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Here’s why snowmobile sales are up 20% this year

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - The COVID-19 pandemic canceled events and gatherings but motivated people to buy snowmobiles.

The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association attributes a 20% sales increase to the global pandemic.

The winter ride makes for a masked, socially distant and outdoor activity for people stuck at home.

"The big misconception about snowmobiling is you always have to travel," Rod's Ride On Powersports sales manager Weston Meyers said. "It's parts of the country you typically don't see."

Meyers said new sleds are selling fast but used sleds sell faster.

"We've got a couple used ones in and they only lasted here on the floor about a week," Meyers said.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said an increase in new snowmobilers could be dangerous.

"The biggest risks with snowmobiling are alcohol, speed and inexperience," Wisconsin DNR recreation warden Jake Holsclaw said. "I can tell you unfortunately we have had some fatalities this year already."

Holsclaw said new snowmobilers should ride with people who know the trails, stay below 55 miles-per-hour at night and make sure equipment is up to code.

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Marcus Aarsvold

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