Click here to learn more about our 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training October 20-24, 2014 in Reykjavík, Iceland.


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Root Cause Analysis Training in Connecticut – Hartford’s Local Attractions

August 28th, 2014 by


Hartford, Connecticut, in addition to hosting our October 1-2, 2014 TapRooT® Incident Investigation & Root Cause Analysis Training, is home to a rich historical heritage. Authors Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe hail from this city, as does the country’s first public art museum and oldest newspaper. While you’re attending the course, take some time in the evening to enjoy the food and fun Hartford has to offer.


Salute – Enjoy a classy atmosphere and delicious Italian food. Make sure you get a reservation!

Max Downtown – Seafood, steak, and an excellent wine list will make your dinner at Max comfortable and exquisite.

Firebox – Don’t let the small menu fool you: Firebox’s farm-to-table philosophy brings local charm and amazing quality to dishes like Cast Iron Duck and Black Pearl Salmon.

Chowder Pot IV – Enjoy some inexpensive local chowder and seafood at this unexpected hole-in-the-wall joint.

Black Eyed Sally’s – Get a taste of the South up north with ribs, pulled pork, jambalaya, and blackened catfish.

Woody’s – Kick back and relax with burgers, fries, and their signature all-beef hot dogs with unique toppings like bbq pork, bacon, or cheese.



Mark Twain House – Tour the home in which Mark Twain (Samuel Clements) lived while writing some of his most famous works, along with a museum outlining his life.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center – See the home of the writer of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, along with a museum celebrating her contributions to equality in America.

Connecticut State Capitol – Join a free, guided tour of the beautiful and historic capitol building of Connecticut.

Cathedral of St. Joseph – No matter your religious affiliation, you’ll be in awe of the gorgeous stained glass windows in this centuries-old cathedral.

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art – Enjoy exhibits of contemporary art or baroque at the first public art museum in the United States.


Haven’t registered yet? Want to learn to find and fix the real root causes of problems in your workplace? Click here to learn more about our 2-Day course.


Root Cause Analysis Training in Ottawa – Ottawa’s Local Attractions

August 27th, 2014 by

Only a couple more weeks until our next 5-day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training Course in Ottawa, Canada! We have a full schedule of great classes planned, but there is also plenty of time to go out and enjoy the wonderful city of Ottawa! Ottawa is packed full of delicious restaurants, casinos, sightseeing opportunities and so much more! Between the beautiful French culture and all the entertainment that Ottawa has to offer, you’re guaranteed to find something fun for you and the family!


Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute: Canada’s world-renowned culinary training school, Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute, includes a Bistro open to the public to sample some exceptional French cuisine.

Town: Town is an excellent, fun restaurant that is full of flavor and style with all of their unique dishes and warm atmosphere!

Fiazza Fresh Fired: This original pizza shop has it all, customizable pizza, fresh ingredients and stone fire grill to make your personalized pizza the best you’ve ever had!


Brew Donkey: Enjoy beer tasting and touring the wonderful world of beer breweries? Then the Brew Donkey is perfect for you! Excursions and taste testing make for a great experience!

Parliament Hill: Are you history buff or enjoy gothic style architecture? Take a tour through some of Canada’s heritage at Parliament Hill overlooking the Ottawa River!

Canada’s Aviation and Space Museum: This isn’t your typical museum! With over 50 aircrafts to tour through, you’re in for a fun, educational experience full of history and astonishing aviation facts!

Sign up for the 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training in Ottawa, Canada, September 15-19, 2014.

Register at:

Root Cause Analysis Training in Ohio – Dayton’s Local Attractions

August 21st, 2014 by


Dayton, Ohio may seem like your average midwestern town, but look a little closer and you’ll find a life and personality all its own. Dayton is the home of the Wright Brothers, so the history of aviation permeates the town. It’s also got a strong arts, dining, and craft beer scene, with Warped Wing brewery located in Oregon Historic District. While you’re in town attending our 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course this September 15-16, 2014, stop by a few of these restaurants and take a little bit of time to enjoy the fun Dayton has to offer:



Voltzy’s Weiner World – Hot dogs, root beer, coneys, and burgers are the casual fare of this hometown joint.

The Paragon Supper Club – A great place to sit down for a nice steak dinner after the course.

Lucky’s Taproom – A fantastic selection of craft beer, including the local Warped Wing brand.

