Sunday, August 12, 2018

Adirondack Snowmobiler Study Results Published

indian lake snowmobilingA study has been conducted by ROOST and the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce to asses the economic impact of snowmobilers in the Adirondacks.

Of the 306 snowmobilers who completed the survey, more than one-third of them stayed overnight, booking an average of 2.85 nights with an average party size of 4.2 people. The average stay reported by 2017 Adirondack visitors, as tracked by the annual Leisure Travel Study, was 3 nights.

The snowmobiling study reports an average of $450 per day in spending on lodging, meals, shopping, entertainment, attractions and transportation. The respondents who stayed with family or friends, or at their second home, reported an average expenditure of $321 per day, and day-trippers average $190 per day. The average daily traveler party spending in the 2017 Leisure Travel Study was estimated at $326 per day.

“The joint study by ROOST and the Town of Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce confirms that snowmobiling is a primary driver of winter tourism in Hamilton County,” Darrin Harr, director of the Town of Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce, said in an announcement of the results sent to the press. “These snowmobilers have ample money to spend at our businesses. Whatever we can do to get more snowmobilers here will further boost our winter economy.”

The 18-question survey, featuring questions about topics ranging from lodging arrangements and other activities they participated in to demographic profile questions, was primarily distributed via ilsnow.com, a snowmobile website operated by Harr.

The study also indicates snowmobilers have a higher income than those who travel here for other recreational opportunities. Thirty-eight percent of day trippers report an annual household income between $80,000 and $124,999. Thirty percent of overnight guests reported to be in the same bracket. Twenty-five percent of overnight guests and 30 percent of those who stayed with family/friends or in their second home earned between $125,000 – $200,000. This skews higher than the average annual income of all travelers who reported $87,662 a year on the latest ROOST Leisure Travel Study.

“This information ensures that ROOST, as the destination marketing organization, will make informed decisions when constructing a marketing plan for snowmobiling in Hamilton County,” said Michelle Clement, ROOST’s Director of Marketing.

ROOST is expected to continue to collect data on snowmobiling and its contribution to the Adirondack economy.

A copy of the full report can be found here.

Photo provided by ROOST.

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63 Responses

  1. SCOTT S THOMPSON says:

    Thank you. The expenditure figures for snowmobiling presented by the DOT during the hearings for the trail use of the Adirondack rail corridor were so low they were ridiculous. Traffic counters showed over 400 users in a day.That could mean over $120,000 a day added to the economy when the corridor is useful as a trail.Now thats real.

  2. Marc Wanner says:

    Hmm… asking snowmobilers how much they spend: you don’t suppose the respondents are smart enough to realize that exaggerating their claimed expenditures would be good for the sport, do you? Nah! Of course they’d answer with scrupulous honesty, right?

    • DS says:

      Let me put it to you this way. Snowmobilers need gas….they fill up at least once, or twice a day on longer trips. At $3/gal. And most snowmobiles have a ten gal tank or more, that’s $30-60/ day. Now, they have to eat. Snowmobilers don’t pack food very often. They stop for lunch at a restaurant. Let’s say$10 for a burger and a drink. Now if they stay in a hotel, great more $ spent. Let’s assume they stay at a friend’s house. But now have to travel home. Guess what, they now need to fill up with gas to travel back home. Most trucks will cost $60-70 to fill. So very conservatively, this one snowmobilers has just spent$100 on a single trip. If the snowmobiler had spent a night in a hotel, add dinner, breakfast, room cost and probably other spending. Simply put…no the numbers are NOT exaggerated.

    • Chris says:

      It’s like asking about “household income” on surveys; they are always hugely skewed high. Obviously, surveys are rife with accuracy, especially those from self-interest-groups

      That being said, is there anything new in this? The figures seem reasonable and relatively uncontestable. Obviously sledding brings in dollars. It would be much more useful – actionable for planning purposes – to know the trend in usage, perhaps the cause of the trends and what has been spent/done to promote and enable, so choices can be made to help the communities survive and thrive. Surveys are generally used as marketing, to favorably position the topic relative to other, “competing”, interests.

      What are the trade offs in promoting sledding vs. other revenue-generating opportunities or quality of life effects that result in the same goals? I assume there is a “community growth plan” document somewhere?

    • adirondackjoe says:

      Yes Marc they do answer honestly. I live in northern nj and when I come up for a 3 day trip with the sleds it costs a fortune. Gas, supplies, all meals eaten out etc it adds up quickly. It’s sad that you lump a group of good people you don’t know into a bunch of exaggerating liars.

