Record ATV parade boosts local economyThe 1,632 ATV riders who converged on Silver Bay to set a world record on Saturday gave a big boost to the local economy.
By: By Holly Henry and Wesley Lynch, Lake County News Chronicle
The 1,632 ATV riders who converged on Silver Bay to set a world record on Saturday gave a big boost to the local economy.
Chair of the parade, Les Schermerhorn, said the riders spent big and were warmly welcomed by area businesses.
“The liquor store did well and the gas stations were happy,” Schermerhorn said. “The Northwood’s Café was always full. We spent some money. It’s a big thing to open the town and the community to that many ATVs.”
Northwood’s Café owner Tom Porter reinforced that assessment.
“That group had a very big, positive influence on the Silver Bay economy,” he said. “It also impacted Two Harbors and Beaver Bay. We were extremely busy all weekend.”
Porter also noted the good manners of the participants, saying they were well-behaved and polite.
“I’m telling you, they all had good manners. There were no messes, no problems, no recklessness.”
Porter suggested the community now consider staging the world’s largest snowmobile parade next winter.
“This was such a positive event I’d like to see us capitalize on it,” he said. “I’d be very disappointed if the ATVers didn’t come back again next year.”
Chances are they will. If the Silver Bay parade officially makes it into the Guinness Book of World Records, it will have competition for the title from groups in Kentucky, Hurley, Wis. and Wyoming, which makes it likely the Minnesota group will try to defend the title, Schermerhorn said.
In 2008 the Silver Bay parade, sponsored by the All Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota, fell only 55 ATVs short of the former world record, which was held by the Harlan County Ridge Runners of Evarts, Ky. with 1,138 ATVs.
While this year’s record has yet to be officially confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records, the parade chair said she feels certain she has the documentation to back it up.
I have tons of documentation I have to compile,” Schermerhorn said.
To make the record official, videotapes, media coverage and testimonials must be sent to the Guinness headquarters in London within a month of the event.
Schermerhorn plans to send the evidence by the end of next week. From there, it may be another six to eight weeks before the record is officially confirmed or denied.
Schermerhorn noted that some of the participants were rumored to have come from as far as Japan, California and Alaska. She added that there were also many more riders from the Silver Bay and surrounding areas than last year.
She said that organizing the parade was a lot of work and an entire year in the making, and she wanted to make sure that everyone who worked on making it a success got acknowledged.
“We say thank you to the community,” she said.
Schermerhorn said that she spent Sunday relaxing and riding the trails around Silver Bay on her ATV.
“Now,” she said, “I need to go home and rest.”