Slyder’s Tavern – Hailed as “the best burger in town” by locals.

Marion’s Piazza – Voted Dayton’s #1 pizza, this place has been around since 1965.



National Museum of the US Air Force – America’s oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world, with over 100 aircrafts to see and 11 exhibits separated by era.

Warped Wing Brewery – Stop by for a tasting at Dayton’s local brewery.

The Neon – Enjoy independent movies with a beer or cocktail at this eclectic movie theatre.

America’s Packard Museum – Located in the former Packard auto factory, this museum holds over 50 beautifully restored historical cars.

Riverscape MetroPark – Relax and unwind after the TapRooT® course with a stroll in the park along the Miami River.

Would you like to learn to find and fix the real root causes of problems in your workplace? Click here to register or find out more information: 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course in Dayton, OH.

Things to Do: Nashville, TN TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course

August 14th, 2014 by

On August 2oth System Improvements will be in Nashville, TN hosting a 2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis Course. There will be plenty of opportunity to get out and explore the city after each day of the course, or you may want to spend a few extra days after the course to really go out and experience all Nashville has to offer.

Nashville is full of culture and entertainment, after all it’s nickname is Music City. Nashville has great food, shopping, music, kid activities, and all around fun for all ages. Below I have listed some of my favorite things to do when visiting. Just click on the links to learn more information about each activity.


The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden – The Pharmacy is a one of a kind burger joint and a must have while visiting Nashville. They have great bratwurst as well and their sweet potato fries are to die for. 

Capitol Grille – Looking for something with southern flare? Look no further, Capitol Grille takes traditional southern dishes and adds a twist. They uses home grown vegetables and all the meat is farm raised just miles from the restaurant. 

Margot Café and Bar – If you enjoy French and Italian cuisine Margot Café is the place for you. Margot Café has a great atmosphere and wonderful food.

Patterson House – If you are looking for a more intimate dining experience Patterson’s is the place for you. They have fantastic bar drinks and amazing food. The atmosphere in Patterson’s is truly unique. Probably one of my favorite spots in Nashville.


Parthenon – You won’t want to miss this full-scale replica of the Athenian Parthenon located in Nashville’s Centennial Park. The Parthenon also serves as Nashville’s Art Museum.

Belle Meade Plantation – The Belle Meade is a beautiful historic plantation that now serves as a museum. It also offers free wine tasting when you visit.

Broadway Street – A trip to Nashville wouldn’t be complete without visiting the infamous Broadway St. Broadway is full of shopping, restaurants, and it has a happening night life.

The Hermitage – The Hermitage is a plantation that was home to President Andrew Jackson and is open to the public for historic tours. Located just 10 miles outside of Nashville.


Country Music Hall of Fame – A place where you can learn about the origins of country music and its’ Hall of Fame inductees, such as Hank Williams.

Grand Ole Opry –  The Opry holds weekly performances of country music legends and chart-toppers performing country, bluegrassfolkgospel, and comedic performances and skits

General Jackson Showboat Take a sight seeing cruise down the Cumberland River where you can enjoy dinner and show.

For the Kids:

Adventure Science Center – This massive center offers fun for the whole family. With nearly 44,000 square feet the Center offers 200 hands on activities that will educate and inspire your children.

Nashville Zoo – The Nashville Zoo is a unique zoo with a historic plantation house attached to it called Grassmere.

Want to join in on the fun? It is easy, just click here and register today!

What is your favorite thing to do in Nashville, TN? Please leave comments below.

Things to Do: Austin, Texas TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course

August 6th, 2014 by

System Improvements will be holding in a 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training in Austin, TX on August 18, 2014. There will be plenty of opportunity to get out and explore the city after each day of the course, or you may want to spend a few extra days after the course to really go out and experience all Austin has to offer.

Austin is Texas state capitol and is full of life, music, and entertainment. Every where you go in Austin it is bursting with excitement and adventure. There is plenty to do for all ages from adventuring through Zilker Park to enjoying all the live music throughout the city. Below I have listed some of my favorite things to do when visiting. Just click on the links to learn more information about each activity.


Graffiti Park – This is one of the places that makes visiting Austin so unique. Austin as its’ very own graffiti park that is constantly changing and evolving.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden – This is an outdoor museum featured around the artist Charles Umlauf. What makes this museum trip unique is while you tour the gardens and sculptures you get to drink beer from Austin Beerworks.

