2017 Hot New Snowmobile Trends

As I write, there’s a large shakeup taking place in the snowmobile industry. Minnesota- based Arctic Cat, an industry leader, has been sold to the Rhode Island company Textron, which makes all sorts of specialized personal and commercial vehicles. Textron is known for E-Z-GO golf carts, Cushman vehicles and aviation brands like Bell Helicopter, Cessna and Beechcraft.

While the full impact of the $247 million-dollar sale will not be known for awhile, it is probably a good thing for Arctic Cat. The company recently reported that it had suffered a sharp decline in sales, and being backed by a financially stable company like Textron will allow them to innovate and compete with some of the other original equipment manufacturers. Chances are, Arctic Cat will bounce back better than ever with different sales tactics and innovative trends.

2017 is an intriguing year for snowmobile product. The four big companies (Arctic Cat, Polaris, Ski-Doo and Yamaha) are introducing more product this year than in any year since 2003. It may surprise you to learn just how big of an economic impact of snowmobiling has, generating $26 billion annually in the U.S. alone. Between manufacturing, dealerships and tourism, snowmobiling generates over 100,000 full-time jobs in North America. Large-scale competitive events like the X Games (Aspen, CO, Jan. 26-29) have brought a worldwide spotlight to the sport as well.

If you’re new to snowmobiling, a great place to start is GoSnowmobiling.org. They will give you all sorts of tips and tricks to get started, whether you like to ride across the open plains or into the mountains. They have great resources on where to rent sleds (snowmobiles) as well, so you can dip your toes in the water before diving in headfirst. You may also want to consider joining a snowmobile club, where you can meet people who share your interest (there are over 3,000 snowmobile clubs in the U.S.). Some places will require you to take safety classes as well, so be sure to check with your local snowmobile association for more information (safety classes are a good idea regardless of age or previous experience).

The Soo Line Trail near Lake Mille Lacs in Central Minnesota is a fantastic place to start your snowmobiling adventure. Offering hundreds of miles of groomed trails that weave through forests, farmlands and wetlands, the Soo Line Trail is a fantastic route for rookie and veteran riders alike. You can ride in seclusion, or rent snowmobiles for the whole family and make a weekend of it.
There are all sorts of snowmobiling events in winter 2017. January 21 – 29, for example, is International Snowmobile Safety Week. February 11 – 20 is the Take a Friend Snowmobiling Campaign. There are various competitions, conferences and symposiums throughout the year as well. Snowmobiling is a fun way to get outdoors in the winter, and is a great way to interact with nature, friends and family. It will give you a lifetime of winter recreation, and you’ll find that snowmobiling is more than just a sport, it’s a lifestyle. Happy sledding!

This Weekend, Try Soo Line Trail Campground!

Winter is what we make of it. It’s often difficult to escape the drab monotony of never-ending snow, small windows of daylight and clenched fists on icy roads. If we let it, winter can really get to us mentally, physically and emotionally.

 

Maybe we don’t have the money to get away and take the family on a two-week vacation to the Bahamas. We might not have the time for a road trip to California. If so, we need to embrace winter rather than escape it. If we can leave the day-to-day toils of home-life behind, even for a weekend, it can give us the rejuvenation we need to make it to spring.

 

It may be time to check out Midwest Outdoor Resort’s (MOR) Soo Line Trail Campground. This is the only MOR getaway that is open on weekends in the winter. Located in Onamia, MN (about 90 miles Northwest of the Twin Cities), minutes from Lake Mille Lacs, the Soo Line Trail Campground has plenty to offer, even during Jack Frost.

 

Lake Mille Lacs –

 

Lake Mille Lacs offers fantastic fishing (especially Walleye, Northern Pike, and Bass), no matter the season. Rent an ice fishing house if needed, or explore one of the many charming towns around the lake. Onamia is the gateway to Lake Mille Lacs, and offers the jumping-off point to great snowmobiling on the Soo Line Trail. There is plenty of hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and even kiteboarding in the area as well.

 

Grand Casino Mille Lacs –

 

Grand Casino Mille Lacs is dubbed “Minnesota’s Most Liked Casino,” and for good reason. Offering plenty of entertainment year-round, Grand Casino Mille Lacs offers entertainment from boxing to concerts to comedy. Of course there is gaming and excellent dining throughout the casino as well.

 

Mille Lacs Indian Museum –

 

If you’re looking to shop, the Mille Lacs Indian Museum Trading Post “interprets the contribution of the Ojibwe people to the culture, history and contemporary society of Minnesota and the nation.” While the museum is unfortunately closed until April 1st, the Trading Post is open from 11am-4pm Wednesdays through Saturdays and offers large exhibits, as well as jewelry, books, music and even wild rice. The Trading Post also has its own interesting history.

