PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Records show out-of-state riders now represent close to a quarter of snowmobile registrations in Maine.
The Portland Press Herald reports of the 85,035 sleds registered last winter, more than 23,000 were from nonresidents. Some registrations came from riders as far as Texas, California and Hawaii. Out-of-state registrations have grown from 15 percent of the total in 2000 to 27.3 percent last year.
Officials and riders say Maine is a popular destination because it consistently gets heavy snow. Caribou reported 95 inches last year, compared to 55 inches in upstate New York and 34 in Vermont.
A representative of the Maine Snowmobile Association estimates snowmobilers contribute $350 million annually to the state's economy. Part of the registration fees go toward maintaining snowmobile trails.