    • adirondackjoe says:

      Marc. Still no reply?

    • Dick says:

      MY MY Marc Winner don’t you seem to have all the facts? Can you back up your claim or were you just trying to impress someone?

  3. Paul says:

    Why would you spend money on lodging for a day trip?

    Is that ice safe to be on?

    This is useful but the n is pretty small. Wouldn’t draw too many conclusions one way or the other.

  4. Scott Thompson says:

    Yes, I’m sure everyone spins, but if you grew up here you know.You know Old Forge had a restaurant and a diner in the winter now they have many and over 500 guest beds. Do the math

  5. Bill Ott says:

    In several hundred years people will be drawn to the Adirondacks to visit dioramas of what the woods were like in the “old days”. They will learn how the “forever wild” designation of the wilderness lands was eroded in the name of economic development. That erosion would have started with the rule bending some say is happening now on “wild forest” lands. This might be fear mongering, but just come back in 200 years to see if this actually happens.

    • Paul says:

      Well – the Forest Preserve is steadily growing including many thousands of acres of Wilderness lands (including a huge expansion of the High Peak’s Wilderness). Since all the evidence points that things are going in the opposite direction that you describe we will have to check back in a few hundred years. Also, the numbers of snowmobiles overall is declining. A growing share of a shrinking market, a slow steady death for a business. It doesn’t make sense why many folks are running around telling us the sky is falling?

    • Chris says:

      Anyone have hard stats over time on sledding participation, skier days, snow fall, etc?

  6. Kathy says:

    Except for designated groomed X country ski centers there are not nearly enough trails spread throughout the area to attract non motorized snow lovers to add their spending allowance for overnite stays and boost the winter economy of this region.
    In the woods there is the engine noise ,smell of gas and however slight chance of being over run by sleds. Sharing is probably not an option embraced by either side. Perhaps more X country ski and snow shoe and back country ski trails would be another incentive to draw winter people and their money. Without the extra gas cost involved more the reason to spend the savings on shopping and entertainment up there.

    • Paul says:

      It looks like there are 2300 miles of non-snowmobile trails on the Forest Preserve:

      https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html

      How many more miles are you thinking about?

      • Kathy says:

        They are not designated X country ski trails nor groomed as sled trails are. If you have skied or used snowshoes you know how difficult deep snow can be to traverse or even to use a snowmobile on.
        If you had read my statement completely you will have noticed I said nothing against sleds just suggesting that another recreational group could contribute to winter income for the towns.

        • Paul says:

          I agree. I’m confused you said that there were enough designated groomed trails for skiing. I think we agree need more of those. What are you looking for? I would love to see more (especially lighted) trails for skiing like you see in Scandinavia.

          • Peter Newell says:

            All foot trails are by definition X-C and snowshoe trails. There is no “designated” about it. There are no restrictions such as there are with snowmobiles. You will never see lighted trails in the forest preserve. You probably won’t see groomed trails either in part because the motorized vehicles necessary to groom are prohibited. You see very few commercial XC trails/resorts. Lapland Lake and Garnet Hill are two very nice places that come to mind. Why not more? Primary reason: not profitable. By the way, both those places charge over $20 for a day pass.

    • Peter Newell says:

      There are not enough X country ski / snowshoe trails??? Every foot trail is available in the winter. In fact every square inch of Forest Preserve is open to XC/snowshoe. Has been since before snowmobiles existed. So why has that not led to a great winter tourism economy?

      By contrast, snowmobile trails cover a fraction of a percent of state land and for the most part snowmobiles are restricted to those trails. Almost 50% of the Forest Preserve is classified as “Wilderness” and there are no snowmobile trails at all on that land.

      Groomed XC/snowshoe ‘backcountry’ trails? I’m all for them. I’d use them, for sure.

      Maybe they would draw a more affluent crowd, who knows. Probably only if they could ski to some place with services (warming huts, food, lodging, etc.) but such facilities are not allowed in the Forest Preserve.

      In any case, the trails would have to be groomed by a snowmobile or other motorized vehicle. Oh wait, motorized vehicles are not allowed at all in “Wilderness” and are severely restricted elsewhere on the Forest Preserve.

      And who would maintain these trails, who would pay for the maintenance? Almost all snowmobile trail maintenance and grooming is done by volunteers in the snowmobile clubs and paid for by snowmobilers through a $100/snowmobile ($45 if club member) registration fee.

