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State Snowmobile Assocation reaches deal with AG, will resume providing memberships to local clubs

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

January 11. 2018 12:04PM




The New Hampshire Snowmobile Association said it has reached an agreement with state consumer protection officials that allows it to resume providing memberships online to local snowmobile clubs.

The announcement ends a long-simmering dispute involving the statewide snowmobile association, some local associations and the Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office.

With the agreement in hand, the statewide Snowmobile Association can provide 20,000-plus New Hampshire snowmobilers with the ability to join any of the 106 local snowmobile clubs through the statewide association’s online portal.

Snowmobile Association Executive Director Dan Gould said the portal could be up as early as this weekend if everything goes smoothly.

“Again, this is all done by volunteers,” Gould said.

The Snowmobile Association shut down the online membership portal six months ago in the face of anti-trust complaints from some clubs over the uniform $35 membership fee that it charged. The agreement allows each club to set its own dues, Gould stressed.

Also part of the agreement: local clubs can decide whether a local membership also includes membership in the statewide group. Statewide group membership provides the organization’s Sno-Traveler magazine, news blasts, educational seminars, and up to date information related to snowmobiling.

“This agreement opens many new doors for the NHSA and its member clubs,” said Beth Horvath-Palmer, president of the state Snowmobile Association. “The snowmobile industry is critical to the New Hampshire economy, with an economic impact in excess of $586 million. It is imperative that we strive to preserve and enhance the snowmobile industry as a whole.”

The Snowmobile Association announced on Wednesday that it had signed the agreement with the Attorney General’s offfice. Membership in a local club is not mandatory in New Hampshire, but clubs maintain some 7,000 miles of snowmobile trails across the state.

mhayward@unionleader.com


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