A Wisconsin trail developer, a Minnesota-based businessman and a Michigan-based publishing family will be inducted into the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame (ISHOF) later this year.
The Class of 2023 will join 120 previous individuals, couples or small groups that have been inducted into ISHOF. It was founded in 1984 to honor some of the sport’s grass-roots heroes. ISHOF inducted its first class in 1990. Nominations can come from anybody, and fall into several categories including trail developers, volunteers, journalists, promoters, industry, adventurers, legislators, club founders and others who have shown tremendous dedication to the sport of snowmobiling.
In the current era, a new class is announced early each summer. It is then formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony in September in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Honorees have their likenesses hanged on the wall at the World Snowmobile Headquarters in Eagle River for future generations to see.
Below is the press release from ISHOF, announcing the 2023 class. Honorees in specialty categories will be posted on this website soon.
International Snowmobile Hall Of Fame Press Release
We are honored to officially announce the inductees to the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2023. For 34 years, this prestigious Hall of Fame honor is bestowed upon the incoming class of recipients in recognition of their achievements in the sport of Snowmobiling; as awarded each year from select categories that include: • Inventors, Designers & Manufacturers • Explorers & Adventurers • Trail & Program Developers • Volunteers & Club Organizers • Publishers & Journalists
Let’s Meet the ISHOF Class of 2023 Inductees:
Frank Dusek – Phillips, Wisconsin – Trail and Program Developer
“The Father of Price County’s Snowmobile Trails Program.” That’s Frank Dusek’s title to fellow snowmobilers that know him.
Back in 1969, Frank was a charter member of the Phillips Chaparrals, the first snowmobile club in the county. Since then, Frank has been relentless in developing the trail network in Price County.
Frank established relationships with private landowners to secure the privilege of having snowmobile trails cross their property. He continued to develop and evolve the trail system throughout the county and was the one who was most instrumental in securing state funding for trail maintenance.
Dusek is credited (in 1972) as the founder and first president of the Price County Trails Association, which is made up of 10 clubs. To this day, Frank is a member of every one of those clubs. In the early years, he started grooming snowmobile trails with bedsprings being towed by snowmobiles, then more heavy-duty grooming equipment.
Frank was credited as providing valuable input in the design of how a drag should process snow. His contributions helped lead to the manufacture of commercial groomers used today.
In 1977, Frank personally signed for a loan to buy the first Tucker Sno-Cat for Price County.
Frank’s dedication to the sport of snowmobiling and his efforts in trail development did not go unnoticed on a state level. In 1984, he was appointed to the Wisconsin Governor’s Snowmobile Recreation Council. He continues to be actively involved with the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs (AWSC) and local clubs by grooming snowmobile trails on a regular basis. Frank was awarded the AWSC Groomer of the Year for 2022.
It’s not all work for Frank; he loves to ride his snowmobile as well. Logging many miles with family and friends, he has participated in numerous snowmobile rides to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. Frank has earned the respect of everyone he interacts with. He is regarded as the ambassador for snowmobiling in Price County and the state of Wisconsin. Frank is also very adamant about ensuring everyone stays safe when grooming and snowmobiling.
It is for his unwavering commitment to the sport of snowmobiling that places Frank Dusek in the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame, Class of 2023.
William Jeans – Forest Lake, Minnesota – Industry
It was 1966 when Bill (and brother Ty) Jeans formed Jeans, Inc. and ran a Moto-Ski snowmobile distributorship serving 200 dealers in a three-state region. The business operated until 1973.
The brothers gave up their Dodge automobile dealership and their father’s farm implement business to devote to promoting and selling Moto-Ski snowmobiles. They believed the snowmobile business required full-time attention, especially when their focus was to expand and get more dealers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Iowa and Nebraska. They soon had built dealerships of 100 both in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
As president of Jeans, Inc. Bill built a snowmobile distributorship that eventually became one the most successful in the United States. In the 1970 model year alone they sold 6,000 snowmobiles and generated $8 million in revenue. Jeans, Inc. employed an average of 35 workers, which in turn provided a strong economy for the small town of Forest Lake, Minnesota.
