There are enough outdoor activities in Michigan year-round to stay busy, largely thanks to Epic Happens, an event promotions company in Traverse City.
Owner Matt Hodges made a name for his company last year with the Downtown Throwdown, one of the state’s biggest snowboarding exhibitions of the year. It featured Olympic medalist Danny Kass and the Dingo.
“That event took so much time and energy to put on,” Hodges said, “but having Danny Kass and The Dingo here was amazing.”
Hodges believes the Mitten provides the perfect backdrop for Epic Happens’s work.
“If there was ever a place to have epic happen it would be Michigan. We are surrounded by water, so there’s such opportunity for wakeboarding, water skiing, paddle boarding, surfing, kite boarding…the list goes on!”
Epic Happens does a lot of work sponsoring local athletes who might not have the finances or family support to make it on their own; however, the main way Epic Happens encourages local athletes is by drawing a crowd to its events.
“We decided to put on some major competitions and bring the industry here,” he said.” “With big events, like the Downtown Throwdown, industry sponsors come to Michigan, where they get a chance to see the best Michigan athletes do their thing.
Epic Happens has supported riders and athletes in a wide variety of disciplines–from skating, skiing, wakeboarding, and, most famously, snowboarding. The Downtown Throwdown provided a great platform for area boarders to showcase their skills in front of huge audiences and many industry insiders.
2012 is already shaping up to be another big year for Hodges and the Epic Happens gang. They recently announced sponsorship of a new mountain bike team, the Epic Happens Race Team. Boasting a roster of hand-picked racers from the Northern Michigan region, the team will be a force on the trails. Hodges has recruited strong riders, including a few big personalities: Jake Kline, Josh Plowman, Nick McLain, and bike shop legend, Nate St. Onge, just to name a few.
Epic Happens’s future events are diverse as the opportunities Michigan has to offer. To see some of the epic stuff happening, you won’t have to wait too long. The next big event on tap is the EPIC AIR competition at Shanty Creek Resorts on March 17. The competition will feature gaps ranging 25-40’, just as big as X-Games events. EPIC AIR will also feature Short’s Brewery, NM3, Giro, and Nordica, as well as the best boarders in the state doing some amazing tricks 30 feet in the air.