Press Release –
Researchers tell us more Canadians this year, as they make holiday plans, intend to stay in Canada.
Certainly, the horde that buys bargain priced all-inclusive holidays and scurries off to warmer climes are still around, but in this year’s economy, their numbers are down.
Perhaps this is the same rationale driving consumers to buy lower cost items instead of upscale brands. Both are a result of the economic recession we’re emerging from.
Draw a line through these issues and it should come as no surprise vacation plans have been scaled back.
Here in Central Ontario, where the posh, well-lit offices of Supertrax and Go Snowmobiling magazines are located, it’s been a disappointing summer, weather-wise.
Actually, summer is the wrong word to describe this year’s June, July and August climate.
Here’s my point: Cottage and vacation home owners form a sizable share of the demographic that buys trail permits and all manner of expenditures relating to snowmobiling.
Recreational property owners have long been considered a viable target market to expand snowmobiling. In reality, only a fraction of recreational property owners in Ontario actually use their cottages in the winter months.
This ready-made audience is as ripe as it’s ever been to get involved in our sport this winter. With weekend after rainy, cold weekend this summer, families who remain committed to using their Ontario recreational real estate, as a result of the economy, were frustrated by the lack of summer weather. Snowmobiling can help alleviate this frustration with a solid injection of winter excitement.
The upside of our poor Ontario summer this year is that those same disgruntled cottagers are echoing a sentiment we saw in the early 1990s when snowmobiling’s popularity experienced an explosion in Ontario.
Snowmobiling is a perfect excuse for using your recreational property this winter. The economic downturn, in lockstep with a poor summer, could potentially generate a significant shift in cottage country activity this winter.
With government construction grants available this year, more cottagers have been investing in the winterization of their recreational properties.
These folks are set to learn firsthand that the same winter weather maligned by urbanites is exciting and beautiful when you’re in snow country. Snowmobilers have known for years the worse the weather gets in the winter, the better the snowmobiling is!
With 2009-10 trail permit sales locked in a solid growth curve the past three seasons, we look for the effects of the economic slowdown to actually help our activity this season. One potential effect of more Ontarians staying home for holidays this winter is a heightened awareness of the incredible value snowmobiling delivers.
One of my favorite winter experiences is exposing summer-only cottagers to the thrill and beauty of snowmobiling. Every year I enjoy taking at least a couple of people out on local trails and helping them experience snowmobiling. Actually, in most cases these new-to-the-sledding summer cottagers never knew what they were missing because they had never seen where a snowmobile trail led and how far a snowmobile could take them.
Winter is our season and increasingly, winter’s economic impact is on the shoulders of snowmobiling. The responsibility OFSC clubs carry goes way beyond the commitment to provide trails for permit buyers.
Snowmobiling provides jobs and income for tens of thousands of Ontarians in areas with little to offer without our incredible snowmobile trail system.
So, take a deep bow OFSC volunteers. Not only do you provide us with great snowmobiling experiences every season, you make the difference in peoples’ lives, providing millions of dollars of much needed economic impact across Ontario’s snowbelt!