 

Or you could just stay in…

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There’s nothing wrong with just wanting to relax. The Soo Line Trail Campground offers a unique blend of amenities that allow for a fantastic getaway without breaking the bank (or giving you frostbite). With comfy overnight suites with free Wifi, a large clubhouse including a convenience store, game room and library, you don’t necessarily need to leave the resort to leave the stresses of winter life at home. A weekend getaway with your family or significant other might be just the fuel you need to make it all the way to spring.
As always, happy exploring!

 

DON’T GET CAUGHT WITH YOUR TOES IN THE SNOW, WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT WINTERIZING YOUR RV NOW.

 

Well, we’ve unfortunately hit that time of year. Camping season is coming to a close, and when the temperature starts regularly dropping below 32°F (0°C), it’s time to winterize. Basically, winterizing entails protecting your RV from freezing temperatures so it’s prepared when the snow melts, the frost thaws and spring flowers start poking out. (Yes, I’m currently listening to The Beatles’ classic “Here Comes the Sun”).Your main goal when winterizing your RV is taking care of the water system. Here is a step-by-step guide so your rig is thoroughly prepared to hibernate through Jack Frost.

 

Before getting started, make sure you read through your owner’s manual carefully to take any additional recommended steps.

  • Drain all water tanks completely –Take your RV to a waste station and drain all tanks.
  • Drain the water from the hot water heater (DO NOT DO WHILE WATER IS HOT OR UNDER PRESSURE)Small lime deposits may come out. This is normal.
  • Drain the pipes –Turn on all faucets (hot and cold), flush the toilet, and turn on the outside shower.You can also use an air compressor to blow out all the pipes (set to no more than 30psi).
  • Open all low-point drain lines –There will be a hot and cold water line.
  • Once all lines are drained, recap, close and turn off all drains and faucets.
  • Bypass the water heater –This isn’t a must, but will save you gallons of antifreeze. If you don’t have a bypass kit, you can get one installed relatively cheaply.
  • Pump antifreeze through your water lines (RV antifreeze is PINK) –Most newer RVs have a valve attached to the water pump that will allow the pump to draw antifreeze directly from the bottle. Turn on water pump, and starting with the closest faucet, open the hot and cold valves one at a time until you see pink antifreeze, then close. Keep replacing the bottle as needed, don’t let it run dry.
  • Open each faucet until each has antifreeze coming out –Also, keep flushing your toilet until you see antifreeze. Make sure you run antifreeze to the outside shower as well.
  • Turn off the water pump –Open a faucet to release pressure, then close.
  • Pour antifreeze down each drain and into the toilet.
  • Make sure if you have an electric heating element on your water heater, it is turned OFF.
  • Make sure all valves and faucets are CLOSED.
  • If you have other appliances (ice maker, dishwasher, etc.) consult the owner’s manual to winterize

 

Tires –

You may want to raise your rig on jacks, but at least make sure you’re parked on concrete or pavement so tires do not sink into the ground.

Batteries –

Remove batteries of any type and store in a warm, dry location.

Propane Tanks –

Fill all propane tanks, and store in a sheltered location.

Not inside the RV.

Electrical System –

Turn off the RV’s main circuit breaker. Block the exhaust pipe with steel wool or aluminum to keep out pests.

Food and Drinks –

Remove all food and drinks as some things can burst and become messy (and attract unwanted visitors like rodents and insects in the spring).

Interior –

Clean stove, make sure to thaw freezer completely and dry. Leave all refrigerator doors open.

Exterior –

Close all roof vents, make sure windows and doors are fully sealed. Cover any holes with screening, and cover vents with cardboard to make sure rodents and

insects can’t get in.

Moisture Control –

Get a container of moisture absorbent and place it on a flat surface inside the RV. This will prevent corrosion and mold.

Weather Protection –

This is a given, but try to protect your RV from the elements as best you can by parking in a shelter or getting an RV cover. Obviously, this sounds like a lot of work, but it will be well worth it when you’re ready to make your next excursion to one of our fine resorts in the spring.

As always, be sure to check your owner’s manual for any additional steps, and happy exploring!

 

Member How To Videos

How To'sHere in Member Services it is our job to help you navigate your MOR membership. From logging in to Coast to Coast and Hopaway Holiday and checking out the MOR website to planning a getaway, we are here to walk you through it all!

Of course, we know that some of you prefer to teach yourselves so that’s where all of the how to videos come in!

Andrea or I will walk you through a click by click play of how to use your membership. You’ll find these how-to videos under the Membership tab on our Midwest Outdoor Resorts website.

We add more often so stay tuned, and as always, if you don’t see what you’re looking for, call us or shoot us an email for a personal tutorial!