Antonelli’s Cheese Class – Do you love cheese? Then this is the place for you. You can literally sample a hundred different types of cheese and for a small fee you can bring your own spirits.

Zilker Park – Get out and enjoy the beautiful Austin weather in this 350+ acre park. You can spend your time swimming, hiking, kayaking, or just relaxing in the sun.

Pinballz Arcade – Want to kick back and relive your childhood? Pinballz Arcade is just the place. They have over 200 classic games and a 100+ of those games are pinball machines that include the Top 30 rated pins of all time. Each pinball machine you see is on sale and you can have them delivered to your home or business.

Rocket Electrics – Explore Austin like never before with cool electric bikes. They offer truly unique tours from Austin Foodie Bike Tour to a Live Music Capitol of the World Bike Tour to a Lady Bird Lake Bike Tour and much much more.

The Austin Brew Bus – If craft beer is your thing you need to check out The Austin Brew Bus tours. Experience Austin’s top brew companies, and the best part is you don’t have to worry about driving!

L.B.J. Presidential Library – If history is more your style then the Presidential Library is the perfect place. It is a library and interactive museum. Perfect for the whole family.

6th Street – It is where you go for Austin entertainment such as restaurants, bars, and live music. Every restaurant and bar has a live band playing every night, after all it is the Live Music Capitol of the World. 6th Street even has a haunted hotel called The Driskill Hotel.

Lake Travis – Head out to Lake Travis and check out the Oasis for great food and beautiful sunsets. If adventure is more your thing then check out Lake Travis Zip-line Adventures.


Stubb’s Bar-B-Q – In the mood for some delicious beer, brisket, and music? Then Stubb’s is the placef for you!

Uchi – Want to break away from all the BBQ Austin as to offer? Then check out this Japanese restaurant in Austin. Their chef Tyson Cole won the Best Chef Southwest in 2011.

Polvos Mexican Restaurant – This Tex Mex restaurant is know for its’ huge salsa bar and tasty mexican drinks. So stop by and enjoy good the food and a unique atmosphere.

The Whip In – Looking for something a little weird and out of the ordinary? The Whip In is just that. They have massive selection of beer on tap and the Indian cuisine is to die for.

Nubian Queen Lola’s Soul Food – This restaurant is cash only, but they have authentic cajun cuisine. They also have all you can eat gumbo on Fridays. Truly a unique and quirky dining experience.

Franklin BBQ – One of Austin’s most famous BBQ restaurants. You want to get there early because lines begin to form in the morning for their world famous brisket, but you can skip the line a grab a fully cooked brisket that is chilled, packed, and ready to go.

Parkside – This restaurant is recommended by our own course instructor Dave Janney. He had a celebrity sighting here of Russell Brand, the famous European comedian.

Want to join in on the fun? It is easy, just click here and sign up today!

What is your favorite thing to do in Austin, TX? Please leave comments below.

Gatlinburg Attractions – Family Fun at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit!

March 14th, 2013 by


You’ll love the plethora of family-friendly fun activities you can take your family to after the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit Week in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Ripley’s Gatlinburg offers a multitude of fun activities, including a Haunted Adventure, Moving Theatre, Believe it or Not Museum, Mirror Maze, Candy Factory, and Davy Crockett themed Mini Golf. You’ll have tons of family-friendly fun at these attractions which will excite and amaze you!


The Titanic Museum is actually in nearby Pigeon Forge, and it’s worth the short drive because it’s the largest Titanic museum attraction in the world. As you begin your experience you’ll be handed a card with the name of a historical individual who traveled on the Titanic. You’ll be able to learn about that specific person’s experience, as well as view other artifacts from the Titanic.


At the Sugarlands Riding Stables you’ll be able to enjoy a horseback ride through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park with your family, ages 5 and up! You’ll view the beautiful mountains, along with all the flora and fauna, while enjoying a fun guided ride through the Smokies.

What to do in Gatlinburg, Tennessee: A video guide by Michelle Wishoun – 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit Information

March 14th, 2013 by

Michelle Wishoun would like to invite you to enjoy all the fun activities Gatlinburg has to offer! Dollywood opens for the season on March 23, 2013, the day after the Summit concludes, so it’s a great time to take advantage of the weekend following the Summit.

