BREWER — On April 21, six members of the Roxbury ATV Riders Club attended the ATV Maine Annual Banquet in Brewer.

Facts were presented at the meeting that area towns and chambers of commerce should welcome the ATV business into their towns.

Among these facts:

In 2002 revenue to the state on registrations and income from grants and gas taxes have risen from $287,835.00 to $1,229,593. There were more ATV registrations last year than snowmobile registrations. ATVing has a longer season than snowmobiling. The number of ATV Clubs has more than doubled and continues to increase.

The current estimated economic impact to the state for registrations, gas purchases, food, lodging, gifts and souvenirs went from $250 million to an estimated half billion dollars and is still increasing.

ATVing is a family-oriented sport.

The state has spent more than $8 million in the last 10 years on ATV trails and maintenance. These funds come, not from taxpayers but from registration fees and a percentage of the gas tax.

Maine has the largest ATV trail system in the United States.

ATV clubs in Maine ride and donate funds to many charities. Among other donations, this year ATV Maine has a calendar raffle, with proceeds to go to Make-A-Wish, Al Langley Scholarship and Pine Tree Camp. Calendars are $10 and drawings will begin July 1. Contact Mike Worthley of the Roxbury ATV Club for a calendar, 545-2715 or [email protected]

Many municipalities now allow ATVs into their town and have areas where they are permitted to ride to the local stores, because they see the economic impact from riders buying gas, food, etc.

Individual ATV clubs close their trails to riding during mud season until approximately May 15. Actual closure dates will vary across the state based on local conditions. Landowners or clubs have the right to close trails at any time due to conditions. For further information contact the ATV club in the area that you wish to ride.

This year’s State of Maine Sportsmen’s Show, held March 30 through April 1, included 130 booths, with several special exhibits and more than 100 seminars and events.

On April 26, the River Valley Chamber of Commerce awarded the Non-Profit/Community Service Leadership Award to the Roxbury ATV Riders. This award recognizes a group’s effort which has made a significant contribution in the enhancement of the community or regional involvement in the River Valley area.

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