Jeans Inc. ran two semitrucks for nine months of the year between Forest Lake and the Moto-Ski factory in Quebec. Seventy-five percent of the sleds were placed at the dealerships before winter set in.
The Jeans boys also did a lot of racing, with three- or four-man crews out every weekend during the race season. They won the majority of the 30-plus events they attended.
Bill Jeans was extremely proud of his racers. “Racing gives us exposure,” he said. It was the “best advertising you could ask for, [because] customers take pride in being able to go with a winner.”
William Jeans could see the potential in the growing popularity of snowmobiling. It was his keen business awareness that helped launch this sport into what it is today, which lands him in the 2023 Class of the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame.
Steve & Sherry Landon – Farwell, Michigan – Publishers & Journalists
In the early 1970s while snowmobiling at his grandmother’s farm in Clare, Michigan, a family friend/local racer of Steve Landon dropped by and mentioned they were having an oval track race north of town and wanted to know if anyone was interested. Steve promptly found his way to that event, where he watched a local racer take his sled to victory. From that point on Steve was hooked on snowmobile racing.
However, wanting to be more than just another race fan, he wanted to cover it as a member of the media. Soon after high school, Steve did some freelance writing and photography covering and reporting on local drivers at major races. Steve then gained employment with the Harrison Star newspaper, covering and shooting local events. It launched Steve’s career as a member of the print media.
Not only did he write and shoot photos for the mainstream newspaper but also for Michigan Snowmobiler and Snow Week. Soon his photos and stories appeared in national publications as well.
There was a saying among racers, “If you get a girl you’ve dated to come to more than one snowmobile race, she is the one to marry.” Starting in 1980, Sherry and Steve were married and together attended almost every venue on the oval race circuit for years to come. From carrying Steve’s camera bag and taking notes at most races, this shy quiet mother of their four children would become a talented graphic designer. Sherry was truly an amazing creative addition to their business and the sport of snowmobile racing.
When the newspaper fell victim to the recession and closed in 1979, Steve and Sherry pursued his dream of starting his own snowmobile racing publication. Sherry came up with the name “The Winning Edge” and, armed with little more than a dream and no money, they pursued and gained advertising revenue. On Christmas Eve 1985, the first edition rolled off the press.
Although print editions were eliminated in 2007, the Winning Edge magazine still survives today due to being the first snowmobile racing publication to go all digital. Among their many and proudest accomplishments were designing the 50th Anniversary Eagle River World Championship Derby program book and the 25th Annual Soo I-500 history book.
Sherry passed away in 2021. Just moments before succumbing to her battle with cancer she embraced and kissed Steve and said, “Thank you for the wonderful adventure.” Married 41 years, Steve and Sherry Landon were true soulmates. Their contributions to snowmobiling deems them worthy inductees into the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame, Class of 2023.
The Induction Ceremony Is Open To All
Join us for ISHOF Induction Weekend in Eagle River, Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday, September 15 & 16, 2023.
We Invite you to honor the Class of 2023 and Special Award Recipients with a Banquet and Induction Ceremony in their honor.
The International Snowmobile Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Induction Ceremony Weekend celebrates and honors those involved in the sport of Snowmobiling; recognizing a new class being inducted into the Hall. Join the celebration. We invite all industry representatives, dealership personnel, club members, motorsports enthusiasts, friends, fans and supporters alike to attend the ISHOF annual special event weekend.
You can join this year’s ISHOF Induction Weekend with FUN activities in Eagle River, Wisconsin. The festivities begin on Friday September 15, 2023, with a Pirate Ship Cruise, Fish and Chicken Buffet and special award presentations for Groomer, Club and Dealer awards. Saturday there will be a formal NY Strip or Chicken Dinner to officially honor the Class of 2023 as they’re inducted into the Hall on September 16, 2023. Both the Friday and Saturday meals will be at Eagle River Inn & Resort, 5260 Hwy. 70 West, Eagle River, Wisconsin. Saturday event is a semi-formal affair so please dress accordingly for the event.
Show your support for the newly inducted Hall of Fame Class of 2023 and all special award recipients by registering online www.ishof.com to attend. NOTE: Registration is required for all guests and supporters to attend. Registration opens soon and closes on September 5, 2023. Thank You for Your Support. See you in September!