      • Boreas says:

        “Every foot trail is available in the winter. In fact every square inch of Forest Preserve is open to XC/snowshoe. Has been since before snowmobiles existed. So why has that not led to a great winter tourism economy?”

        Who says it hasn’t? Winter tourism has ALWAYS been a draw to the area. Olympic snowmobiling hasn’t.

        • Peter Newell says:

          Winter tourism may have always been a draw, but not enough to support the economy. Look at any Adirondack community outside of Lake Placid. Ask business people how much they make off “winter tourism” other than snowmobiling. I am sure the answer will be “not much” and “not enough to survive.” Even in North Creek, with Gore Mountain nearby an an easy drive from major population centers, winter tourism has not created as booming economy. Look at a town like Long Lake, which has a lot of motels/cabins/tourist lodging. How many are open in the winter, even with snowmobiling? Is Hoss’s or Northern Borne open in the winter? Is anything open in Blue Mountain Lake? Where is all the winter tourism in Newcomb created by the new Essex Chain and Boreas Ponds acquisitions? The facts speak for themselves.

          • Boreas says:

            The fact is non-powered winter tourism has supplemented the ADK communities for well over a century. What would we have without winter tourism? There would certainly be a lot fewer year-round businesses without it. Other than big ski centers, where DOES winter tourism pay all the bills? I am not sure what you think winter tourism should be doing – it is only one season.

            Boreas Ponds? It hasn’t seen a summer season yet, let alone winter. Is it going to dramatically change the financial base of local communities – not likely – even with 4 seasons. Winter is just a part of the pie. Local communities fought long and hard for year-round motorized access against the wishes of many environmentalists. They got their wish – shouldn’t we give it a chance to see what happens.

            • Peter Newell says:

              They got Gulf Brook Road to remain open. One road out of the whole complex. And the environmentalists are still complaining about that and trying to block snowmobile use.

              Do you live and more importantly try to make a living in the Adirondacks? Other than Lake Placid there is no 4 season tourism. Poll 10 local businesses in any town and ask them how many months of the year they make money, particularly off tourism. Drive through the Adirondacks in late winter through the beginning of June and see how many places are closed for a couple months because there is not enough business to keep the lights on.

              • Boreas says:

                Peter,

                I have lived and made a good living within the Park for about 20 years. Before that I drove 5 hours from central NY just to snowshoe, camp, and backcountry ski in the winter and hike in summer – probably 15-20 trips/year for another 15 years. I much prefer winter – no bugs, no mud, fewer people. I can guarantee I am not alone in that preference.

                10 businesses in Lake Placid? 10 businesses in Old Forge? Keene Valley? Saranac Lake? Inlet? Blue Mtn. Lake? Speculator? All cater to winter tourism. While it may not compare to their summer revenue, many businesses DO stay open in winter and do quite well. Check out the Noonmark Diner or The Mountaineer or local lodges in tiny Keene Valley alone in frigid January. Some of the best winter conditions up high is in February as the nights are getting shorter. However, most businesses will agree – the worst season for tourism is the mud season – early-mid spring as the snow is melting and trails a mess. As you say, that is when many owners close and go on vacation.

                What tourism isn’t seasonal?

  7. Hope says:

    I always find it interesting how all the non-Snowmobilers seem to know so much about the snowmobiling recreation participants that they can offhandedly dispute a survey done by ROOST/Hamilton County, for their own marketing use, as flawed or outright lies because it doesn’t fit their narrative. Hamilton County, the least populated County within the Blue Line, trying to determine what if anything they can market to entice folks to come to their neck of the woods since lumbering and mining is pretty much done due to Forever Wild. Most of you won’t be happy until nobody resides within the Blue Line. There is over 2000 miles of non-snowmobiling trails. Snowmobile trail mileage is capped. Live and let Live. When the snow is gone, so are the snowmobiles.

    • Hiker says:

      Can’t you even get your facts straight when they’re right in front of you? This was a joint study from ROOST and the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce, and *not* Hamilton County. No wonder your organization comes off looking like fools so often….get the facts right and then maybe you’ll get a little more respect!

      • Boreas says:

        “This information ensures that ROOST, as the destination marketing organization, will make informed decisions when constructing a marketing plan for snowmobiling in Hamilton County,” said Michelle Clement, ROOST’s Director of Marketing.

