By: Mark Lester
I’m finding it hard to believe we’re beginning our second season publishing Go Snowmobiling Magazine for the OFSC. It’s been a whirlwind twelve months assembling information for the members of the largest motorized trail organization in the world.
This past February we merged the television properties pioneered and owned by our good friend, the late John Massingberd, into our Canadian and US publishing business. Our new title is Supertrax Media and it includes pretty much all of what we are around here.
The good news for our readers is the incredibly popular Snowtrax television series, the largest viewed snowmobile enthusiast TV show in both the US and Canada, is now staffed with the people who bring you Supertrax and the OFSC Go Snowmobiling Magazine.
Snowtrax television will be jam-packed with exciting and informative features that will engage hardcore and beginner snowmobilers alike. With exposure in both print and television (TSN carries Snowtrax in Canada. Check local listings), we will do what we do best – communicate snowmobile enthusiasm in a bigger way than ever before.
To say the past winter presented us with a sizable learning curve would be completely accurate. However, I need to say this on behalf of everyone here at Supertrax Media: We’ve had a riot getting back in touch with a herd of great people involved in our favourite sport right here in Ontario.
From the staff at the OFSC to dozens of hardworking club directors to countless volunteers across the province, it’s been truly rewarding to report on the amazing progress snowmobiling has made in Ontario.
Among the most exciting stories we followed all last season is the Federal Government’s announced injection of $25 million into recreational trails across Canada. At this writing it seems Ontario is poised to receive a respectable chunk of that cash.
Clearly, the snowmobiling fraternity in Canada and, in particular the OFSC here in Ontario, have demonstrated above all other trail users it can turn government cash into jobs, economic impact and increased tax revenue.
Don’t think for a second it’s a coincidence. Snowmobiling activity, as measured by Trail Permit sales, rose substantially last season. In fact, full season permit sales have jumped from about 84,000 two seasons ago to over 90,000 last winter.
When the OFSC announced continued growth early this spring, the news spread through the sno-mo-industry like a Kenora brush fire. The industry as a whole has focused tremendous attention on Ontario as a result of continued impressive growth beginning the winter of 2007-2008. The Trail Permit sales slide ended two years ago and sales are now clearly established on a solid growth curve.
Yes, we know the cost of a permit has risen marginally this season and yes, we agree, this is a tough economic time. Here’s the deal. The cost of a Trail Permit has stayed level for over five years despite costs to maintain our trail system skyrocketing.
Truthfully, there’s never a good time to raise the price of a permit but this increase for 2009-10 is marginal and much needed to ensure the great riding you’ve been enjoying continues.
With economic optimism slowly replacing media pessimism the crew here at Go Snowmobiling Magazine is sensing potential for another impressive snowmobile season in Ontario. Even though the summer of 2009 left Ontarians with little more than dreams of hot days at the beach, look on the bright side as we go full speed toward winter.
The worse the weather is in the winter, the better the snowmobiling. Yeah, we can live with that.