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PostPosted: January 2nd, 2013, 12:28 pm 
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Poor permit sales means fewer snowmobile trails

CBC News

Dec 27, 2012 2:26 PM ET

The local trail plan association in Sudbury says there will be fewer snowmobile trails open in northern Ontario this year due to a decline in snowmobile permit sales across the province.

In one case, an entire northern Ontario district has closed, the president of the Sudbury Trail Plan Association said.

"You're looking White River up to Manitouwage, that whole area is completely closed,” Chuck Breathat said.

“There's no organized snowmobiling up there this year, so it's a tough prospect to see. It's just such an expensive sport."

With less money coming in, trail plan associations have to rely more and more on volunteers to keep trails maintained, Breathat noted.

He said some trails in the Sudbury area will be closing as well.




http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/news/canada/s ... sures.html

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PostPosted: January 7th, 2013, 4:58 pm 
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This could be the failure of the OFSC. The region of Marathon West has closed down this year as there is not enough trail passes sold. Each club has to sell a min. With the poor winters some just aren't buying permits or getting out of the recreational sport all together. This is the first time this has happened and the outlook can be very poor for Ontario. Ontario is open in the winter unlike in the early 80's when all the lodges closed down for the winter. The dollar revenue is huge for Ontario's economy. Although most non snowmobilers hate sledders there is a lot of cash generated and this will cash a decline in spin off revenue.
In reality the locals will still keep there tails open but it won't be with the help of the OFSC. Ontario may go back to little spliner groups of local clubs.

RR


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PostPosted: January 7th, 2013, 6:16 pm 
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A timely post as I've started to think about snowmobiling. I'm getting too old to get that far into the bush pulling a toboggan and there are still places further in that I'd like to get to. Time to start looking for one but am nervous about buying used as I have no experience whatsoever using one. And, the way I went crazy buying at Christmas/BoxingDay, I'll be well past spring before I can consider buying another toy. So maybe next year.

Thanks for posting. It has me wishful thinking. And, no I will not sell one of my canoes to finance a snowmobile. :(

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PostPosted: January 7th, 2013, 6:28 pm 
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
Snowmobiling and old people.

It's got its appeal as I age..to get into the woods in deep snow. But every once in a while someone goes upside down and has to get their machine out of some difficult place or simply right it on their own. A few years ago my neighbors rode through my place ..the hubby was first and he went home . Wifey hit a snowbank and went oopsie.. hubby was nowhere to be found. :rofl:

I fear that for me snowmobiling would have to be a group activity..not a solo one.

Four stroke..much quieter and less stinky.

We have a lot of snow this year and the riding is pretty good. So far I have just used the snowmobile trails to make skiing easier.


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PostPosted: January 7th, 2013, 6:36 pm 
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The reason many trails are not being maintained up here has far more to due eith economics than snowfall. Trail permits cost close to 300 bucks per person. Although there is a lot of mining exploration going on there are still not many jobs. People will simply not buy the trail permits until the job situations improve.


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PostPosted: January 7th, 2013, 7:01 pm 
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RHaslam wrote:
The reason many trails are not being maintained up here has far more to due eith economics than snowfall. Trail permits cost close to 300 bucks per person. Although there is a lot of mining exploration going on there are still not many jobs. People will simply not buy the trail permits until the job situations improve.



:o :o three hundred? $41 here. Is that an Ontario fee Rob?


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PostPosted: January 7th, 2013, 7:14 pm 
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One other reason for the waning popularity is the change in climate: at least south of the French, solid ice conditions can no longer be expected for good parts of the winter and thus lakes and rivers become hazardous, and the investment in gear and permits becomes hard to justify.
Add to that the growing popularity of ATVs which are being used in late winter conditions, and you find that the motorized crowd can find winter fun without owning a snow mobile.

