A recent report by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana indicates that about 8 percent of the state’s households include snowmobile recreationists. With an average household size of about 2.5, perhaps as many as 100,000 Montanans participate in the sport each winter. Nonresident snowmobilers are also important contributors to the Montana economy, as they spend about $147 per activity day, which accounts for nearly $14.3 million per year in Montana. That spending supports about 200 winter jobs in the state.
The study, called “Montana Recreational Snowmobiles Fuel-Use and Spending Patterns 2013,” was prepared by BBER senior economist Jim Sylvester.
“Resident and nonresident snowmobilers buy about 4.3 million gallons of gasoline per season,” he wrote. “With a base tax of $0.27 per gallon, we estimate that snowmobilers in Montana generate more than $1.2 million in revenue for the state highway trust fund.