Snowmobiling in Revelstoke will fall under the roof of the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club after the Snowmobile Revelstoke Society voted to dissolve last week.
The decision marks the end of 16 years of snowmobiling in Revelstoke being promoted by two different groups that worked together, but often with a confusion as to who did what.
“It certainly worked well when it first got started. As the market changes and snowmobiling changes, it is time for another change,” said Greg Byman, the president of the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club (RSC). “The directors of both boards decided the best way to move snowmobiling forward in Revelstoke is to bring it back under one name again and under one board of directors.”
The Snowmobile Revelstoke Society (SRS) was launched in 1997 as an organization to manage the business side of snowmobile tourism in Revelstoke, while the club remained focused on the social side, said Byman.
Ostensibly, the society was in charge of tourism promotion and grooming, while the club ran social events.
Over the years, the division of duties between the two organizations became increasingly blurred and confusing. While the organizations tried to divide duties, they worked together on various projects, which meant many projects took more time to move forward, said Byman. As well, each group had its own lawyers, accountants, insurance policies and more.
“There was so much duplication,” he said. “That money could be far better spent on our grooming program and other things like that. It just makes better business sense.
“That change is the best decision to move forward with snowmobiling in Revelstoke and keep the hotel rooms full and what not.”
The club will be moving forward to hire someone to manage its business affairs.. Angela Threatful, who was the executive director of the SRS, recently left her position.
According to a recent survey, snowmobile tourism is worth more than $9 million per year to the Revelstoke economy. There are paid employees that collect trail fees, and run and repair the groomers.
“Over the next few weeks we’ll come up with a good game plan and prepare for the upcoming season,” said Byman. “We know that the job we’re doing really helps the tourism in town. It helps all the hotels, restaurants – it helps them thrive.”
Snowmobile Club launches plans for Boulder Mountain facility
Through all the recent changes, the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club is moving forward on its capital project. The club recently submitted an application for a piece of Crown land next to the Boulder Mountain parking to build a facility on.
“Because the sport is growing and growing we need a better facility,” said club president Greg Byman. “We need a facility.”
The facility will include a large shed to store and work on the groomers, office facilities and a greeting centre.
“Up until now all our groomers have just sat out in the weather and when they’ve had to be worked on the guys just have to work in a snowbank all night,” said Byman.
The facility will be the latest in a series of developments that have included the construction of a new cabin on Boulder Mountain and the renovation of the Frisby Ridge cabin.
The application has been filed with the Integrated Land Management Bureau. If successful, the club will apply for grants to build the facility, said Byman.
“It’s securing that tourism future for snowmobiling in town,” he said.