(Lander, Wyo.) – Snowmobiling generates a total of $175.5 million per year for the Wyoming economy according to a survey by The University of Wyoming – Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. The top three reasons Wyoming is an attractive snowmobiling area include snow conditions (#1 – 36.1%) and off-trail powder (#2 – 35.1%) followed distantly by trail availability/quality (#3 – 6.0%)
The University of Wyoming survey also reported the snowmobile economic impact was close to $8 million in Fremont County for snowmobile expenditures (not including equipment.)
Residents of Wyoming spent an average of $98.29 per day on snowmobiling (46% for gas, 15% for food, 14% for lodging) and also spent an average of $3,367.28 on snowmobile equipment.
Non-residents spent an average of $159.80 per day on snowmobiling (33% for gas, 29% for lodging, 17% for food,) and only spent an average of $624.86 on snowmobile equipment.
While the State Trails Program manages 12 snowmobile trail systems, the majority of use by resident and nonresident snowmobilers occurs at four areas: 86% of all snowmobiling use occurs at these four areas: Continental Divide – 26.0%, Snowy Range – 25.8%, Bighorn Mountains – 20.7% and Wyoming Range – 13.5%.
The majority of snowmobile outfitter use was reported at four state-managed trail systems plus Yellowstone: Out of the 70.2% of outfitter client use reported at these four areas the Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail topped the use with 31.4%.
The Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail (CDST) is described as “the granddaddy of trail systems in the West.” It is one of the West’s largest and longest trail systems, with 608 miles of groomed trails and hundreds more ungroomed. With unbelievable views of the Wind River and Absaroka Mountains, the trail runs along the Continental Divide from Lander, Wyoming to Pinedale, near Dubois over Togwotee Pass, northwest to West Yellowstone, Montana for the 2012/2013 winter season. In Fremont County, snowmobilers can start at the Wyoming end of the trail on South Pass, accessing through the Loop Road on US Hwy. 28 or out of the Sinks Canyon trailhead on the Shoshone National Forest. There are many Trail access points and newly built parking areas on Highway 287 near Dubois and on Togwotee Pass. Information about lodging, restaurants, snowmobile rentals and guides in Wind River Country are available at: http://www.windriver.org/do.php?cat=outdoorrecreation&keyword=Snowmobiling
The CDST is ranked the number three snowmobile trail in the west again this year according SnoWest’s Guide to Snowmobiling. The Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail has consistently ranked in the top three trails for over a decade. “It’s still one of the best in the West,” stated SnoWest’s Guide to Snowmobiling.
These standings were the result of a survey by the readers of SnoWest Magazine, the sport’s leading authority on adventure snowmobile riding. This designation is published in the annual “Western Guide to Snowmobiling 2012” ranking scenery, grooming, signage, map, off-trail, snow quality, crowds, terrain, services and weather by the people who know it best, the riders. Four Wyoming trails were ranked in the top 8 spots by snowmobile enthusiasts again this year. For more information on the entire CDST, visit http://www.sledwyoming.com.
The University of Wyoming survey also estimated that the $146.8 million in direct snowmobiler spending results in another $29.0 million in secondary activity in the Wyoming economy. This economic activity supports the equivalent of 1,300 annual jobs with labor income of $35.3 million. Plus, the economic activity associated with snowmobiling generates $7.4 million in state and local government revenue in the state of Wyoming.
For a detailed Wyoming Comprehensive Snowmobile Recreation Report http://wyotrails.state.wy.us/Research/Index.aspx
To learn more about snowmobiling in Wind River Country, or to request a winter vacation packet, please visit us at www.windriver.org or call 800-645-6233. To sign up for snowmobile conditions by email, visit: http://www.windriver.org/register.php
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