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Shuswap Market News Friday, November 30, 2012 A11

Snowmobiling among best in the west By Lachlan Labere

market news staff

While decent powder is only now beginning to pile up on the mountains around Sicamous, the sledding season is already off to a platinum start. SnoRiders West magazine recently released the results of their 14th Annual Rider’s Choice Awards. And, like last year, this year’s results clearly show Sicamous to be the hottest sledding area in the province. Sicamous received a platinum award in the categories of favourite overall snowmobiling area, favourite overall snowmobiling area in Western Canada; favourite scenic snowmobiling area, favourite mountain riding area, favourite groomed trail riding, favourite powder riding, most challenging riding area (Eagle Pass), favourite resort or motel (Best Western) and favourite area for family snow-

mobiling. Sicamous restaurants took the bulk of the awards in the category of favourite restaurant – nonchain, with The Burner earning platinum, gold for Joe Schmuck’s Roadhouse and bronze to Moose Mulligan’s. Sicamous and area also fared well in the favourite snowmobile dealer category, with platinum going to Sicamous’ H2O Motor Sports and silver to Backus Racing in Mara. Four Season Motor Sports and Banner Recreation of Vernon took gold and bronze. Asked why the local groomed snowmobiling areas, Queest, Owlhead, Eagle Pass and Blue Lake, have consistently received top honours in the awards, Gord Bushell, general manager for the Eagle Valley Grooming Society and Eagle Valley Snowmobile Club, chalked it up to a lack of crowds. There’s an irony to Bushell’s response,

Pass has already had its parking lot expanded. One impact of this, says Bushell, is that it is the area that has seen the greatest increase in ridership.

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LachLan Labere/market news

n Eagle Valley Grooming Society general manager Gord Bushell stands of the porch of the club’s new office space at the Owlhead trailhead, eagerly anticipating snowfall. however, as larger crowds are exactly what the society has been striving for since its inception through the Sicamous chamber in 1999, and its takeover in 2002 by local businesses. “The club and the society want pretty much the same thing; they want to increase business for the community and create employment for different businesses and for ourselves,” says Bushell. And, to some extent,

the society and club have been successful. Ridership, says Bushell, has been increasing by about 12 per cent each year. And work is underway that will help further boost the numbers. Ample parking, says, Bushell, is a huge factor in what sledders are looking for. Riders, he says, want convenience, not lineups or situations where they have to park a ways away from the trailhead unloading area. Eagle

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Salmon Arm Observer, November 30, 2012  
Salmon Arm Observer, November 30, 2012  

November 30, 2012 edition of the Salmon Arm Observer