According to a 2013 report from Snoman, the snowmobiling industry contributes more than $300 million to the provincial economy each year. Not only does northern Manitoba have a natural advantage because of its longer winter, but an extensive trail system is already in place with dedicated local groups like the Thompson Trailbreakers Snowmobile Club that are willing to maintain them. A marketing strategy framework was laid out during a snowmobiling summit in Snow Lake last Nov. 15, which featured representatives from Flin Flon, The Pas, Cranberry Portage and Swan River. Based on recommendations brought up during this summit, Travel Manitoba is moving into “phase two” of this project, which involves asking the Churchill Regional Economic Development Fund to help them hire a northern co-ordinator and set up committees that can carry out certain tasks.
Along with creating a new trail between Snow Lake and Cranberry Portage, these people will also be responsible for maintaining existing systems, improving signage and planning events that will boost the north’s snowmobile tourism brand. They are even going to make signing up for licences more accessible, since several Thompson residents mentioned that it is becoming more and more difficult to renew their Snopass. While some of these objectives could be wrapped up by the end of the year, others (like improving internet and cell phone coverage throughout snowmobiling areas in Northern Manitoba) could take until 2023 or longer to complete.
For further information, please read Kyle Darbyson’s article in the Thompson Citizen: