The leaves are changing colour, the overnight temperatures are dropping, the birds are gathering, and Facebook chatter about snowmobiling has increased significantly. This can only mean one thing—snowmobile season is coming.
It’s good to see that clubs are starting to get prepared for the new season, getting grooming equipment repaired and signage ready. Most clubs started having monthly meetings in September. Remember, all clubs are in need and looking for new members and volunteers, so join a club and enjoy making new friends and having great fun on the trails.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is forecasting a winter with lots of snow, winter storms and extreme winter conditions—let’s hope they are correct about the lots of snow forecast.
On November 23, 2019, Snoman will be holding a strategic planning session. Our old strategic plan is 10 years old, and we have achieved many of the goals and objectives in the old plan. It is now time to look forward to the next five years and set a path as to where we want to be and what we want to accomplish. Times are changing, different things are affecting our sport, and we need to make adjustments and be prepared. It is hoped that at the end of the strategic planning session Snoman will have a new plan that will move Snoman and its member clubs well into the next decade.
Snoman and its clubs continue to be faced with financial challenges. Last season clubs completed a record number of grooming kilometres (156,335) of trail, and although revenue from Snopass sales was up slightly (4.7 per cent), payouts to clubs for grooming were down 14 per cent per kilometre from the previous season. This is the second consecutive year of a decrease in trail funding to clubs.
On September 12, I participated in the “STARS Rescue on the Island.” Rescue on the Island is the flagship fundraiser for STARS in Manitoba. Snoman has been working with STARS for the past three years, and it was my honour to be a part of this fundraising project. STARS could be the lifesaver for a snowmobiler who has an accident or suffers a medical emergency while on the trail. I am very grateful to all the snowmobile clubs and the individuals who made donations to help ensure my rescue from the island.
Snoman had a booth at the Manitoba Power Sports Show in Winnipeg on October 26 and 27, 2019.
November 1 and 2, 2019, was the Snoman Annual Congress held at Canad Inns Club Regent.
Like all of you, I can’t wait for the snow to fly, but remember to be very cautious in the beginning of the season. Be patient with clubs and remember it is your safety they have in mind. They will open trails as soon as it is safe to do so.
Ride safe and see you on the trail!