Join her here:

Have you registered for the Summit yet?
Time is running out! Click here to join us at the Summit.

Gatlinburg Shopping & Attractions at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit

March 7th, 2013 by



While you’re at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, enjoy the fun shopping experience only Appalachia can offer! Here are a few of our suggestions:

Mountain Woodcarvers – Find beautiful locally handcrafted wind chimes, figurines, and custom cedar signs at this local shop.

Buckboard Too – Take a trip down memory lane as you enter this nostalgic gift shop. Pick up some collectible Coca-Cola, Elvis, & Harley-Davidson memorabilia, among hundreds of other mid-century style items.

Jonathan’s Bear Necessities –  You’ll find all your mountain “bear” necessities here, from Minnetonka Moccasins to cozy Fair isle blankets.

The Maples’ Tree – Whether you’ve promised a classy souvenir for your significant other, or you are a stylish lady yourself, you’ll love the women’s handbags, silver jewelry, and home decor this shop has to offer.

Have you registered yet? Registration closes soon, so don’t wait! Check out our Summit page by clicking here.

Enjoy the Beauty of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit

February 28th, 2013 by

Did you know that the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited national park in the entire USA? It’s right in the backyard of the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit in Gatlinburg, TN. After your week of  learning and working hard at the Summit, kick up your heels and enjoy some peace and quite in nature.


Bird Watching – The least physically intense and probably the most relaxing activity in the Smokies, bird-watching here is also incredibly rewarding. The Smoky Mountains are home to over 240 species of birds, such as great horned owls, broad-winged hawks, wild turkeys, and this beautiful red-eyed vireo.

Fishing – A large number of trout in the streams makes the Smoky Mountains the finest place in Tennessee for fly fishing. You’ll be fishing during catch-and-release season, so no eating of your catch! One to three day permits are available for non-residents. Visit the Gatlinburg Fishing site for more permit information.


Hiking – The Great Smoky Mountain National Park offers many trails, from the difficult to the easy. You’ll see gorgeous waterfalls like the Grotto Falls above, as well as wildlife and beautiful flora.

So will you join us for the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit? If you haven’t registered yet, visit our Summit website for more information today! And when you’ve finished, reward yourself with a lovely afternoon outdoors in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Where to Shop in Gatlinburg: Attractions at the 2013 TapRooT® Summit

February 14th, 2013 by

When you’re at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit, what will you be doing in the evenings? It’s a great time to take a break from all the learning you’ll be doing, so check out this eclectic mix of places to shop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee:

Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum – What? You didn’t know that the only museum of salt and pepper shakers in the world is located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee? It is, and it is quite the sight to see. At only $3 admission, it’s a bargain to see the quirkiest mix American history. And, of course, you can take a piece of history home with you at their salt & pepper shaker gift shop.

Tanger Outlets – Located in nearby Sevierville, you’ll find brands like Coach, J. Crew, Levi’s, Wilson Leather, Nike, and Adidas for a fraction of the price! Enjoy some locally made fudge at The Fudgery and dinner at the local Mountain Edge Grill, all located in the complex.

Arrowcraft Shop – Stocked by the local and regional artisans who practice classic American handicrafts, this shop sells pottery, woodwork, toys, weaving, glass, and basketry. You’ll find an amazing one-of-a-kind piece in this shop, and you’ll help the artists preserve traditional craft methods of the past.


Not registered for our 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit yet? Better grab your seat quickly, as registrations are filling up!

Click here to learn more about the Summit.



Casual Dining in Gatlinburg: 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit

February 7th, 2013 by

The Peddler Steakhouse

While you’re at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit, evenings will be the time to relax and connect with your fellow Summit attendees! Why not try one of Gatlinburg’s delicious local restaurants, complete with meat & potatoes and real Southern comfort.

Peddler Steakhouse – With smiling service and succulent steaks cut tableside, the Peddler Steakhouse is a delicious oasis. They also offer Mountain Trout & Marinated Chicken dishes in a comfortable yet classy atmosphere. It’s “literally built on tradition,” they say, because it stands on the original site of the homestead of C. Earl Ogle, one of Gatlinburg’s founding residents.

Calhoun’s – A beloved barbecue joint that calls East Tennessee its home. Calhoun’s set up shop after it took home the title “Best Ribs in America” over 20 years ago, and continues that tradition today. They also serve their own home-brewed beer and casual Southern fare.