  8. T P says:

    I spend more in a day in Canada then $450 dollars. I think the numbers are reasonable. I would expect locals to spend less and out of towners to spend more. I would hope that people look at this fairly and realize snowmobiling does bring money into local economies.

  9. Chuck says:

    Just out of curiosity… What does a snowshoeing permit cost? Also what does a cross country skiing permit cost? You need 2 permits to run Old Forge for us out of Towners. If you think those numbers are skewed. Snowmobiles on average cost 12k or more new. Snowmobiling is not a cheap activity. We spend way more than the numbers quoted.

    • Boreas says:

      “What does a snowshoeing permit cost? Also what does a cross country skiing permit cost?”

      Nothing yet for ungroomed trails – but that may be changing – even for hiking. Skiing groomed/set trails have almost always required an entrance or trail fee or a stay at a private lodge.

  10. Dan says:

    I’m not a snowmobiler. But as someone who lives in a section of the Adirondacks where it is popular, and where there is a functional trail system, I think the expenditures quoted in this study might actually be lower than what many snowmobilers spend on their excursions. We welcome responsible riders.

  11. ConcernedADKer says:

    Um…? I personally don’t want more snowmobiles in the Adirondack Park because of all the pollution it brings. Is everyone serious? Spend more more, boost the winter economy, dump more gas, oil, and whatever else people bring into the environment..?(nothing personal against people with snowmobiles at all but more people unfortunately always equally more garbage around) There’s so much to do there in the winter! Upgrade your damn ski areas, use what you have..jeez

    • Boreas says:

      I agree – but only somewhat. I don’t think the problem lies with snowmobilers per se. The root of the pollution you mention is cheap oil and cheap fuel. As long as it is cheap it will be wasted and over-used – whether it be for recreation, transportation, plastics manufacturing, or power generation. All are pollution sources. Until there is a serious, worldwide rethinking of power and fuel strategies, the world will continue to burn fossil fuels and pollute at an alarming rate – until either the fuels, or humans, are gone.

      • Paul says:

        Like with outboard engines on boats the switch is being made to much cleaner burning 4 stroke engines. When you look at the prices these folks are willing to pay for snow machines I bet expensive fuel would make little difference on how much they use. They can afford it either way. High gas prices mostly affect the lower income people who can’t afford to pay the higher prices for gas they need. Here we are talking about an activity that is a luxury. The good news is we are switching to cleaner technology and for snowmobiles these new engines are faster and better than the old ones so they will switch even if they don’t care about emissions.

        • Boreas says:

          “I don’t think the problem lies with snowmobilers per se.”

          Paul, I was addressing a deeper problem than sleds or boats.

    • Scott says:

      Actually the newer snowmobiles have been required to comply with EPA emissions requirements just like newer cars and trucks. The EPA phased in the emissions requirements for snowmobiles over time just like for cars and trucks. And newer sleds not only use less oil, they use less gas just like newer cars and trucks.

  12. Larry Roth Larry Roth says:

    The ROOST study is interesting for what it finds – and what it doesn’t. For example: how many days of snowmobiling were covered by the study? While spending levels may be impressive – they’re seasonal. The rest of the year snowmobilers are gone.

    The study does have a bar graph of which months snowmobilers say they are most likely to go sledding – but that’s not the same as when they actually did go. Also of interest is the graph of race/ethnicity. They self-identify as 83-95% white/caucasian. Snowmobiling has a narrow demographic base – and that raises questions about broadening the appeal of Adirondack tourism. A break-down by age and sex would also have been useful.

    To focus the regional economy around snowmobiling at the expense of other activities is to exaggerate the boom-bust cycle and over-specialize. It would be helpful to compare these numbers to spending by all other visitors the rest of the year to see the big picture.

    Add in another factor: weather. There is no guarantee when and where the snow will show up, or how long it will last. Snowmobilers go where snow is. Period. Adirondack winters aren’t what they used to be, and they’re not getting better. Betting on the weather cooperating is becoming more and more of a gamble. (It’s why the Olympic venues are investing in becoming year-round attractions.) The two words snowmobilers refuse to acknowledge are climate and change.

    If anything, this strengthens the case for restoring rail service all the way from Utica to Lake Placid. A connection to the national passenger rail system at Utica would bring a whole new class of visitors by rail, people who would be coming for overnight stays. It would also bring back the thousands of visitors who enjoyed tourist excursions and the Rail Explorers in the tri-lakes.

