The New York State Department of Parks and Recreation says it plans to dole out $5.8 million in state grants to benefit the snowmobile community.
That’s up from $1 million last year. A New York State Parks and Recreation spokesperson said the jump in funding is partly due to an increase in the registration fee for snowmobiles from $25 to $45.
The state funds include about $5 million in direct municipal grants, $150,000 for law enforcement and $795,000 for insurance coverage for snowmobile organizations.
Members of benefiting snowmobile organizations provide regular maintenance on the 10,000 mile State-designated trail system.

The Pahaska Tepee Lodge has stopped renting snowmobiles to Yellowstone National Park’s visitors after 30 years in the business.
Lodge owner Bob Coe cited confusion over federal rules and the increased overhead those rules have created. “The biggest factor driving us out is that the Park Service won’t let private individuals into the park without a guide,” Coe told The Powell Tribune in Montana.
Rules published last month in the Federal Register allow up to 720 snowmobiles to enter the park, including 40 from the East Entrance. Pahaska, which has 24 snowmobiles, would have been the primary rental site for the East Entrance. Instead, Coe said he plans to put the machines up for sale.
“It was a really hard decision,” Coe said. “Snowmobiles were a substantial part of who we were and of our business.”
Pahaska’s withdrawal leaves Rimrock Ranch as the only snowmobile vendor on the East Entrance. Rimrock has 10 snowmobiles, but can rent no more than nine at a time because one must be ridden by the guide.
“The price we have to charge is a little more expensive with the guide and the special machines, but we try to make it affordable for people,” Dede Fales, co-owner of Rimrock Ranch, told the newspaper. “We’re pretty much just breaking even.”

Tis the season for gift giving and, judging by promotions, it appears snowmobile manufacturers are into the Holiday spirit.
Yamaha has been offering 3.9% financing with payments as low as $39 per month for 24 months plus up to $400 in free accessories on select 2005 and new prior year four-strokes or $200 on select 2005 and new prior year two-strokes. The program ends Dec. 31.
Ski-Doo gives consumers a two-year engine warranty or no money down, no payments and no interest for six months with the purchase of an eligible 2005 Ski-Doo. For select 2003 and 2004 models, consumers can get up to a $750 rebate.The offers end Jan. 31, 2005.
Polaris is offering up to $800 cash back plus 4.9% financing with $49 monthly payments for 24 months plus a second year engine warranty on its 2005 Edge models. For its new IQ chassis models, Polaris offers buyers financing of 9.9% and payments of $129 per month for the life of the loan; or no money down, zero financing and no payments for six months plus a second year bumper to bumper warranty; or $300 in free Polaris PG&A.
Finally, while Arctic Cat still offers its Wheelin and Dealin program for ATVs, the company has announced no special offers for snowmobiles online.

Many parts of the United States are still short on snow. That’s no problem in the United Kingdom, where the world’s first indoor snowmobile track opened this month at the Tamworth SnowDome, a 10-year-old indoor winter wonderland offering ice skating, sledding, snowboarding and freestyle skiing, among other things. OK, so the 21 snowmobiles imported from the U.S. are electric.
The real snow track, part of a $3.9 million expansion project which included an additional 40,000 sq. ft. facility featuring dedicated party and conference rooms and a bar, circumnavigates a snow play area and ice rink. Basically, it’s like an indoor kart track
For more information, visit www.snowdome.co.uk.

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