Smoky Mountain Brewery – Owned and run by our friends at Calhoun’s, Smoky Mountain Brewery offers the same delicious type of food and home brews in a much more casual setting. Relax and watch the game or laugh with your new Summit friends at this pizza, hot wing, sandwich, and burger joint.

Local Summit attendees, what are your favorite restaurants in Gatlinburg?

Have you registered for the Summit yet? Click here to visit our Summit information page.

Photo courtesy of The Peddler Steakhouse.

Summit Travel Tips: Hiking & Biking in the Smokies

January 23rd, 2013 by

After you’ve attended the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit in Gatlinburg, why not indulge in some inexpensive relaxation in the form of hiking and biking in the Smoky Mountains? Here are a few of our suggestions:

Grotto Falls

For those who like a shorter distance and lovely views, the Grotto Falls is only 2.6 miles long and not steep in the least. You’ll see the Grotto Falls about halfway through your jaunt.


Alum Cave

Hike 4.4 miles round trip and see Alum Cave at your turnaround point. There are gorgeous views of the valley below.

Mt. LeConte

Hike to Alum Cave, then continue your journey all the way up the mountain to Mt. LeConte. This 11 mile round trip hike is for the experinced hiker, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views. Reserve a cabin at LeConte lodge and eat at their delicious restaurant for the full Smoky Mountain experience.


Cades Cove

This 11-mile one-way road is the most popular Smoky Mountain biking trail. You’ll see lots of wildlife and 19th century homesteads.

Gatlinburg Trail

This is a relatively flat 1.9-mile mountain biking trail. It runs along the Little Pigeon River and is also frequented by walkers and joggers.

See More here:


Haven’t registered for the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit yet? Visit our Summit website for more information and to register:

Forbes Is Right: Knoxville One of Top 5 Cities in US!

January 11th, 2013 by voted our hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee one of the best 10 places to live & work in America!

At second place, we beat out cities like Honolulu, Hawaii. We agree, Forbes! We love it here.

Here are the stats, on a scale of 1-5:

Overall score: 4.02
The Company You Work For: 4.13
The Culture of Your Company: 3.92
The Growth Opportunities Available To You: 3.08
The People You Work With: 4.44
The Person You Work For: 4.13
The Place You Work: 4.06
The Rewards You Receive: 3.66
The Support You Get: 4.01
The Way You Work: 4.51
The Work You Do: 4.19

See the full article here:

Do you want to get a taste of the great work life we enjoy here?
Attend our 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit, which we’re holding right next door to Knoxville in Gatlinburg, Tennessee!

Click here for a digital brochure.
Click here to learn more about the Summit.

What Does Root Cause Analysis Have to Do with Black Bears?

November 13th, 2012 by

Two guys are out in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park hiking.  Suddenly, a bear starts chasing them. They climb a tree, but the bear starts climbing up the tree after them.  The first guy gets his sneakers out of his knapsack and starts putting them on.  The second guy says, “What are you doing?”  The first guy says, “I figure when the bear gets too close, we’ll have to jump down and make a run for it.”  The second guy says, “Are you crazy? You can’t outrun a bear”!  The first guy says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you.”

What does this joke have to do with root cause analysis?  Well, root cause analysis friends and experts are gathering together in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park for the 2013 Summit where it is estimated that there are two black bears per every square mile.

I had fun talking with our public meeting planner, Judy, about black bears and the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit, March 18-22 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  We just shot a video about some need-to-know tips about visiting the park in early spring as all the bears and newly born cubs are slowly waking up from a long winter’s nap.   We’ll be posting the video in a couple of weeks but, as promised in the video, here is a link to more important safety tips to remember when entering the black bear’s natural habitat:

Register for the Summit today at:

TapRooT® on “Top of the World”

November 8th, 2012 by

Alan Scott and I just finished teaching a 5 day course in Dubai and decided to go out and have a look around the city.  In addition to teaching TapRooT®, we have something else in common – a fear of heights.  What better way to confront that fear than to visit the “Top of the World,” otherwise known as the observation deck in the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa.  Here is a picture of Alan and I high above the other skyscrapers of Dubai.



Staff Recommendations, Part 2: Best Gatlinburg Attractions During 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit Week!

