Tug Hill Partners Receive Snowmobile Economic Impact Study Results

2021 07 26 3 v2New York’s Tug Hill region’s expansive snowmobile trails contribute to the regional economy through visitor spending on lodging, food, entertainment, gas, equipment, and other retail. Lewis County in partnership with Jefferson County Economic Development, the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, Oneida County Tourism, Oswego County Community Development, Tourism and Planning, Operation Oswego County, the Tug Hill Commission and several area snowmobile clubs, contracted with the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College (JCC) and Camoin 310 to undertake an economic impact study of snowmobiling in the Tug Hill region. This study considers the economic impacts, in terms of jobs, wages, and sales, that would not occur but for the snowmobile activity. Fiscal benefits include the property tax, sales tax, and occupancy tax revenue that are generated from this activity.

Throughout early 2021, a survey was conducted to evaluate the impact of snowmobile user spending on the Tug Hill region. The Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College (JCC) developed this survey to gather information related to snowmobile users, including number of visits, spending habits, location of origin, and feedback on the trail network. In total, 2,416 surveys were completed.

Tug Hill Region Economic and Fiscal Impact Highlights:

-There are 35,254 unique snowmobile users of Tug Hill trails each year
-52% of unique users are non-local users, from outside of the Tug Hill region
-Non-local users spend a total of 347,337 days in the Tug Hill region each year and participate in activities beyond snowmobiling, including dining out and local events/festivals
-A non-local snowmobile user spends on average $192 per day
-In total, 866 jobs, over $28.8 million in wages (earnings), and nearly $81.6 million in sales are attributed to snowmobile activity
-Total tax revenue that results from snowmobile activity is estimated to be over $448,000 in Jefferson County, nearly $445,000 in Lewis County, nearly $776,000 in Oneida County, and nearly $576,000 in Oswego County

Each year, the Tug Hill region attracts riders from across the region and beyond thanks to its extensive snowmobile system and plentiful snow. Notably, the snowmobile trails in the Tug Hill region and throughout Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, and Oswego counties are entirely volunteer maintained – a significant undertaking without which the industry and its associated impacts would not exist.

“The snowmobile industry has been steadily growing in the Tug Hill region due to the hard work of our local snowmobile clubs, as well as the generosity of landowners who open their land to our expansive trail system,” said Brittany Davis, Executive Director of Lewis County Economic Development. “Results from the economic impact study will allow the region to prioritize strategies to continue to support and expand the industry that continues to contribute so much to our local economy.”

Kelly Blazosky, President of Oneida County Tourism, stated “We are fortunate to have a well-developed compliment of winter activities. Snowmobiling is by far the largest segment of our winter season making Oneida County a premier destination for winter adventures. We were pleased to participate in this study which demonstrates how important snowmobiling is to our local economy and our travel and tourism market. We are grateful for the countless hours club volunteers dedicate to trail maintenance and community engagement with local landowners each year.”

Click here to read the full report.