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Xtreme Entrepreneurs

They may respond to business e-mails on their BlackBerrys in between motocross runs, but that doesn't mean these entrepreneurs aren't just as committed to their businesses as they are to the extreme sports they participate in. They constantly risk their bodies with the same passion they take chances on their multimillion-dollar businesses with. Here we take a look at the business opportunities in the extreme sports marketplace and profile several athletic, risk-taking entrepreneurs that are changing their industries.


The Market
Think the business opportunities in the extreme sports market are limited to board manufacturers and apparel retailers? Think again. From prosthetic limbs for athletes to hotels aimed at snowboarders, the niches are limitless. Find out how several big-name extreme athletes translated their passion for their sports into successful businesses--and how you can, too.


The Entrepreneurs
Carey Hart

Carey Hart

Professional freestyle motocross
rider and reality TV star

Business ventures: Owner and founder of Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company, a tattoo shop and clothing line with locations in Honolulu; Las Vegas; Orlando, Florida; and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; owner and founder of Wasted Space, a new rock-inspired nightclub set to open this spring at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas
Company based in: Las Vegas
Year company started: 2004
2007 sales: Not disclosed
Living large: "About four years ago, I had sort of a career-ending injury as far as freestyle goes. I got hurt really badly on Tony Hawk's tour and broke both arms and both legs and it took me out of the competition circle. That's when I really focused time on Hart & Huntington and the TV show. Here I am, four years later, and I'm healthy enough to get back on a bike. Now I'm trying to juggle three careers at once between the clothing business, the TV show and now trying to be an athlete again, so I've got my hands full. At the end of the day, I'm still a motocross rider."
Eric Robinson

Eric Robinson

Off-road dirt bike rider, motocross rider, mountain biker, snowboarder and triathlete

Business ventures: College Park Industries, manufacturer of prosthetic feet, and founder of the Extremity Games, a sports event for athletes with limb loss and limb difference
Company based in: Fraser, Michigan
Year company started: 1988, by Robinson's father, David L. Robinson
2007 revenue: $10 million
An extension of himself: "I have to say, personally, I view extreme sports as an outlet. It gives me an incredible amount of exhilaration, and then there's that little fear of death, just a little bit. You're on the edge, it invigorates you and puts passion back into my life. I love competing in extreme sports, and I love watching them."

Marc Frank Montoya

Marc Frank Montoya
and Liko S. Smith

Snowboarders; Montoya boards professionally

Business ventures: Co-founders of THE BLOCK Hotels, a chain of hotels designed for snowboarders with locations in Lake Tahoe and Big Bear Lake, California; Montoya is also co-owner of Sound Outerwear, maker of snowboarding gear and founder of DumbFounded PerduKshinz, a DJ company; Smith is also founder of Rogue Hospitality
Company based in: Las Vegas
Year company started: 2004
2007 sales: $1.6 million; $2.2 million projected for 2008
Building the anti-resort: "THE BLOCK is so cool; it's a hangout for partying, crazy snowboarders and it's not so uptight. We're laidback, we treat people like kings," boasts Montoya.

Izzy and Coco Tihanyi

Izzy and Coco Tihanyi

Surfers; Izzy formerly surfed
competitively

Business venture: Surf Diva, a surf school and surf apparel company for women
Company based in: La Jolla, California
Year company started: 1996
2007 sales: Not disclosed
Since we last spoke with the divas in 2006: "We've learned how to juggle different things and that's part of being an entrepreneur, learning how to work different things into your life, and that makes it fun," says Coco. "We���¢�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½ve expanded different surfing programs. Our Costa Rica school is doing really well, and we've expanded that to about 8 months of surf camp. We're super excited to have our maiden voyage in Australia on March 9."

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