October 25th, 2012 by

Last week, we shared some of recommendations from our staff about must see/do  attractions at the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit.  This week we have more great comments from two of our Partners, Ken and Linda and from Ann, Assistant Meeting Planner:

From Ann:

The VERY best thing about Gatlinburg is the beautiful scenery of the Smoky Mountains (the most visited national park)!!!  My picks for the area are the Titanic Museum & the Lumberjack Feud in Pigeon Forge.

From Ken:

One of the greatest things about Gatlinburg is its location as “Gateway to the Smoky Mountains.”  Springtime is a great time to be in the mountains.  Come a few days early, or stay a few extra days and explore the most-visited National Park in the U.S.

From Linda:

When I think of Gatlinburg, my mind always brings up the vision of the beautiful mountains in springtime.  Each season has its own special beauty in the Smoky Mountains, but spring is my favorite.  There are so many shades of green with wild flowers and flowering trees everywhere.  

The conference is only a 5 minute or less drive from the entrance to the Smokey Mountain National Park; so any evening after the conference or the weekends on either end can be enjoyed in the National Park.  You can rent bicycles, motorbikes, horses, ATVs or drive your own vehicle through the mountains.   

If you are an avid motorcyclist, you may have heard of the Tail of the Dragon, but if not, you should look on the web googling “Tail of the Dragon” and see videos of what a cool ride that is.  If you don’t find a site, go to:

However, if you do rent a motorcycle or bring your own and take this ride, be sure you drive safely and at a reasonable speed – many excellent riders have wrecked on that trail by not respecting the curves and driving too fast. I sure don’t want any TapRooT® folks to get hurt; so be extra careful.  You can see some wrecks and evidence of wrecks in the above websites.

As mentioned in the first post, Ripley’s Aquarium was one of TripAdvisor’s top picks, and they picked three other attractions worth mentioning:

CLIMB Works Canopy: Surrounded on three sides by the Smoky Mountain National Park, CLIMB Works Canopy gives you a bird’s eye view of what makes the Smokies so unique.

Quiet Reflections Spa: Relax and rewind – Quiet Reflections offers the ultimate in restoration.

Bill Gladwell, the Mentalist:  Head Case and Hypnotized:  The most mind-bending show in Gatlinburg!

Learn more about the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit on our website, or register today.

Staff Recommendations, Part 1: Best Gatlinburg Attractions During 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit Week!

October 18th, 2012 by

Since the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit host city of Gatlinburg, Tennessee is so close to the System Improvements’ home office in Knoxville, Tennessee (it’s just 50 miles away), our staff has plenty of experience visiting this fantastic mountain resort city.

I asked them what they would personally recommend to someone visiting the area for the first time, and here are a few of their responses.  (I’ll post more info in Part 2 next week!):

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Cades Cove.  ~ Mark, President

My favorite thing about Gatlinburg is its proximity to the Smoky Mountains – they are stunningly beautiful and offer many walking trails and hiking opportunities. ~ Amanda, General Counsel

Cades Cove is a valley full of wildlife and history nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Abandoned homesteads from early settlers who lived there until the formation of the national park still remain.  Smoky Mountain wildlife roam free in Cades Cove including black bears, bobcats, red wolves, coyotes, foxes, skunks, deer and more.

Before you venture into the Cove or hike any trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we recommend reading up on how to enjoy the wildlife and stay safe, (Read Smoky Mountain Wildlife Should Be Respected.)

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

My favorite thing about Gatlinburg is Ripley’s Aquarium because I like the sharks exhibit.
Cathy, Receivables Accountant

I agree with Cathy.  I’ve been to several aquariums around the U.S. and this one is my favorite by far.  Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is also one of TripAdvisor’s top picks for U.S. aquariums.  The aquarium boasts a variety of live sharks and over 30 hands-on interactive displays.

