Snowmobile permit fees increase slightly

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ONTARIO—The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) has announced a $5 permit fee increase for 2023 seasonal and classic snowmobile trail permits. The OFSC announced the increase does not apply to multi-day or special event trail permits. Permits and permit gift cards through online sales are underway.

The OFSC said in a release the increase is less than the current rate of inflation in Canada. “The modest permit fee increase ensures that trail riding will remain as affordable as possible for Ontario snowmobilers this season,” the OFSC noted in its release. “At the same time, it also enables the federation to keep pace with rising operational costs and allows us to make considerable investments in the groomers, trails, and infrastructure required to deliver Ontario’s premier winter tourism activity.” 

Ryan Eickmeier, CEO of the OFSC, says they remain committed to providing the best snowmobiling experience possible and continued investments in all aspects of its operations will continue. “We are confident that this is a fair and balanced approach, with additional revenue being invested directly on the snow. We look forward to seeing everyone enjoy the 30,000 kilometres of OFSC trails this winter, made possible by thousands of club volunteers.”

Doran McVey, of the Manitoulin Snowdusters said, “this is the first increase in the permit fees in three years. A $5 increase is very little and is a lot better than I thought it would be. I thought the increase would be more.” He noted a $5 increase on a $200 permit turns out to be just over two percent.

“If the increase had been $15-20, I think people would be screaming,” added Mr. McVey.  

The fees for 2023 Ontario snowmobile trail permits are: seasonal permits-purchased prior to November 2, 2022, $200; purchased November 2 to December 1-$230; December 2, 2022 onwards $280. Classic permits purchased prior to November 2 cost $160; purchased November 2 to December 1, $160, and December 2 onwards $190. Special event permits can be purchased for $45.

Mr. McVey pointed out the Snowdusters has a new president, Dave Mack and new vice-president, Al Davy.