Snowmobile Association supports ARTA Rail Conversion

The New York Snowmobile Association has passed a resolution to support ARTA and the Trail conversion on the Travel Corridor, that is the backing of well over 50,000 members State wide and taps into a much larger portion of the over $245,000,000 in economic benefit from snowmobiles in just the Adirondacks. Even Beaver River, the only community on the railroad with no road access, has passed a resolution calling for the long over due review of the Corridor Unit Management Plan. Spend Millions of your tax dollars, or bring millions in revenue to the area?

That’s the content of a current email to Talk of the Town – The email continues;

Ted, I get what you were saying in your conversation with Dick Beamish, if more people could see what the corridor has to offer, I’m sure there would be greater interest in what happens to it, but there are so many more options with MUCH less expense if the rail is gone. Maybe more hi-rail rides for officials, like the one you took, would help, but they would have to understand that that ride is more the trail experience.

This article is referenced by the email to Talk of the Town along with the subsequent resolution;

David Lassman/The Post-Standard

SYRACUSE, NY – Earlier this year, the New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) tasked the SUNY Potsdam Institute for Applied Research to undertake an economic assessment of snowmobiling on the New York State economy. Based on the nearly 6,000 responses, the assessment determined that snowmobiling delivers an economic impact of $868 million annually. The average annual household expenditure for a snowmobiling season is $3,561 and an additional $3,200 for sled expenses that include purchase price and towing.

“This follow-up to the New York State 1998 study shows that, even after adjusting for cost of living and other factors, snowmobiling has been a growing activity during the last decade with significant economic impact for New York State,“ said Dr. J. Patrick Turbett, Director of SUNY Potsdam Institute for Applied Research.

Snowmobiling’s economic impact will be on display this weekend at the 19th Annual Big East Powersports Show at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse. Attendees will be able to purchase clothing, accessories, and trailers, while enjoying a first look at 2013 sleds from dealers like Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo and Yamaha. NYSSA will have a booth at the Big East Powersports Show and will feature a special promotion to promote snowmobile clubs’ membership campaigns.

“The goal of our study was to accurately assess our current contribution. By collaborating with the SUNY Potsdam Institute for Applied Research we ensured that the findings would withstand peer review,” said Dominic Jacangelo, Executive Director of NYSSA. “In addition to financial numbers, this survey informed NYSSA of our current demographics and how snowmobilers feel about our sport in New York State. These results are critical in ensuring snowmobiling interests have a voice on the federal, state and local levels.”

Broken down by region, snowmobiling has an economic impact of $245 million in the Adirondacks, $165 million in the Tug Hill and $163 million in Central New York. The study showed that snowmobilers spend an average of 22 days on the trails each season, with 8.5 days being spent in another region of the state from where they reside.

“Our Economic Impact Survey really brings into perspective how difficult this past winter was,” said Gary Broderick, President of NYSSA. “With lower than average snowfalls across the state, snowmobilers were not able to spend the amount of time on their sleds as usual and that directly leads to less money spent as well. Along our 10,000 miles of trails across New York State, there are a variety of restaurants, convenience stores, gas pumps and snowmobile dealers that rely on our sport as a source of revenue, as evident by our study and we all hope that the upcoming brings more snow for snowmobilers to other winter sport enthusiasts to enjoy.”

In comparison, the state of New Hampshire recently released a similar study, valuing the annual economic impact of snowmobiling in their state at $586 million. Plymouth State University Institute of Studies who prepared this study for the state of New Hampshire, used a multiplier of 2.88 to determine their economic impact. If New York used this same multiplier, the annual economic impact would be $1.2 billion.

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A Resolution In Support of the Efforts of The Adirondack Railroad Trail
Advocates to Establish a Multi-Use Trail Along the Adirondack
Railroad Transportation Corridor
_____________________________________________________
WHEREAS, the New York State Snowmobile Association represent snowmobilers from
throughout the State of New York and beyond; and
WHEREAS, snowmobiling contributes $868 million dollars in to the New York State
economy; and
WHEREAS, the New York State Snowmobile Association has held for many years and
holds the ‘temporary use permit” for snowmobile use and trail maintenance activity in
which many snowmobile clubs and volunteers participate; and
WHEREAS, the Adirondacks is the number one area for snowmobiling in the State
holding 28% of all snowmobile activity in NY; and
WHEREAS, a Unit Management Plan was prepared by a committee of state agencies
led by NYS Department of Transportation in 1995; and
WHEREAS , this UMP identified the RR corridor as an important artery connecting
snowmobile trails throughout a major portion of the Adirondack area; and
WHEREAS, the use of the corridor as a train corridor during three seasons of the year
was identified to allow the railroad service to grow; and
WHEREAS , railroad service has not been established along the entire length of the rail
corridor seventeen years after the adoption of the original UMP; and
WHEREAS , the cost of bringing this section of track up to a useable standard for train
service is estimated to be well beyond, state and federal resources for the foreseeable
future; and
WHEREAS , the temporary removal of track would allow that reach of the corridor to
be developed into a multi-use trail that could bring immediate economic benefits to
the adjoining communities and allow an extended snowmobile season; and

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