New Health & Safety Initiatives Coming For Snowmobile Trail Operators & Riders
(Barrie, ON – August 11, 2020) – As the voice of organized snowmobiling and a recognized leader for powersports tourism and recreation in this province, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is developing new strategies to ensure the health and safety of its volunteers, landowners and riders for the coming snowmobile season.
The OFSC believes these initiatives will deliver the best possible trail riding experiences for snowmobilers, while helping to sustain up to $3.3 Billion of snowmobiling-related economic activity that is so important to Ontario’s northern and rural communities each winter.
Due to the pandemic Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the constantly changing updates and directives from all levels of government, the OFSC is taking proactive measures to support efforts to reduce the spread of this worldwide pandemic.
These are unprecedented times and like many other responsible businesses we are taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of you, your families, our communities and businesses across the province.
Yesterday, the OFSC Board of Governors made a formal decision to cease trail operations and grooming effective immediately on any trails which are still available to the public. Effective midnight, Saturday, March 21st all OFSC Prescribed Snowmobile Trails in Ontario will be closed and anyone accessing such trails from that date forward will be trespassing. This advance notification will provide all remaining touring snowmobilers ample time to get home.
We’d like to thank all our loyal permit buyers, landowners, club volunteers and partners for their support this season and encourage everyone to do their part and stay healthy and safe as we all work together in overcoming this pandemic. We want to stress that this decision is not based on an economic basis. Although grooming operations are reduced at this time of the season, we still spend substantial monies on our open trails. We want to ensure permit buyers that any savings from funds not spent this permit year will be invested in the next season.
We encourage you to stay up to date on the latest COVID-19 information from our government here:
The much-anticipated Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) Gift Cards are now available for purchase online. Everyone now has the opportunity to purchase permit gift cards both for sleds which have not yet arrived and for others as gifts.
The gift card fee is the same as the permit fee at the time of purchase and can be redeemed any time throughout the season. All Gift Cards purchased for the 2020 season expire on May 31, 2020.
The process is simple and the purchaser only requires the last name and postal code of the registered sled owner. Gift cards can be purchased at: https://permits.ofsc.on.ca/giftcard
“Gift cards are unquestionably a welcome and convenient option that directly benefits consumers” said OFSC Chief Executive Officer Ryan Eickmeier.
Give the gift of snowmobiling this season!
September 23, 2019 (Mississauga, ON) – Ontario’s Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney addressed over 200 members of the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs at their annual meeting in Mississauga on Friday, committing to long-term, sustainable funding of $500,000 annually to support Ontario’s snowmobiling industry. Minister Mulroney also reiterated the government’s support for online snowmobile driver training and permit vouchers, streamlining processes and cutting red tape.
“On behalf of our clubs, thousands of volunteers, and more than 100,000 snowmobilers who come from near and far to enjoy over 30,000kms of trails each winter, I want to thank Minister Mulroney and the Government of Ontario for their incredible support of the snowmobiling industry. With an annual economic impact of up to $3.3 billion in Ontario, this announcement provides a model for how industry and government can work in partnership to deliver world-class experiences. A multi-year funding agreement affords us the ability to plan our infrastructure renewal well into the future, a key pillar in ensuring our long-term sustainability” said OFSC Chief Executive Officer Ryan J. Eickmeier.
In addition to the long-term funding, Minister Mulroney announced that online driver training would be available in October and that Ontarians would soon be able to purchase gifts cards and redeem them for a permit, locking in the permit price at the time of gift card purchase.
“The OFSC has listened to its members and is happy to deliver on these two important initiatives,” Eickmeier said. “I thank the Minister as well as Ministry of Transportation officials who have worked closely with us for over a year on developing the online course and gift cards. The launch of the online driver training course will open up our sport to a whole new generation of Ontarians, and the new permit gift card is unquestionably a welcome and convenient option that directly benefits consumers.”
Further details on the online training course and permit vouchers will be available shortly.
For further info, please contact: Andrew Walasek 705-739-7669 x251 [email protected]
(Barrie, ON – June 12, 2019) – The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) has released a new economic impact study based on the 2018-19 snowmobile season. The study found that the economic impact of snowmobiling has the potential to generate between $1.6 and $3.3 billion in total economic activity in any given season, dependent on factors such as weather.
“Snowmobiling continues to be the major driver of Ontario’s winter economy,” said OFSC Chief Executive Officer Ryan Eickmeier. “Thanks to our Club volunteers, snowmobilers experience 30,000kms of world-class riding conditions, supporting local businesses across the entire province. From job creation to taxation revenue to keeping a small business open all winter, snowmobilers certainly contribute across the board.”
Among the key findings of the study was that $842 million in expenditures contributed to $403 million in direct GDP and a total of $665 million in direct, indirect and induced GDP impacts. Additionally, direct employment from the season’s snowmobiling expenditures totaled an estimated 6,436 full-time equivalent jobs.
“Through our strong partnership with the Government of Ontario and increased marketing of our product, the economic impact of snowmobiling will continue to grow in the years ahead” continued Eickmeier.
The OFSC retained Harry Cummings & Associates Ltd to study the 2018-19 snowmobiling season, using the Ontario Ministry of Tourism’s Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model (TREIM). The study was generously supported through a grant by the International Snowmobiling Manufacturers Association (ISMA).
A copy of the report can be found here: OFSC Economic Impact Study
The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is a volunteer led, not for profit association that provides the voice for organized snowmobiling in Ontario. OFSC snowmobile trails managed by 200 community based, member clubs generate up to $3.3 billion in economic activity in the province each year.
To show our appreciation for use of your land and to protect you during the off-season, we will be turning off trail data on the Interactive Trail Guide and Go Snowmobiling Ontario App in the next few days.
Snowmobilers, we’ll be back on line closer to the start of the 2020 snowmobile season.