The Resort Town of Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is always such a relaxing place to go where you can take in the fresh mountain air, enjoy the beautiful mountain views that surround you, visit the quaint little shops, and maybe even experience that ‘old time’ feeling. ~ Michelle, Licensing Paralegal

My favorite thing about Gatlinburg is the food and candy because there are so many great restaurants and candy shops all within walking distance of the main drag! The variety and quality of candy and delicious steakhouses or legendary pancake houses allow for good eating at any time of the day!
Garrett, Information Technology

I love hiking in the Smokies right outside Gatlinburg. There’s nothing like climbing to the top of a peaceful mountain for an amazing view, then coming back to civilization for some comfort food at the Pancake Pantry. You’ve also got to check out the antique shops that line the streets. I’ve found so many interesting pieces of history there!
~ Megan, Media Specialist

I like to people watch and get fresh hot fudge! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …
Benna, Implementation Strategist

Here are a couple of the irresistable candy stores Garrett referred to:  Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen (Yelp review) and Aunt Mahalia’s Candies.

What about fresh fudge that Benna loves?  Check out Kilwin’s.

Here are two great Gatlinburg steakhouses:  The Peddler Steakhouse and Park Grill Restaurant.

As well as a couple of popular pancake houses:  Log Cabin Pancake House and The Pancake Pantry (recommended by Megan).

And here are just some of the unique shops Michelle hinted at:

The Day Hiker:  Find everything you need for a mountain hike.

The Village Shops of Gatlinburg:  You’ll find The Day Hiker plus 26 unique boutiques, clothiers, eateries & galleries in a quaint Old World setting in The Village Shops.

And as Megan mentioned, there are many interesting antique shops to browse through in this area, including Morton’s Antiques.

Register for the 2013 Global TapRooT® Summit, or learn more on our website.


2012 Global TapRooT® Summit: Shows at the Flamingo Hotel

January 25th, 2012 by

Don’t have time to go out at night and see a fun Vegas show during our 2012 Global TapRooT® Summit? Don’t worry; we’re staying at the Flamingo Hotel, which offers you fun, music, and a whole lot of laughs without having to leave the building! Take a look at these shows and their descriptions, all located at the Flamingo Las Vegas!


O’Sheas Theatre

Price $22.95, $33.95

7:30 PM

Dirk Arthur’s high-energy Wild Magic show combines comedy, dance, magic, and large uncaged exotic cats at 10-40 feet away.


The Flamingo Showroom

Price $260; $125; $109; $95 (plus taxes and fees)

7:30 PM

Donny and Marie Osmond rock this 90-minute show with their greatest hits and a multimedia production.


The Flamingo Showroom

Price $49.95 plus tax & fees

10:00 PM

Wallace is the winner out of 150 competitors of the stand-up comedy TV special “The Big Laugh-Off,” reading audiences like a book and cracking them up with his humor drawn from everyday life.


The Flamingo Showroom

Price $34.00 General Admission, $44.00 VIP + taxes/fees

4:00 PM

Relax after the Summit on Friday afternoon with Burton’s fast-paced comedy and magic show.


Bugsy’s Cabaret

Price $54.95 + tax/fees; VIP seating: $64.95 + tax/fees

8:00 PM

Vinnie Favorito is an infamous “roaster”with no pre-planned skits or notes. He wins audiences over with his off-the-cuff quips and hilarious digs on his audience members.

“…your jaw aches from laughter…your side hurts…devastatingly funny!” Jerry Fink, Las Vegas Sun

“Rickles with venom” Milton Berle Best Comedian in Las Vegas – Guest Pick, Las Vegas Review Journal

Photos courtesy of Flamingo Las Vegas.

TapRooT® Summit Update: Flamingo Las Vegas Adds New Restaurant!

December 8th, 2011 by

Computer mock-up of the inside of the future Carlos n Charlie’s in the Flamingo Hotel

As if the Global TapRooT® Summit weren’t going to be fun enough! We’ve got our annual golf tournament, Wednesday night reception, a host of family-friendly Vegas activites, and the Flamingo even offers hours of fun right inside the hotel!

Here’s one more perk to add to the list: We’ll be some of the first to enjoy the Flamingo’s new restaurant Carlos ‘n Charlie’s.

Owned by Carlos Anderson of Señor Frog’s and other favorite restaurants, Carlos ‘n Charlie’s is famous as a beloved family-friendly tourist stop in Mexico. Diners love its casual quirky atmosphere and fun-loving philosophy – not to mention the mix-it-yourself guacamole bar.

The Flamingo plans to open the new Carlos ‘n Charlie’s in early 2012, so get ready Summit Attendees! Their delicious Mexican-American menu is sure to spice up your stay in Las Vegas.

Outdoor mock-up. Join us at the Global TapRooT® Summit Week February 27-March 2, 2012 to see the real thing!

