Bad News Hurting Snowmobile Season
by Jeff Woodburn
February 15, 2012
BERLIN- All the news about the lack of snow
in New Hampshire is hurting the North Country’s snowmobile industry – more than
the shortage of snow, said Randy Cicchetto, who owns along with his wife Jericho
Motorsports an Arctic Cat dealership in the business of renting, and sales. “The
riding is excellent,” he said. Many people aren’t coming up, Cicchetto said
because they hear there’s no snow.
Cicchetto has seen a drop in business. He sells state snowmobile registrations and has seen a big drop – from $14,200 in December, 2010 to $10,980 in December, 2011.
Registration cost $64 for in-state residents
and $84 for non residents. But that’s not it; each club as well as the state’s
bureau of trails get a portion of these fees and use it to maintain trails. Last
year’s funds pay for this year’s work, Cicchetto said, next year the clubs will
have less money to operate.
“There is no doubt that the lack of snow is causing a huge economic impact,” said Larry Gomes, a trail master with the White Mountain Ridge Runner Snowmobile Club.
Plymouth State University and 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. Average snowmobiler spends $200 per day on various things like gas and gear, but also motels, restaurants and stores.
Last month, Gorham hosted the 2012 Easter Seals Ride-In and local clubs improved the trails so the hundreds of visiting snowmobilers could get out and ride, Gomes said. “This event was a bright spot in an otherwise dim winter,” he said.
Jericho Motorsports’ owner Randy Cicchetto and employee Tucker Riendeau.