03:00 PM - November 10, 2017
Was up to the Host for breakfast on Wednesday and ran into Keith. He invited me into his office to show me a treasure of old pictures and newspaper clippings from the early 80’s. Needless to say I was very impressed and asked him for the pictures for scanning thinking that it would be great to show where snowmobiling took off from a tourism point of view. Keith was a huge proponent of getting snowmobiling tourism as we know it today as a huge tourism product of Bathurst and indeed New Brunswick with his new hotel built in the 70’s then known as the Atlantic Host Motor Inn. He was one of few that recognized the future of the sport in New Brunswick and made Bathurst the virtual hub of the sport as we now know it. It is another reason why he was inducted to the Wall of Fame for snowmobiling in New Brunswick.
Yes I would have to say that Keith was the primary reason that the snowmobiling tourism took off here in New Brunswick with Bathurst being the focal point of that industry. Keith attracted people as far away as Nebraska in those infant years and had a snowmobile rental business (East Coast Tours) with all Moto-Ski sleds at which time Darryl Stothart had that franchise. There was a modest trail system that ran all the way south and north east. The trail running through the Host establishment was known as Trail 52 back then which ran from Sackville up through Bathurst and hugged the Bay of Chaleur coast right through to Campbellton. In the news clip below is an article from the Miramichi in 1982. Some of it is missing, but you can get the jist of it. It was touted as the Snow White run which would start in Bathurst and end in Shediac. It was just another innovative venture to highlight that snowmobiling was growing to be a sport that had conceivably have no boundaries (providing you had snow of course).
We have a segment on our first page of this web site that gives some of the history of the sport from its infancy here in Bathurst. (Just scroll down as far as you can go on the “Trail Conditions” page. It is not quite completed yet but it will give you an insight on how our trail system started here in Bathurst.