John Mercier

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


John Mercier last won the day on October 13

John Mercier had the most liked content!

About John Mercier

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • Location
    New Hampshire

Previous Fields

  • Favorite Riding Area
  • Club(s)

Recent Profile Visitors

2,181 profile views
  1. Covid rules snowmobiling?

    NH should do fine this year. I expect that the number of resident registrations will rise as NH residents can't access out-of-state areas. Next year would be the big concern. As cases rise through the winter, it will cause some economic distress at various businesses, without the US having a clear path to know what the financial outfall will be. And once we have the ability to travel more normally, we should see the current inflation shock wave that we have in other areas of the economy impact fuel costs. It will work its way out, but trying to go back rather than forward is probably going to cause a lot more hardships.
  2. Covid rules snowmobiling?

    Some states have a requirement to quarantine and provide a test once they return to that State, so that may place a hamper on non-residents. And VT may have issue with riders coming from NH into VT with no way to determine whether they have quarantined and meet the VT requirement. Closing the commerce trails limits the amount of law enforcement response they would need to check to see if every rider has a recent negative test result to present.
  3. Covid rules snowmobiling?

    It will also be the quarantine for going back. But I think the commerce trails will be closed for the season. Pretty hard to kill tourism. Our numbers show that it is mostly intrastate and not interstate for the majority of it. The problem seems to be more along the lines of business adaptation. Equipment sales have been way beyond dealer expectations, I would suspect that even resident registrations will be more than decent.
  4. Could be tough to get out this season

    Pretty sure that he isn't concerned with the legislative reaction; his main focus would be on the longer term economic outcomes. We've been an essential operation, open all the way through, but in May... mainly due to the Big Boxes and other placing masking requirements on customers... we overheated. Since I don't really need this particular job, I took two weeks off. That made them overheat quite a bit more - my sales numbers are higher than the others around me, and about twice as high as anyone else in our department. We nearly cancelled walk-ins, which would have made any ''masking requirement'' moot. Just last week, our Hampton location had a case among the employees - seems that they got it from outside the operation - but with that employee out, along with others that were upset. The location is now curb-side service only. The specialty sales force has decided to work from home when they can, and you have to make an appointment to enter the showroom due to the lower staffing. An outbreak like we are starting to experience has consequences that can't be easily resolved by a political position. This is something that should have been learned in the Spring. It has been a long-held Republican strategy that we should remove more children from public schools toward private and home, but when the option arrived... the only thing that they could come with is we need to immediately reopen the schools. These types of black swan events are the means to learn what will work over time, and what is just being coddled along. It is the same for political strategy as it is for business.
  5. Could be tough to get out this season

    It is going to be a little different than in year's past, but it should only be one season. By next year, we should be well on the way to mass vaccination if all goes well. I think the real issue will be how well we behave leading up to the season and holding through it. If part of the population presses it a little too hard, the Governors' reactions are going to be far worse.
  6. For most they won't. Officer is just doing due diligence to protect his department. The issue would be in case of an accident. If it extends beyond the legal limit and is not correctly flagged... regardless of the other driver striking you from behind... your insurance will have to pay out. It is the same for building materials, and other over sized loads.
  7. NH F&G

    Good News. Revenue to the NH F&G so far has been coming in above plan. Seems COVID is resulting in the sale of more licenses and registrations as consumers change recreational habits. The NH F&G SAR finally went positive. The fund paid back all previous negative balances and has a surplus in the account of $18,610 as if July 1st. They are noting that M&R is still coming in below plan... which means that it may be a bit rough for the municipality finances (they get a part of the M&R receipts). Of course, the Legislature could expanded transfers to the municipalities... and may have to do so depending on the outcome of the current educational mandate court cases.
  8. What do you think?

    Someone would need to look up their IRS filings and average it over a five year period to get a baseline. They have quite a problem if the NHSA goes insolvent, as the whole club membership incentive discount legislation is written based on the NHSA existing.
  9. What do you think?

    If the hypothetical cost X of the trail system is $7.5 million, and the projected registration sales are 50K, then you must price the registration at $150 per. If the higher price deters registration to let's say 40K, then they will need to raise the price to $187.50 per. If you keep/lower the cost to $100 per, then you must sell 75K registrations. If you fail to sell enough registrations to meet the $7.5 million, then you must cut costs to whatever you raised. So tell us what sections of the trail system that you want to get rid of to make revenue cover the costs.
  10. What do you think?

