September 2015

The business of organized snowmobiling never ends, and as we gear up for the 2015-16 snowmobile season, I want to first tell you a little bit about what your MSA has been doing all summer in support of snowmobiling.

Your Executive Board and Board of Directors have worked hard this summer to continue to educate and advance our position as snowmobilers. By the time this September issue of the Michigan Snowmobile News hits your home we will be looking at the end of summer.

A Productive Summer

Your MSA officers have been on the phone with snowmobilers and legislators all summer long. We have personally met state leaders, legislators, and various snowmobile dealers.

It simply makes good sense to meet with these people when one season ends and before the following season beings. Many decisions are made right after the current season ends, and we have to have a seat at the table in order to be a part of future decisions made by all partners. We have to be in tune and in touch.

Three MSA officers have attended several Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup (SAW) meetings, and taken part in several educational webinars. Three MSA officers attend the American Council of Snowmobile Associations (ASCA) Washington, D.C. Fly In, meeting with our national legislators and sharing our mission.

We also the Michigan Trails Legislative Day in Lansing. There we met with state representatives as well as officers with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR). We worked hard to keep snowmobile trails at the top of the list during discussions.

As your MSA president, I’ve met with the MSA staff at the office in Grand Rapids once a week. Staff and I met with legislators regarding state Senate Bills 39 & 40, which revolve around the sale of state lands. I truly believe legislators now have a better understanding of our position and heard what we have to say.

I joined several members of MSA in attending the International Snowmobile Congress, held in Niagara Falls. There we share our ideas, accomplishments, and work toward the future. I also participated in the MSA Camp Out, and attended several car shows where snowmobiling is always a topic of discussion.

I continue to visit dealers across the state. I feel very strongly that it is important to get our dealers’ ideas and thoughts on how we can better work together – dealers as the distributor of our product and MSA as the state association working to promote and advance snowmobiling.

The dealers I’ve talked to say spring sales and early sales have been extremely good. We are looking forward to a great, enjoyable winter.

I’m also spending some time speaking to clubs talking about MSA, what it means, and how clubs are an intricate part of our association. We discuss how they fit in within the big picture of snowmobiling in Michigan. I give them an overview of what it takes to keep snowmobiling alive and well in Michigan.

Most local clubs are entrenched in what is going on at a local level. When members of MSA attend their local meetings we are able to discuss statewide happenings and concerns. This gives our local club members the opportunity to ask questions and get answers.

It’s all about keeping an open line of communication. As I write this column, I am at the National Vintage Snowmobile Show in Midland. I’m here representing MSA, talking MSA, and promoting what MSA does for snowmobiling.

I along with the entire Executive Board and Board of Directors will continue to work with dealers at their events and shows. If a dealer has a show, please let MSA know. MSA members in that area will work with you to promote our state association.

For Your Generosity

I wish to thank each and every person, club, council, and organization who donated money to MSA’s debt retirement. These contributions have gone a long way toward MSA’s debt reduction.

A sincere thank you goes out to everyone who has dug deep into their wallets and made contributions to MSA, helping us during this tough time. MSA is by no means out of woods when it comes to funding the work of our association, but we are continuing to spend money wisely. We are ahead of where we were last year at this time, but please understand we have to spend money when promoting snowmobiling.

MSA is still working on different funding options for the association that we hope will improve MSA’s bottom line. For example, we’ve moved the snow show indoors in the hopes of increasing revenue at that event. We need to start making the money that we used to at snow show, while continuing to spend income wisely. We know that our membership is one of the greatest resources we have, and we will continue to keep you informed.

In Coming Issues …

In looking to the coming snowmobile season, I also think it would be a great time to talk about check lists, and the work that needs to be done when planning a trip, any trip — a day trip, a two-day trip, a week trip, or a saddle bag trip. Look to my column next month for some helpful tips that I hope will help you better prepare for this year’s snowmobile season.