Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Page 12
Page 13
Page 14
Page 15
Page 16
Page 17
Page 18
Page 19
Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
Page 25
Page 26
Page 27
Page 28
Page 29
Page 30
Page 31
Page 32
Page 33
Page 34
Page 35
Page 36
Page 37
Page 38
Page 39
Page 40
Page 41
Page 42
Page 43
Page 44
Page 45
Page 46
Page 47
Page 48
Page 49
Page 50
Page 51
Page 52
Page 53
Page 54
Page 55
Page 56
Page 57
Page 58
Page 59
Page 60
Page 61
Page 62
Page 63
Page 64
Page 65
Page 66
Page 67
Page 68
Page 69
Page 70
Page 71
Page 72
Late Winter 2016 19 Trails Report year or the year after when major maintenance needs to be performed on their grooming equipment. So we all realize that not much grooming was done this season and we now have a basic or broad understanding of why. Because the IASA Grooming Guidelines said so The VAST grooming fleet typically grooms over 140000 miles in a given winter. This season we are well below the 10000 mile mark. Now that we all understand why there was not much grooming this winter we have additional questions like VAST should be in good shape financially right They collected all of the revenue and never had to pay the groomers to groom the trails Can I get a refund on my TMA since I did not get to use it The fact of the matter is that VAST does pay out a great deal of money to clubs even when there is no grooming done. Each fall VAST contracts with more than 100 snowmobile clubs and grooming contractors to groom 4700 miles of trail throughout the winter. The contracts are based on a set amount of mileage. These contracts are based on grooming the total mileage as needed up to two times per week. The number of weeks each club is contracted to groom is based on the average number of weeks they have groomed over the past 5 years or 16 years whichever average is higher. As you may have guessed the clubs in the higher elevations have a higher average of grooming weeks than clubs in the lower lying areas. The maximum number of weeks a club can groom is 16. The rate per mile paid to clubs is determined by the type of equipment they are using. We use these figures to come up with a grooming contract cap which is the maximum we will pay clubs for grooming as well as a base grooming contract which is the minimum we will pay them for grooming. How grooming contracts are calculated ABC Club has 50 miles of trail they are contracted to groom with a Class I piece of equipment which is paid 12 per traveled mile. Over the past five seasons winter of 2010 through the winter of 2015 they have groomed 5 weeks 9 weeks 4 weeks 6 weeks and 7 weeks. We add these up for a total of 31. We divide this by 5 years and come up with an average of 6.2 weeks which is the number used in their contract. So we take 50 miles x 12 600 then x 2 1200 and then multiple this number by 6.2 weeks which equals 7440. This number is the clubs grooming contract cap. If they groomed the full 6.2 weeks and hit their entire system twice per week for that time period we would pay them 7440. Overall the club can groom a total of 744012 620 miles for the season. The base grooming contract figure is one half of the cap figure 3720 in the example above and we guarantee that we will pay all clubs and contractors the base figure or grooming subsidy payment as we call it even if their groomer is never able to groom due to low snow conditions. Why do we do this you ask Class 1 groomers cost anywhere from roughly 80000 to 238000 for a new unit. The drags are around 10000 to 23000. In order for clubs to afford payments on these they have to have some sort of guaranteed revenue source. That is where these base contract amounts come into play. VAST also offers equipment Grant-In-Aid funding to clubs and contractors for the purchase of this equipment however our grants and the revenue generated from club membership is simply not enough for these expensive purchases so most clubs have to go to a lending institution to take out a loan. The payments on a 60000 to 100000 loan are fairly hefty especially when the loans are typically for only a 5-7 year period of time. Most people have a mortgage payment that is similar to this that is amortized over 20 to 30 years. Unfortunately the groomer wont last as long as your home will and lenders wont loan the money for a groomer for that l length of time. Clubs and contactors calculate their groomer loan payments on the base payment VAST guarantees them through these grooming contracts much like you would base your Here is an example of trails that are not groomable and not recommended to ride on. William Thomas Sr. photo