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January 09, 2012 05:52 PM

Snowmobile Dealers Missing Key Ingredient

Sioux Falls, SD


While many in KELOLAND have been celebrating the lack of snow so far this winter, one group of enthusiasts is growing impatient as they wait for a winter wonderland.

Snowmobile enthusiasts are usually pretty loyal to their brand of sled. But whatever manufacturer they support, those who like the winter rides can agree that they'd like some snow and soon.

"I joked last year when we had all of that snow that it is good to be a snowmobile dealer once every ten years. That must have been the 10 year because this year, with the kind of snow conditions we're having, we're struggling a little bit," Jim LeTendre said.

LeTendre is the owner of Power Brokers, in Sioux Falls which specializes in the consignment sale of power sports vehicles, including snowmobiles. He says right now, his shop is down one hundred sales of snowmobiles compared to this same time last year. But not all is lost. Four snowmobiles were purchased this past weekend alone.

"There's still a lot of enthusiasm for it. People are still excited.  The website is still getting hits.  People are still looking, but the motivation isn't there to go write the check yet," LeTendre said.

LeTendre adds that it’s only natural that some snow-covered fields in this area would surely add to sales. But he says the snow wouldn't actually have to fall right around here.

"It seems like the high-dollar stuff, the bigger mountain sleds that are used out west, they sell just about anytime because those people are the true enthusiasts; they'll go find the snow. The last-minute person who just wants one to rip around in the pasture or play around in the road ditches, he or she is probably sitting on the sideline waiting for a good reason," LeTendre said.

When that inspiration arrives is up to nature, but for those looking to ride, the arrival of a winter blanket is sure to be welcome.

Despite less snow, membership to the South Dakota Snowmobile Association has increased in recent years.

Snowmobile trail conditions in the Black Hills have a wide range of reports ranging from poor to good with some trails still having bare ground.
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