OFSC Provides By The Numbers Overview of Organized Snowmobiling

A Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Economics of Delivering Snowmobile Trails

(Barrie, ON: February 25 , 2021) – As the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) enters its 54th year as the voice for the volunteer snowmobile clubs in this province, it’s informative to look at a few of our “Snowmobiling By The Numbers”. Hopefully, they help all of us better appreciate the big picture of organized snowmobiling in Ontario – and what a massive, complex and valuable undertaking this year-round enterprise really is. It’s also a sobering look at the economic benefits that are being lost to snowbelt communities as too many trails are closed due to snowmobilers wandering off marked trails.

Most of these Snowmobiling By The Numbers are from the 2018-2019 riding season, the most recent figures available. While the numbers vary slightly from year to year, and may be down this season due to current restrictions, a primary and very unpredictable variable is consistent: What kind of season we get from Old Man Winter?

This behind-the-scenes glimpse of the inner workings of our favourite winter pastime is drawn from OFSC operational data and various studies of organized snowmobiling in Ontario, as well as figures from both the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) and the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO).

Economic Impact of Snowmobiling: For starters, organized snowmobiling is a significant contributor to Ontario’s winter economy. According to our most recent Economic Impact Study in 2019, you helped generate $1.6 Billion in direct, indirect or induced economic activity as a result of riding snowmobile trails that year, which also resulted in a combined annual total of $216 Million paid in federal, provincial and municipal taxes.

Meanwhile, that year’s direct employment from your snowmobiling totaled an estimated 6,436 full‐time equivalent jobs in Ontario. Even considering the relatively poor snow some parts of Ontario had in 2018-19, these are impressive numbers, although in a prime snow year, our total economic impact could be as high as $3.3 billion. Here are the 2018-19 economic numbers for direct spending by snowmobilers by OFSC District:

Our provincial economic impact number includes about $17.5 million in revenue from your purchases of 2019 Ontario Snowmobile Trail Permits. It also reflects your average annual spending, ranging from $2,000 to $3,000 each, on personal riding products & gear, snowmobile travel and related services, as estimated by ISMA. So in total, we snowmobilers spent almost $843 Million on these expenses in Ontario during the 2018‐2019 snowmobile season. Interestingly, the average snowmobile household spent $10,723 on a new or used sled and $565 on sled insurance – how do you compare?

Considering that much of this economic activity happens in rural and northern Ontario during the traditionally more dormant winter months, it’s easy to see why snowmobile trails are so important to snowbelt regions. In fact, OFSC member clubs operate over 40% of all recreational trails in this province, and our system provides twice as many kilometres of snowmobile trails as there are kilometres of provincial highways. These are some of the reasons the OFSC is a previous recipient of “Ontario Trails of Distinction” recognition from the Government of Ontario.

Permits & Trail Operations: Altogether, you bought 2019 Trail Permits for about 105,000 sleds, which travelled an estimated 18 million kilometres on OFSC trails in 2019. Meanwhile, you also racked up almost 1.9 million page views on the OFSC Interactive Trail Guide that season while checking on trail availability.

From 2019 Snowmobile Trail Permit revenues, the OFSC invested about 77% into pre-season, trail related operations, including several million dollars on our fleet of groomers, with a market replacement cost of well over $80 Million. Both early season permit purchases and pre-season expenditures are an annual leap of faith by snowmobilers and OFSC clubs and volunteers, because these investments occur before anyone knows for certain what kind of a winter it will be.

After the snow started that year, the remaining 23% of permit revenues went to in-season grooming operations, which logged about 74,000 hours, using an estimated 1.2 million litres of fuel. In a prime snow year, these numbers would increase with more trails available in more areas for a longer season.

No figures were available centrally for in-season groomer maintenance and repairs from 2019, but given the number of grooming hours, that expense would also have been substantial.

We hope that this Snowmobiling By The Numbers overview gives you new perspective on the economics of delivering OFSC snowmobile trails every winter – and what could be lost as trails continue to close unnecessarily. Delivering trails relies on four key factors – permit revenues from snowmobilers; the dedication of about 6,000 club volunteers; the generosity of about 18,000 private landowners who we depend on for over 60% of OFSC trails; and consistent, year-round organization – locally, regionally and provincially.