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PostPosted: January 7th, 2013, 7:28 pm 
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
Ofsc fees are 260 for a full season, with a 50 dollar reduction if you buy before dec 1. In a family with two or three sleds, the fee quickly becomes steep. The skidoo is still king up here, our lakes have been solid for a long time, and although it seems like the -40 winters are gone, -20 to -30 is fairly common. There is still a lot of skidooing going on up here. Most if the groomed trails didnt go to the good fishing spots anyway.


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PostPosted: January 7th, 2013, 7:38 pm 
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I can live with snowmobiles. Hate the noise but at least you can still pull a toboggan in on the same trail. ATV s however just trash the trail in winter or summer. The ruts in the snow cause the 'boggan to tip or in summer just chew up the trails to leave a swamp, not to mention the environmental issues.

Too old? Get a dog or two to assist with pulling. At least they can keep you warm at night too!

A friend hitched two dogs to his sled this last weekend and we watched enviously as he stomped alongside with an occasional word of encouragement!

Chris

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PostPosted: January 7th, 2013, 8:34 pm 
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Location: Simcoe County, Ontario
Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs:

http://www.ofsc.on.ca/

There are various trail permits you can buy, the "full season" one is $260.00.

http://www.ofsc.on.ca/permits/prices.html

It's a stunning chunk of change if you want to use the trails here in the "central" part of the province. There's been a severe lack of usable snow until January or February for the last few years. Large lakes freeze up later and later in the season. So the snowmobile season here is, at best, 2 or 3 months long.

But those permits let you travel on trails that are further north, where hopefully there are proper conditions for the snowmobiles.

Trying to book a hotel in the Huntsville area for February weekend is an exercise in futility.

Many businesses cater to the snowmobile crowd, and if trails close in their area, that means a huge chunk of their business is gone. Love them or not, snowmobilers represent serious tourist dollars.

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PostPosted: January 7th, 2013, 8:55 pm 
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ravinerat wrote:
In reality the locals will still keep there tails open but it won't be with the help of the OFSC. Ontario may go back to little spliner groups of local clubs.

RR


The OFSC says that 60% of the permit fees goes to clubs:

http://www.ofsc.on.ca/permits/about-trail-permits.html

I don't see how small local clubs could be more successful in selling permits for local trails.

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PostPosted: January 7th, 2013, 10:26 pm 
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They have some weird formula Barbra for funding. I'm not involved in it. As far as the cost of a trail permit. I pay $210 before Dec 1. I pay at least $35/day to down hill ski and even more at some resorts. Golf is by far more expensive and they tell you when you can play. All sport cost money and they are going up. As long as there is snow I can use my pass 24 hrs a day 7 days a week. I do a lot of ice fishing and camping. You would never get back as far as I am without a snowmobile. I have never seen skiiers or snowshoes more than a few Km past the road. Last year I saw a sled dog tour come through some of the area I travel but that is an expence. Ski jouring may be an option for some.

RR


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PostPosted: January 8th, 2013, 7:43 am 
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The cost of things is relative to the money available to purchase. 20years ago there were 300 memberships in the local club. Last year i think there was about 40. There are a million bush roads up here so i guess if people want to play golf, they forgo the groomed trails.


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PostPosted: January 8th, 2013, 8:39 am 
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I agree that economics are the driving factor with reduction of memberships in NW Ontario. We are now seeing the spinoff effects of all the mill closures and downfall of the forestry sector. The proportion of the 20-40 age group in small town northern Ontario has been drastically reduced, similar in proportion to the reduction RHaslam has offered with snowmobile club memberships. This reduction is also evident in many other clubs (e.g. golf, minor hockey), that continue to struggle to stay alive. Many males are working out in Alberta and Saskatchewan, while their families stay home. But with dad only home every other week or so, priorities have changed. We have seen reduction in MNR funds, now we are seeing the social side effects.


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PostPosted: January 8th, 2013, 10:56 am 
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There are also these sorts of places advertising and targeting northerners which could make Frostbite Falls less appealing...

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