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Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation hoping to keep growing the industry this winter

Cory Rose of Stephenville gets some air during his last snowmobile ride for the year in the Lewis Hills in this Western Star file photo.
Cory Rose of Stephenville gets some air during his last snowmobile ride for the year in the Lewis Hills in this Western Star file photo.

Bob Blundon feels the snowmobiling industry has gained a lot of momentum in the past couple of seasons.

As another winter approaches, he is looking forward to keeping it going.

The Corner Brook resident was recently re-elected chairperson of the Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation. It will be his second consecutive two-year term in the position.

In the past few seasons, Blundon said, the federation has managed to increase trail sticker pass sales to the highest levels ever, has developed a stronger working relationship with the provincial government and has gotten plenty of trail work done to boot.

Last year, the federation sold 17,034 passes, which as up from the 15,096 sold the season before. There was also a 24 per cent increase in trail grooming activity.

This coming season, the federation will have two new groomers maintaining the conditions on the network of trails and negotiations are ongoing to secure funding for more development and new equipment, including the possibility of more grooming capacity.

Blundon thinks the organization is currently in the best position it has ever been in. And, as long as the snow co-operates, he doesn’t see what could otherwise impede the progress.

“We figure we’re in store for an even better winter than we had last year,” he said. “If we get another good winter and keep going on the same track we’re going, it’s going to keep getting better and better and better.”

The federation recently did an economic impact study, which Blundon said indicated the snowmobiling industry is worth between $84 million and $100 million in Newfoundland and Labrador. It has truly solidified its place as an integral part of the province’s tourism sector, offering to both locals and out-of-province visitors alike, he said.

“For years, people considered winter tourism as being just skiing at Marble Mountain, but organized snowmobiling plays a big part,” said Blundon.

Internally, Blundon said the federation is about to review its bylaws and policies. He said there isn’t anything in specific that badly needs revision, but said it is time to update its bylaws and policies.

To that end, the federation has set up a number of committees to look at various aspects of those rules and guidelines to see what needs to be reworked.

The new executive of the Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation:

Chair: Bob Blundon

Vice-Chair: Ron Smith

Director: Sherry Squires

Director: Terry Simms

Director: Randy Hobbs

Director: Jason Pond

Director: John Alteen

Director: Craig Mason

Director: Steve George

General manager: Ben Fitzgerald

Source: Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation

Gary Kean/ The Western Star

Bob Blundon of Corner Brook was recently reelected to serve a second consecutive two-year term as chairperson of the Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation.

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