    Further, the railroad can operate rain, shine, or snow, and could do it all year round – it doesn’t have to be seasonal. Weather doesn’t just affect snowmobilers either; it affects all outdoor recreation. The tourism economy needs to take changing weather patterns into account going forward – including the problem of disruption.

    A Washington Post article reports extreme weather events are increasing. A study looking at 1958 to 2012 shows New York State is in a region where heavy precipitation events are now 71% more likely. The need to invest in infrastructure to increase resilience to weather disruption is increasingly important.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/immense-rains-are-causing-more-flash-flooding-and-experts-say-its-getting-worse/2018/06/24/3970a236-765e-11e8-805c-4b67019fcfe4_story.html?utm_term=.61fae842ba18

    By all means give snowmobile tourism the attention it deserves, but only what it deserves. Don’t forget it is only one piece of the larger economic picture, and that picture is changing. The old saw about the dangers of putting all the eggs in one basket still apply.

  13. Paul says:

    Not the train thing again. This discussion has already been had 500 times.

  14. Charlie S says:

    DS says: “So very conservatively, this one snowmobilers has just spent$100 on a single trip.”

    It’s always about ‘The money.’ Money first come hell or high water.

    • ben says:

      Was wondering when the train folks would chime back in. Took a while this time. This study shows snowmobiling is a big business in the ADK & it could be bigger with out the rails. The tracks have a niche; it’s Utica to Thendara & NO FURTHER! Time to put a trail in north of there. The study is based on cost average for 1 trip. Multiple that by 3 or 4 or even more & you have a true cost snowmobiling brings into the ADK. There are many people that drive from northern NJ & even Maryland EVERY winter weekend to ride their sleds. They rent cabins/cottages all over the ADK; they eat out at restaurants all over the ADK; they buy gas &/or food all over the ADK.
      I’ll put the economic dollars snowmobiling generates against the economic dollars the rail generates any day of the week.

      • James Falcsik says:

        Ben..nobody argues snowmobiling is not big business in NYS. Not even railroad supporters.

        But you do need to consider what part of snowmobiling generates the economic benefit. Sure, gassing up the sleds and all the equipment purchases are good for the local vendors. But you have to subtract the overhead that does not belong to NYS. In other words, how much of the sled equipment is manufactured in NYS? You can’t just add up all the sales and say $xx. The markup by the retailer does eventually generate secondary spend. Overnight lodging by out of state folks? Absolutely.

        It is pretty safe to say the primary purpose of all the survey responses was snowmobiling, so that is a good metric for the industry as it applies to nearly all the registered sledders. However, looking at out of state registrations, year after year, they are very reliably 15% of all the registered sleds.The out of state group is where NYS gets the economic benefit. So roughly 85% are native to NYS and both groups probably tend to move around the state mostly following snow events.

        As to your comment about sled vs. train you might want to look into the last study the DEC used for ill-fated Alternate 7 (Camoin, Empire State Development 2015) All three scenarios, rail only, trail only, and rail-with-trail, all generated the same increase in economic impact from out of state sled at just under $600K per year. This was based on the DEC creating “connector trails” whether the C7 was with or without rails.

        • Paul says:

          “It is pretty safe to say the primary purpose of all the survey responses was snowmobiling”

          No the survey went well beyond snowmobiling. Look at the ADE article on it for more info.

        • ben says:

          Using your 600K a year as a $$ figure for the rail per year, that’s a tiny figure compared to what snowmobiling does. You keep arguing rail rail rail, yet you don’t run on Monday’s or Tuesday’s, your a pretty much NOT running to Big Moose anymore; your best runs go to Holland Patent or Remsen, neither of which are in the ADK. So you’ve gopt your survey & the snowmobile community has theirs (I believe according to the snowmobile survey we generate 245 million/year in the Adirondacks). SO again the state gets the final say in all of this, & they are still going forward with the trail. Now I know the rails folks will be right back in court again, once the SLMP is re written & a updated UMP is put together. Bu then again, please keep dragging it out because in the end you may loose it all. You still have use of the corridor ONLY BECAUSE the state says you can use it, north of Remsen to Thendara. The state can still take the away from you.

    • Paul says:

      This is in regard to an economic impact study so yes the economic impact would part of the discussion. Is the economic impact the only thing to consider? Of course not, nobody has suggested that. If money were the only consideration you can bet there would be no forest preserve to snowmobile in!

