Study eyes economic impact of snowmobiling in Tug Hill, Lewis County

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LOWVILLE — The Lewis County Economic Development agency, along with several partners, has launched a study to determine the economic impact of snowmobiling in Lewis County and the Tug Hill region.

The agencies have contracted with the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College (JCC) and Camoin 310 to conduct the economic impact study. As part of the study, community college students will soon be at high-traffic locations throughout the four-county area interviewing snowmobilers on a variety of aspects of the popular winter sport.

There is also an opportunity for snowmobilers to take the survey online, starting Monday, Feb. 15, at www.surveymonkey.com/r/LCTHRSNOW2021.

The Tug Hill region is known for snow, as national weather data shows it is the snowiest place east of the Rocky Mountains. The snow and extensive trail network, enabled by landowners and local governments who willingly allow trails on property with no compensation, has created a strong winter economy reliant on snowmobiling, said the announcement by Lewis County Economic Development.

“By quantifying the significance of snowmobiling activity, the partners will be better able to communicate the impacts of the sport on the local economy to local residents, landowners, local governments and New York State. Long term, the group hopes to help make Tug Hill an even more appealing destination to help bolster local spending and growth of existing and new businesses,” the announcement added.

Individuals who fill out the survey will be entered into a drawing to win a $250 Cash Grand Prize, along with several local Tug Hill door prizes including gift certificates and apparel, the survey organizers said.

Among the agencies and groups working with Lewis County Economic Development on the economic impact study include: Jefferson County Economic Development, the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, Oneida County Tourism, Oswego County Community Development, Tourism and Planning, Operation Oswego County, the Tug Hill Commission and several area snowmobile clubs.

The results of the study are expected by the summer of 2021.

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