The new location will accommodate 340 guests, including indoor seating with fun and funky decor, outdoor seating overlooking lush gardens, and a long 40-seat bar. This is Carlos ‘n Charlie’s only location on this side of the country, so don’t miss it while you’re with us in Las Vegas for the 2012 Global TapRooT® Summit!

Graphics courtesy of Las Vegas Harrah’s Blog

2012 Global TapRooT® Summit Fun: Don’t Miss Food, Fun, and Fashion at the Fashion Show Mall

October 31st, 2011 by

Did you know that right down the street from our 2012 Global TapRooT® Summit hotel (the Flamingo Las Vegas) is one of the largest malls in America? The Fashion Show Mall is home to over 250 shops and restaurants, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Coach, and an Apple Store.

Restaurants include a diversity of treats like Johnny Rocket’s, Maggiano’s Little Italy, The Capital Grille, and Crazy Crepes. Don’t miss tried-and-true favorites like Starbucks, Auntie Anne’s, Sbarro, and California Pizza Kitchen for more casual fare.

Each weekend the mall hosts fashion shows all afternoon, so don’t forget to take advantage of that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity after the Summit Golf Tournament on Friday.

Whether you want to snag a souvenir, eat some familiar food, or pick up that pair of socks and iPhone charger you forgot, be sure to visit Las Vegas’ Fashion Show Mall during your time at the 2012 Global TapRooT® Summit.

Photo Courtesy of

Did You Know? Global TapRooT® Summit Tips and Trivia

July 21st, 2011 by

We understand; you’re on a business trip. You’re at the TapRooT® Summit to enhance your root cause analysis skills, not necessarily to indulge in all that lush Las Vegas has to offer. But did you know that the Flamingo Las Vegas offers a host of amenities for you to take advantage of, all without forcing you to leave the comfort of your own hotel?

Here’s our insider’s guide to maximizing your free time.

1. Eat, Eat, and then Eat again!

Nourishment is one of humanity’s primary needs. It’s right up there with breathing. Why deprive yourself—especially when you’re dining on the company’s dime? Indulge in one of the Flamingo’s many watering holes or elegant dining options. Exploit the casual comforts of the Pink Bean Coffee Shop, Burger Joint, or Tropical Breeze Café. Or experience the opulence of the Paradise Garden Buffet and the authentic Hamada of Japan. If you’re looking for excitement, try Bugsy’s Bar, Margaritaville, or Sin City Brewery for hours of rollicking fun!

2. Pamper Yourself – You Deserve It

Fight off your jet lag with a little well-deserved pampering. The Flamingo’s Spa offers lavish services like facials, massages, aromatherapy, and saunas. Or visit the Alexandria Salon and tempt your tired toes with a pedicure or refresh your hairstyle with a new cut! If you simply need a bit of relaxation, spend some time soaking up the sun by one of the Flamingo’s four swimming pools, surrounded by lush tropical greenery.

3. Release Your Pent-Up Energy

Feeling a little stressed about returning to work after the business trip? Just want a physical workout after your day-long mental workout? Exercise on one of the Fitness Center’s treadmills or using free weights. Connect with a new colleague during a friendly game of tennis at one of the Flamingo’s four tennis courts. The hotel also offers some of the best golfing in Nevada, so take advantage of it at our Annual Summit Golf Tournament on Friday after the Summit. Or for some late night fun, what would a trip to Las Vegas be without hitting the tables for some excitement in the hotel’s Casino?

4. Amp Up Your Evenings

Haven’t had enough yet? Nights at the Flamingo have all the bright lights and excitement you expect in Las Vegas. Enjoy the classic performances of Donny and Marie Osmond, or another one of the Flamingo’s rotating comedians, musicians, and even magicians! Don’t forget to get a souvenir or two from the Flamingo gift shop, and see their flock of live Chilean flamingoes in the Wildlife Habitat.

5. Brush Up on Your TapRooT® Skills

We know that enhancing your TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Skills is the real reason you come to the TapRooT® Summit. Get the most out of your Summit Experience by attending a Pre-Summit Course in the preceding days as well.

And we promise, we’ll let you out on time so you can enjoy a spa treatment or Japanese cuisine afterward!

Photo 1 Courtesy Wikipedia|Photos 2-5 Courtesy Flamingo Las Vegas.

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