    The system cost X amount of dollars. That overall cost has to be divided among the number of registrations. They must either increase the registration to meet the cost of X or decrease the cost of X by scrapping sections of the system. The overall impact is actually minimum. People readily change from one format of recreation to another. It is the specific impact to a particular business that can be devastating as customers move from one format to another. Think of that as the ''Amazon Effect''. Sears controlled much of the retail catalog business in the US, but lost out when it failed to take into account he impact of the growing internet on-line sales format. I haven't seen a Sear's Christmas Wishbook in years. But the sales that are not generated by the Wishbook still exist, just in the other format. It happens across the breadth of the economy and is completely normal, but the individual impacts have strong effect on the individuals within that impact zone.
  11. Class 6 roads

    It is big new locally, but not the main issue to be dealt with. Trails are expensive. Money to fund them is limited. If a municipality is not willing to support access, it just allows the limited funding to flow toward municipalities that do support access. I remember sitting in a meeting on SB5, as the State of NH was seeking input from the various recreational groups on how to fund the park system. The Chief announced that only one group had excess funding. Everyone was looking around to guess who that was... I wasn't... I knew that it was OHRV. After the Chief told everyone, they all seemed stunned. We went on to address how to manage areas to meet the funding need... but many groups were less focused on funding, and more focused on improving their access. After the representatives of the NH Horse Council placed out that they wanted better parking at certain locations, the Chief explained that no money existed for that... that we were there to look for financing, not ways to spend what we didn't have. The President of the NH Mushers in an attempt to calm the situation suggested that the NHHC do what they did to improve a parking lot at a previous location. He didn't realize that what they had done is let the OHRVs pay for and make the improvements, then petition for their removal of access. One of the representatives looked at me, and then left the room crying. I hadn't made any unusual gestures, she just realized that I am not someone to forgive and forget. When asked about it, I explained that access was something we could afford to lose... money was not. The funding for that parking lot improvement was a costly enterprise. We had others like it. And I took the position that expenditures should occur where a municipality has shown its longstanding support. Trying to support a trail system that is too large and has to be battled for everyday is much too costly. I always felt it was more beneficial to the OHRV community to keep the cost of registration and management down.
  12. What do you think?

    Nothing. The OHRV opened and operated during the worst of the COVID. Governor Sununu has opened most commercial operations since then, and unless we see a huge surge in cases, I don't think he would reclose after the election... not even a chance that a Democrat Governor would do so without a surge. Biggest issue will be filling the budget gap and writing the budget for the next two years. The budget gap at the State level will be over $500 million for this budget, and if a winter surge in cases happened, an ongoing shortage of revenue in the next budget. I doubt Governor Sununu will lose, and I fully believe that he is preparing for a surge during the winter, as all of the ski resorts are working operational plans for such a contingency. The worst part about it is the first $500 million must be in place before June of next year... and it isn't structural... it is directly fiscal. I would be surprised if either party were willing to make the kind of direct cuts needed to cover that cost.
  13. Old days

    In those days, there were no ''trails''. Prior to changes around 2003, you could ride anywhere that was not signed against trespass. The change to positive signing for motorized access isn't even two decades old. In the early days, everyone had to trail blaze, and to keep navigation many times we would just place reflective markers on the trees at the end of a field to locate the connection. It wasn't until the late 70s, with the Bureau of OHRV that the modern trail system with state corridors and more consistent signage began to develop. At that time, with NH's less developed road/highway system, the groups consider snowmobiles a means of transportation - less a recreation and today's ''sport'' - and really sought to develop the trail system as a compliment to the road/highway system.
  14. What do you think?

    They aren't concerned with the registration monies that make up next year's GIA. He is speaking about the concern for the 30 percent match of funds. The GIA granted this last June for this season is already banked, but the match is dependent on the various clubs. A lack of registrations this year creates a deficit of GIA for granting next year in March, but a lack of club funds is mixture of memberships and fundraising. They are focusing on the fundraising of the clubs being curtailed... but that isn't just a situation inherent to snowmobile clubs, nor is it something that is equal among the clubs. See where Dan estimates that fundraising is $220,000 short... and sought $105,000 for the NHSA... but then asks for $574,622. That isn't money to the GIA to make up for registration losses, because we don't even have a sense what this season's registration numbers are yet.
  15. What do you think?

    The earmarked funds through the NRTP are allocated in January, before Covid, and finally granted by a Governor's signature in June (we did have a delay one year while AG Ayotee was seeking election - some mix up slowed the paperwork in the AG's office). The GIA is based on previous funding worked out in March/April and is also awarded around June through the same type of process. They are speaking about the club match... which isn't exactly accurate, since the club spends the money and is then reimbursed during ongoing operations up to the contracted grant amount. Some clubs are granted more than they use - probably a rarity among snowmobile clubs - other run dry of grant reimbursement and have to make a decision to expend without reimbursement - again probably a rarity. So the money is there for this year... but no one knows what next year will look like. The unrefunded State gas tax is returned to the motorized users at a rate of 100 gallons per registration, that number is only effected by the number of registrations. The R&M - which is now known as the Meals & Rental Tax - is how the State determines its level of total tourism expenditure. Doesn't go to finance the trail system, and is down heavily due to the shutdown. It goes to fund government operations and a transfer payment to local municipalities. Local municipalities will want the CARES money to cover that loss, or risk higher property taxes - or in cities with a tax cap the loss of PD and FD personnel, maybe others. It also works against the system that the largest inflows of M&R occur during the summer, then the fall, winter, and finally spring being the lowest. Since the plea will be for stabilization in the winter, the third lowest normal flow, and the largest recreational format contributing to winter M&R is alpine skiing - something the Governor is very familiar with - it will be a push to see if a Republican Governor and Democrat-majority Executive Council can come to an agreement on motorized trail recreation expenditures of this type. Not to mention, the paperwork that would need to be done by each club as a singular entity under the CARES act.