Are snowmobile clubs and funding for snowmobile trails potentially impacted by the economic pinch of the COVID-19 situation? In some areas, the answer is absolutely “Yes,” and that’s the case in New Hampshire, according to a recent story on InDepthNH.org.
The story covers a legislative advisory board meeting in New Hampshire, where different groups are appealing for still-unallocated money that the state got as a part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. There’s about $230 million available.
In the meeting, various groups made a pitch — from nurses to teachers to a minor league baseball team. Another was the state’s snowmobiling community — headed by the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association (NHSA) and also the director of the state’s Bureau of Trails.
The Bureau of Trails officials noted that snowmobile trail permit fees provide a lot of funding for the clubs that manage and maintain the snowmobile infrastructure, but it requires a local match. Well, that match could be harder to make this year, as local clubs’ have less ablity to raise their own money.
The story says NHSA’s Dan Gould asked for $574,622 from the CARES Act, noting that the traditional fundraising losses currently sit at $220,000 but will likely grow, putting the state’s 100+ snowmobile clubs in a bind.
New Hampshire is obviously only one example, but in general terms you might want to think about how your local snowmobile club raises funds to support the trials. Whether it’s running the beer garden at the local summer festival, operating charitable gambling, having various get togethers or otherwise participating in local community events, they’ve probably taken a hit. And that makes your membership fee more important than ever.
Editor’s Note: This review was originally published in the October 2020 issue of Snow Goer. Every issue of Snow Goer magazine includes in-depth sled reports and comparisons, aftermarket gear and accessories reviews, riding destination articles, do-it-yourself repair information, snowmobile technology and more! Subscribe to Snow Goer now to receive issues delivered to your door or your computer for a low cost.