 

Continue reading

Last Chance for Lowest Permit Fee of the Season

Buy Now To Save Plus Get $25 Rider Advantage Confidence Bonus

(Barrie, ON: October 1, 2020) – The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) remains very optimistic about delivering the best possible trail riding experience this winter with its Trails To Ride 2021 plan. So it’s all systems go with pre-season preparations – and we’re reminding snowmobilers who haven’t already done so to join us in launching the 2021 snowmobile season by buying your Snowmobile Trail Permit now. Purchasing in October provides buyers with both the lowest permit fee and your last chance for a Rider Advantage Confidence Bonus.

“We’d like to thank everyone who purchased their permit in September to take advantage of our best offer of the season,” said CEO Landon French. “There’s still time to take advantage of a $25 Rider Advantage Confidence Bonus and to support our volunteers, clubs, districts and staff in making Trails To Ride 2021 a reality.”

2021 Snowmobile Trail Permits are available for purchase online at www.ofsc.on.ca along with all the early buying details to qualify for the $25 Rider Advantage Confidence Bonus. For snowmobilers waiting on their new sleds, no VIN is required to purchase an OFSC Gift Card, which locks in the October fee and Rider Advantage Confidence Bonus now, and can be redeemed for a permit after your sled is delivered.

More OFSC strategy announcements regarding the health and safety of its members, volunteers, landowners and permit buyers will follow shortly.


The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is a volunteer led not for profit association that provides the voice for organized snowmobiling in the Province of Ontario. The snowmobile trails managed by 200 community based, member organizations, generate up to $3.3 billion in economic activity across the province each year.

For questions or to schedule a media interview with the OFSC, please contact us at [email protected] 

Sign up today to view more OFSC news and releases

OFSC Tips For September Permit & Gift Card Buying


How to Lock In the Lowest Permit Fee & the Highest Rider Advantage Confidence Bonus

(Barrie, ON: September 10, 2020) – The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is pleased to report a strong kick off to early permit sales in the first two weeks of September. Snowmobilers across the province are showing their support for pre-season trail preparations, while benefiting from the lowest permit fee and qualifying for the highest Rider Advantage Confidence Bonus.

About Ontario Snowmobile Trail Permits

Under Ontario law, Snowmobile Trail Permits sold by the OFSC under the authority of the Ministry of Transportation are mandatory for recreational snowmobiling on OFSC Prescribed Trails. All revenues from these MTO permits are allocated through the OFSC to deliver organized snowmobile trails.

Continue reading

OFSC Announces Benefits for Early Permit Buyers Starting September 1st

 

Fee Stability & New Rider Advantage Bonus This Year

(Barrie, ON – August 20, 2020) – After booming sales of motorized recreational products across the province, the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is anticipating strong demand for Ontario snowmobile trails this winter. In anticipation of this growth, today the OFSC announced new benefits for Ontario snowmobilers as part of its overall strategy to ensure the health and safety of its members, volunteers, landowners and riders for the coming snowmobile season.

Focused on delivering the best possible trail riding experience across the province, the initiatives announced today encourage snowmobilers to support the OFSC provincial trail system by purchasing their 2021 Seasonal or Classic Trail Permit starting September 1st. This early date is the first time in OFSC’s 53-year history that snowmobilers can purchase trail permits and permit gift cards before Labour Day.

Continue reading

Permit System Under Maintenance

 

UPDATE January 17th – 1:30 pm: Permit System Now Online


On Friday, January 17th the OFSC Online Permit System has been taken offline for maintenance to the servers. Estimated restoration time is 3pm this afternoon. Any customers with urgent permit inquiries are asked to submit inquiries to [email protected] and a notification will be emailed when the permit system is back online.

All information about Snowmobiling in Ontario can be found at ofsc.on.ca and latest trail availability information can be found at: https://ofsc.evtrails.com/#

OFSC GIFT CARDS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE!

 

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!