MASKS, SOCIAL DISTANCING AND SPEED: SNOWMOBILES ENJOY BOOM
AppleMagazine|AppleMagazine #484
The thrill of hurtling along a remote trail, coupled with Americans’ ongoing desire to get outside during the pandemic, is creating the biggest boom in more than two decades for the snowmobiling industry.

From Maine to Montana, it’s becoming difficult to find a new snowmobile for sale. And the rental fleets are booked up.

“We’ve had some good years and some bad years, but we’ve never had anything quite like this one,” said Dave Jones at Jackman Powersports, who expects to sell about 450 snowmobiles this year.

Nearly a third of sales were to new riders, Jones said, and he would sell more snowmobiles if he could get more from manufacturers.

The U.S. represents the world’s biggest market for snowmobiles and Canada isn’t far behind, with an economic impact of more than $35 billion, according to the Michigan-based International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association.

And this year, the market is red hot just like the market for boats, bicycles and ATVs — anything that keeps people occupied, outdoors and safe during a pandemic that has pushed families indoors.

Snowmobile sales are expected to increase 15% to 20% this winter, the most since the winter of 1995-96, said Ed Klim from the manufacturers group.

Fed up and stir crazy, first-time buyers Tom Bobb and his wife plunked down more than $30,000 to get away this winter — on a pair of highpowered snowmobiles.

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