Snowmobiling Fact book: Economic Impact

Snowmobilers in Canada and the United States spend over $34 billion on snowmobiling each year. This includes expenditures on equipment, clothing, accessories, snowmobiling vacations, etc.

Snowmobiling is responsible for “spin-off economic benefits such as:
  • Jobs for 100,000 people, jobs which enable those people to further stimulate the economy through additional expenditures on goods and services; jobs which provide significant income tax revenues to provincial, state and federal treasuries and dramatically reduce unemployment and welfare payments.
  • Millions of dollars in tax revenues derived from snowmobile-related businesses (including but not limited to: manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, dealers, resort and hotel facilities, restaurants, service stations, insurance agencies, hardware stores, banks, credit unions, etc.).
  • Millions of dollars in winter tourism spending which support local snow-belt economies.
  • Millions of dollars in local and provincial/state sales and gas tax revenues.
Snowmobiling has rejuvenated the economies of many communities and is an important segment of the active outdoor recreation economic engine.

Provincial and state travel bureaus actively promote snowmobile tourism through snowmobile information guides, trail maps, and the establishment of toll free numbers with information on snowmobiling opportunities and conditions.

Iowa State University Department of Economics conducted an Economic Impact Study of snowmobiling in the state of Iowa in 2010. The study shows that total economic impact of $123.2 million dollars is realized in Iowa being generated by the snowmobile community. This economic activity generates a total of 1,101 jobs.

Econometric Research conducted an economic impact study of snowmobiling in Alberta published in 2010. The report shows that the economic impact of snowmobiling in Alberta is $336.5 million dollars annually. According to the study, snowmobiling is responsible for many economic benefits including jobs for thousands of Albertans and millions of dollars in tax revenue paid by snowmobilers to the Alberta government. All three levels of government in Alberta realize $142 million dollars in taxation revenues annually from snowmobiling. Wages and salary in Alberta are augmented by a total of $213.9 million dollars annually by snowmobiling expenditures.

The New York State Snowmobile Association, in cooperation with SUNY Potsdam, performed an economic impact analysis in 1998 showing the economic impact of snowmobiling in New York state at an estimated $476.2 million dollars annually. In 2012 the state of New York surveyed snowmobilers and calculated the economic impact of snowmobiling in New York had increased to $875 million annually – an increase of 84%!

The economic significance the sport of snowmobiling has on the state of Vermont exceeded $600 million annually, according to a study by Johnson State College compiled in 2003.

Annual expenditures on snowmobiling exceeds $22 million in Nova Scotia, according to a 2005 Economic Assessment report presented to the Nova Scotia Department of Tourism.

The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs 2005 economic impact study showed that direct expenditures generated by snowmobiling was around $1.2 billion annually.

The Lebanon Valley College of Pennsylvania, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania State Snowmobile Association conducted an updated economic impact study in 2000 showing the annual economic impact of snowmobiling of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be approximately $161 million.

The Plymouth State University and the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association conducted a study in 2004 showing the economic impact of snowmobiling in the state of New Hampshire to be $1.2 billion annually.

In Alaska, the economic impact of snowmobiling in Anchorage and Mat-Su Borough was found to be over $35 million annually, according to a study conducted by the Anchorage Economic Development Corp., and release in May 2000.

The University of Minnesota Tourism Center completed an analysis of the snowmobile industry in Minnesota in 2005. They reported that the snowmobile industry generates substantial tax revenues at the state and local level. Over $51 million in taxes were paid at the local and state level directly related to snowmobile activity. Federal tax receipts were not included in the report.

The University of Massachusetts found the economic impact of snowmobiling to be $54.7 million annually in a study conducted and release in 2003.

Today the state of Maine realizes an economic impact of snowmobiling is $350 million dollars annually.

The Quebec Federation of Snowmobile Clubs recently completed an economic impact study that showed over $2 billion is generated by the snowmobile industry in Quebec.

Michigan State University, for the Michigan Dept. of Parks and Recreation, completed an assessment of snowmobiling impact in the state of Michigan in February 1998. That survey showed the average snowmobiler in Michigan spends $4,218 annually on snowmobiling activity, equipment and vacationing in the state. Over $1 billion in economic impact in Michigan is generated by snowmobiling. Over 6,455 full time jobs are created by snowmobiling in Michigan.

In 2001 Washington State University and the Washington State Snowmobile Association conducted a snowmobile usage study and concluded that the annual economic impact of snowmobiling in Washington was $92.7 million dollars annually.

A 2001 Economic and Social Assessment of snowmobiling in Utah conducted by Utah State University determined the following data to be correct:
  • Total annual expenditures resulting from snowmobiling in Utah are about $52.6 million.
  • 31% of Utah riders have college or technical trailing; an additional 31% have a B.A. or Graduate degree.
  • About 87% of Utah riders have not experienced any conflicts with other types of winter recreationists.
In 2011, the South Dakota Snowmobile Association contracted to have an Economic Impact Study of snowmobiling performed by the University of South Dakota. The study found that $131.6 million in annual economic impact was generated by snowmobiling in South Dakota.

In 2012 the University of Wyoming completed a comprehensive snowmobile recreation report.

One of the key findings highlights that over $175 million in snowmobiling related spending activity occurred in the state of Wyoming. Snowmobiling generated approximately 1300 annual fulltime jobs with labor income of over $35 million! Snowmobilers in Wyoming spent an average of $98 per day on their average snowmobile trip, with 46% of that spent on gasoline; 15% on food; and 14% on lodging. The average Wyoming snowmobiler spent $3,367 dollars per person for snowmobile related equipment. Over 90% of the respondents to the survey stated they were extremely satisfied with their Wyoming snowmobiling experience and look forward to snowmobiling next season.

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