Associate Member Benefits

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 8.27.42 AM“So, my parents gave me a MOR membership, now what do I do with it?” This is a question that we have been hearing a lot around the Member Services office in past few months. Many parents who have purchased memberships with us wait until the holiday season to gift the member cards to their children. Their kids call in wondering just what all they can do with this nifty little card that their parents gave them. Well, the options are nearly endless!

Camping: Associate members may tent or RV camp for free at any MOR property for up to 14 consecutive days. For camping in the Coast to Coast system, they may use any of their parent’s eight guest weeks to camp at Coast to Coast resorts.

Condos: Associate members may log onto Hopaway Holiday and book under their parent’s account for condos. Check out the Fun Weeks for inexpensive condos in popular places on short notice!

How To VideosCruises: Associate members book cruises the same way they would for condos, they log onto Hopaway Holiday under their parent’s account.

Make sure to check out the Deluxe Travel Services and the Trip Plus coupons while you are logged in, they are two great ways to help save on flights, cars, food, and attractions while you are traveling!

Hopefully this helps to answer some of your questions. As always, feel free to call MOR Member Services with any questions and for help navigating your membership! (800.231.4025 ext7850.

Traveling With Kids

My family and I had the opportunity to utilize a wonderful affiliate program the last couple of weeks to travel through the plains of South Dakota to the lakes of Minnesota.

As the Member Services manager for Midwest Outdoor Resorts I wanted to take the opportunity to visit our locations in Minnesota. BUT it’s a pretty long drive from Rushmore Shadows in Rapid City, SD to Soo Line Trail Campground in Onamia, MN! I was able to utilize Members on Vacation Travel Services through Coast to Coast to find an absolutely beautiful hotel stay in Sioux Falls, SD (about half way between Rapid City and Onamia). I stayed in a great hotel with many amenities, for a wonderful price.

Hidden Bluffs Kids

As I arrived at Soo Line Trail Campground in Onamia, MN I was “WOWED” by the peacefulness of this location. If you are a fisherman, ATV rider, or you are just looking for some peace and quiet – this is the place for you.

After visiting Soo Line Trail Campground, we made our way to Hidden Bluffs Resort in Spring Grove, MN (another Midwest Outdoor Resorts location). I was able to take in the beauty and unique qualities that each little town had to offer on our way to Hidden Bluffs Resorts. As we arrived at the resort I realized we’re not on the plains of South Dakota anymore! I had arrived in Bluff Country. Now it was time to relax and enjoy the sounds of the trees blowing in the wind alongside the stream that runs directly through the resort.

Our Members truly enjoy what each of our Resorts have to offer, and now I know why! if you would like to experience our Resorts, give us a call and set up a camping trip for you and your family.  We can be reached at 1-800-231-0425, you can also check out our website at www.midwestoutdoorresorts.com. No camper? No problem, ask about vacation cabins!Christi

S’MORE FUN CAMPING

Buffalo Dreamers There’s no better way to kick off the summer other than camping!

One of the many things we love about camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota is the variety of cultural activities that occur; this summer we welcomed back

Troy Fairbanks and the Buffalo Dancers. As they make their debut from year to year, we are always learning new and exciting things about the Lakota Sioux traditions.

S'MORES At Rushmore Shadows Resort in Rapid City, SD, Hidden Bluffs Resort in Spring Grove, MN and Soo Line Trail Campground in Onamia, MN we have SMORE” fun that you can ever imagine! Our Activities Directors are out and about rounding up family and friends of all ages to come out and enjoy what the camping experience is all about.

Want to come and experience how much fun we have? No worries just give us a call at 1-800-231-0425 and we would be happy to talk with you about how you and your family can experience SMORE” fun.

Camping With The Kids

Rushmore Shadows KidsWhat do you and your family like to do together while camping? Did you know that we have an abundance of activities to do at each of the Midwest Outdoor Resorts locations? Not only will we keep you busy, we will make your stay one to remember.

At Rushmore Shadows Resort in Rapid City, SD your kids will enjoy

  • Heated swimming pool and hot tub
  • Putts MOR mini golf
  • Bike rentals
  • Sports courts & Equipment
  • Playground & Clubhouse
  • Bonfire & Horseshoe Pits
  • Enclosed dog run (for our furry family members)Rushmore Shadows Pool

At Hidden Bluffs Resort in Spring Grove, MN we’ve got:

  • Heated swimming pool and hot tub
  • Mini golf
  • Bike rentals
  • Volleyball & Basketball courts
  • Playground
  • Trout stream
  • Groomed hiking trails

Soo Line Trail Campground also offers a variety of activities as well:

  • Playground
  • Bike rentals
  • Campfire pits
  • Adjacent to the Soo Line ATV Trail
  • Near Lake Mille Lacs

So what are you waiting for? Give us a call at 1-800-231-0425 and we can set you and your family up with a vacation full of memories.