  15. Charlie S says:

    Bill Ott says: “the “forever wild” designation of the wilderness lands was eroded in the name of economic development. That erosion would have started with the rule bending some say is happening now on “wild forest” lands. This might be fear mongering, but just come back in 200 years to see if this actually happens.”

    That’s what I’m saying….no vision! All short-term stinking so the flow of money continues at all cost! If there was vision we’d be looking ahead 200 years not 20 years!

  16. Charlie S says:

    Larry says: “Adirondack winters aren’t what they used to be, and they’re not getting better. Betting on the weather cooperating is becoming more and more of a gamble. (It’s why the Olympic venues are investing in becoming year-round attractions.) The two words snowmobilers refuse to acknowledge are climate and change.”

    We’re not talking about climate change Larry! Some of us are sure but generally it’s not recognized or it’s a liberal hoax…… Meanwhile Europe is experiencing near record temperatures as are other parts of the world including these not so united states of America. All over the world extremes are taking shape yet the people in charge are creating policies that are heading towards the flames….and taking us with them while they’re at it. Let’s make America great again!

    There are now wildfires in the Arctic Circle. It’s only a matter of time before the Adirondacks start burning though there are predictions we should fare better than most areas up here in the northeast. Who knows though? If the trend continues I suppose it wont matter what actions we do or do not take. So let us build more roads, allow more motor use, extract more gas and oil, take down more woods……

    • Paul says:

      Charlie, again get your facts straight. In the Adirondacks preserved land is growing not shrinking.

      I agree with you on climate change action. It is a desperate situation the only answer is to use hydro and nuclear power now to quickly get to net zero. Keep arguing for solar and wind, technology that is incompatible with the grid, and we may all burn.

    • Paul says:

      “There are now wildfires in the Arctic Circle” Just to be clear this isn’t a new thing. This summer is especially bad (especially in Sweden) but fires are quite common in these tundra areas.

        • Paul says:

          Wow, that would be a trip. The fact you can do this now does show the degree of climate change we have going on.

          My point of the coverage of these fires this summer is many outlets are trying to use this as propaganda for their agendas making it look like this is the first time we have had wild fire in the arctic.

          Here is a good one:

          Their headline is that the “Arctic circle is on fire”

          http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/a-global-heat-wave-has-set-the-arctic-circle-on-fire.html

          Using such ridiculous hyperbole only makes it more difficult to educate people of the importance of dealing with climate change.

          • Chris says:

            Well, if you think that headline is hyperpoble, what do you think about the content, listing all the hellacious records of broad-based devastation. Is the content invalid?

            The problem is that hyperbole is the only thing that gets through all the noise in today’s media, and that is partially because the media model cannot educate people anymore because it’s revenue-focused rather than information-focused.

            From a scientific perspective, we have completely lost the war on climate change and facing a big, existential problem. But that information has to compete with more “attractive” (read clickable) “news” that baits us for attention everyplace else…

            • Paul says:

              Chris, I agree with you totally. This is a major problem. But I prefer to see truthful headlines. The entire arctic does not need to be ablaze to get my attention.

            • Bill Ott says:

              By the time the masses care about climate change, it will probably be too late to save us. Hope I get to go out naturally before that.

              • Paul says:

                It’s really a matter of some of the non-masses also not doing something. The folks who know its an issue are also doing nothing. We must re-build! Why? If you really think it is a problem move now and maybe the rest of the masses will get the message.

                If Manhattan liberals stop living in NYC maybe some will get the message. Instead they are building huge high-end residential towers right next to places like pier 83 and along the harbor front in Baltimore or Boston.

  17. ben says:

    This is boiling down to a real simple decision. ROOST did a study & presented their facts; the ASR did their study & presented their facts; the snowmobile community did a study & presented their facts. All we have are facts: The rail folks want to argue that theirs are better; winters are not as snowy therefore the snowmobile facts no longer hold up. The trails folks want to say the rails facts are bogus. I’m more in line with the trails folks, the railroad just doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s only August, but there have been 3 trailer loads of new sleds brought into Smith Marine already for the upcoming season. The railroad folks just want to keep arguing with the state all the while their limited business gets worse & worse every year. The state is leaning towards the trail & that is a current fact. Time to take all these facts & improve train service south from Thendara & build a trail from there north. Once a trail is started, the state will put money into the train, keep arguing & the train will eventually die on its own. That is a FACT!

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