Another great season in the books! From an early start in November to a fantastic Christmas holiday and a solid mid-winter we could not be more stoked with how the season turned out. We wrapped up operations last weekend with the Riley Suhan Invitational and are already looking ahead to next season with some big projects planned for this summer.
We just finished a bittersweet cleaning of our gate kiosks and parking lots – it feels great to be wrapped up for the season but it’s also sad that riding season is over.
We are sending out a huge thank you to our amazing sponsors, without whom we would not be able to operate; to our volunteers, including our board of directors who put in insane amounts of time to make this operation run; to our staff and groomers, who actually keep the operation functioning on the ground; and to our members and visitors, for sharing our stoke for riding our snowmobiles and making the mountains a fun place to ride.
New Riding Areas
Last summer we got $60,000 in funding to open some new areas and improve some of our existing trails. We were stoked to officially introduce Old Man to our tenure, finally start grooming on East Quartz and make some major improvements to our West Bench Trail. This was all big news to us and we’re striving to continue this positive trend – expanding and opening new areas as our capacity permits.
Riley Suhan Invitational
We ended the season on a high note with the 2nd annual Riley Suhan Invitational mountain snowmobile race. With more than 70 riders this year (just about double the size of last year) it was a new beast to organize and manage. We’re pleased to report that all the good vibes were maintained and we rose the the challenge. This event would not be possible without the passion of Riley Suhan himself, the incredible support of our sponsors, the stoke of our participants and spectators, and the time our volunteers generously donate. We’re looking forward to next year already!
Rider numbers and Membership
After a relatively terrible year (so far as revenue and rider numbers go) in 2017-18, we were really looking for some positive change this year. We’re pleased to report that we had our 2nd best year on record until the closing date, despite a pretty slow February & March. What does a “good” year look like – we had about 13,000 rider visits this winter.
Membership continues on a positive trend, as well. Last year we had 420 members – which was 100 more than we’d ever had in the past. A lot of this was attributed to the auto-renewal function of our old membership system: we had a number of people that didn’t even realize they’d paid to renew their membership last year! This year, to improve honesty and transparency, we hoofed the old system. That means we “only” had 365 members, which is still a fantastic number for us.
A healthier number of riders and revenues means that we’re well set up to take on some big projects this summer.
Construction at Gorman
We’re close to getting approved to building an emergency shelter at Gorman this summer. We’ve raised $70,000 in grant funding to date and are hopeful to get another $30,000-$50,000 through some other grants. If you’re interested in helping us with this project through donations of money, time or infrastructure, please let us know. We plan to break ground as soon as the snow melts in June.
New Trail Areas
We’ve submitted a number of tenure applications for “new” riding areas and are hoping to have those approved in time for grooming this winter and construction in summer 2020. In the short term we’re focused on getting approval to groom some forestry roads that are completely outside of avalanche terrain. In the longer term we’re looking to expand into a couple of new alpine riding areas. If you want more information – feel free to contact us!
The Golden Snowmobile Club is very supportive of the Golden Off Road Motorbike Association (GORMA) and are working to help GORMA create a riding area and maintain their existing mini moto track. GORMA was the recent recipient of $170,000 in funding in 2019 and 2020 to develop a trail network and camp site near the Gorman staging area. The trails aren’t ready to go yet, but we’re hoping to have some great dirt sorted by the end of the summer. If you want to get involved in this great group and project, feel free to look them up on Facebook.
Thanks for reading our conditions reports and we’re looking forward to seeing you next season!