MEDWAY – Snowmobiling is not only something fun to do, as it’s a significant factor in Maine’s economy.
Dozens gathered at the East Branch Sno-Rovers club Saturday night to learn how their passion for snowmobiling affects Maine’s economy.
According to Ian Hathaway, a University of Maine student who was commissioned by the Snowmobile Program of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, snowmobiling brought over $600 million to Maine’s economy in the 2018-19 snowmobile season.
“A big part of that is the huge increase in nonresident snowmobilers that we saw this past year. With about 25,000 out-of-state snowmobiles being registered here,” Hathaway said.
“So people are really chasing the snow up here,” he said.
Hathaway said in his year and a half long research, his findings showed that snowmobile-related spending directly supports more than 2,000 jobs in the state of Maine.
Snowmobiling indirectly supports an additional 1,060 jobs.
“First of all, people in state will take their snowmobiles out all day. They’ll go out nine hours, they go on six to eight trips. They’ll snowmobile 100 plus miles a day and along that time they’re buying gas, they’re buying the snowmobiles here, they’re buying trailers to transport the snowmobiles,” Hathaway said.
“A lot of them are actually manufactured in Maine which is a big growing industry here,” he said.
According to Hathaway, money spent on restaurants, hotels, clothing retailers or anything related to the snowmobile trips people make is figured into the findings.
For members of the Maine Snowmobile Association, having such a large quantifiable number will help them address lawmakers to pass legislation that can potentially give the Maine Snowmobile Program $300,000.
“This presentation is going to give us the numbers, give us a tool to talk to our legislators and hopefully convince them that $300,000 would be a good thing for the snowmobile program and improve it,” Maine Snowmobile Association President Mike Grass said.