High Lifter takes show on the road this summer in Minnesota
Splashing in the mud, traversing trails and shopping for the latest accessories sound like the keys to happiness for any ATV or side-by-side enthusiast, and for 11 years, High Lifter has delivered that rider’s paradise at its annual ATV Mud Nationals in Jacksonville, Texas. Now the company is taking its famed event on the road, bringing it to Minnesota in June.
The journey north was spurred by the owners of Quadna Mountain Park in Hill City, Minn., where the event will be held. The group had attended High Lifter’s Texas ATV Mud Nationals and felt a similar event in Minnesota would be ideal to bring attention to the sport and to the trails of Quadna Mountain Park.
High Lifter owner and president Scott Smith had been looking for a second site for High Lifter hold an event and liked the idea of bringing Mud Nationals to the northern part of the country.
“We really wanted to grab on and expand,” High Lifter marketing manager Jamie Wilhelm explained. “We had been doing another event in Georgia for a number of years. And up north, there’s just a great potential for expansion.”
Planning for the June 20-23 Quadna Mud Nationals has moved quickly. The official decision to host the event came about a week before High Lifter’s annual ATV Mud Nationals March 20-24 in Texas.
“Instead of having a year to plan this event, we have three months, but everything is coming together great because we have 11 years experience putting on Mud Nationals,” Wilhelm said.
The Quadna Mud Nationals are expected to mirror much of the Texas event.
“It’s going to be four days of trail riding. We’re going to have events, organized events, like we have at our Mud Nationals we hold in Texas. We’ll have an obstacle course race, a poker run, a mud bog and a Show and Shine contest,” Wilhelm said.
Only two events won’t carry over — the Mudda Cross and the Endurance Challenge. Those weren’t added because the Minnesota event will run one day shorter than the original event.
“People can expect the same family fun riding time, and you just get lot of good riding,” Wilhelm said.
So far industry businesses, including Minnesota’s own Polaris, Arctic Cat and EPI, among others, have been supportive of the event, as have many dealers and aftermarket companies from the area.
“We’re going to have industry vendors who are going to be there with stuff for sale, parts and accessories, just like it is at Mud Nationals,” Wilhelm said. “This event is really a good thing for dealers to come to to show off,” she said.
Most of the marketing efforts for the event have been digital so far. High Lifter has promoted the Quadna Mud Nationals on its website, Twitter and Instagram, along with Facebook, which has a following of more than 30,000, and its online forum, which tops 45,000 users. In the future, the company plans to advertise in regional ATV magazines as well.
From the early feedback, High Lifter expects thousands to attend. In the past, the company has heard from those in the Midwest and Canada who would like to attend the Texas event, but can’t manage the long trip. The location, coupled with the warm June weather, is expected to be a big draw for those enthusiasts and others.
“People are on break looking for a good summer vacation, and this is one of the trips you can make. Essentially if you live in the area, you can drive over Thursday and essentially have long weekend,” Wilhelm said.
With all the excitement brewing over Quadna Mud Nationals, High Lifter already anticipates making it an annual outing.
“We’ve gotten already a great response from our forums and our social media sites about people that are saying, ‘Hey, we’re so glad you’re finally coming up here to our neck of the woods,’” Welhelm reported. “I think we’ll have such a great response, it won’t be an option to not come back.”