Haslett, MI - Thanks to snowmobiling, winter has become a season to enjoy. Ask any of the 3 million people who take pleasure every year in the beauty of winter on the more than 200,000 miles of groomed and marked snowmobile trails throughout North America.
Snowmobiling is one of the easiest motorized recreational life-style activities to learn, making it suitable for individuals of all ages to enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle in the winter, develop new friendships and extend old ones. Today's snowmobiles are now designed with a variety of comfort and convenience features that make it enjoyable to ride for hours.
Snowmobile Demographic Profile
According to recent research, more than 95 percent of snowmobile enthusiasts consider snowmobiling a family lifestyle activity. Other important facts that Consumer Insight study found include:
- Snowmobilers in North America spend more than $30 billion annually on the activity.
- 75 percent of snowmobile owners are married and have children living at home with them.
- 52 percent of snowmobilers trailer their snowmobiles to ride.
- The average snowmobiler is 43 years old, with an annual household income of $68,000.
Economic Impact Empowerment Through Participation
In North America, there are nearly 3,000 snowmobile clubs. Virtually all are involved in trail maintenance, charity fund raising and family activities. (For example, during the 2012-2013 season snowmobilers raised more than $3 million for charities.) In addition to these individual clubs, there are 25 state associations in the U.S. and 13 provincial and territorial organizations in Canada.
It's important to note that snowmobilers work together to plan, build and maintain their trails. That work is done through area clubs, councils and associations.
Currently there are more than 225,000 miles of groomed and marked trails in North America. This amounts to more miles of snowmobile trails than the entire U.S. Interstate Highway system.
The continuing evolution and design of the snowmobile is a major factor in the lifestyle activity's growth.
Snowmobile manufacturers have developed cleaner and quieter engine designs to lower the noise levels as well as emissions.
In addition, the continued popularity of longer snowmobiles that make it easy and comfortable for two people to ride shows the impact of the family on the lifestyle activity.
With programs such as ISMA's "Safe Riders - You make snowmobiling safe" safety awareness program, continued emphasis is being placed on making the riding experience a safe enjoyable one. ISMA encourages all snowmobilers to take advantage of snowmobile safety classes offered through state and provincial associations. These are valuable in helping to familiarize new snowmobilers with proper responsible snowmobile behavior.
The popularity of snowmobiling has spread to traditional skiing destinations like Vail, Steamboat and Aspen. These and other resort areas have taken notice and are now offering snowmobile/ski packages. In a recent article, SKI magazine noted that more families are doing more activities than just skiing during their winter vacations.
Because of this interest in varied sports, resorts are now offering a greater number of activities to remain competitive and bring in more families. The resorts are discovering that snowmobiling is one of the most popular activities.
Family values and family recreation activity are very important parts of our heritage and snowmobiling provides a family recreation lifestyle that helps join and keep the family together.