Merritt’s snowmobile club is celebrating the arrival of some much-needed equipment for the area.

The acquisition of two new groomers happened thanks to the B.C. Destination Development Fund, which aims to invest in projects that increase community vibrancy and support for tourism. 

Simon Rizzardo, vice-president of the Merritt Snowmobile Club, celebrated the arrival of the new groomers to the club.

“This will make a huge difference for our volunteers to be safe out on the trails and be in a unit that, you know, is reliable and we’re not afraid that it’s going to break down when they’re out there doing their work.” 

Rizzardo said that the two new groomers were standby units for the X Games a couple of years ago and weren’t used at the time.

He added that with the new acquisition, the club will also be “able to offer groomer rides when they do go out to do grooming on the trails.”

“We want to get people out in the backcountry and come and see it. A lot of people haven’t been up there in some of the areas that we ride up in,” Rizzardo said. “They may not be a snowmobiler, but they may be able to, you know, jump in the passenger seat and go for a quick ride and see the area, right?”

In order to keep the operations running, Merritt’s Snowmobile Club is also hosting their annual fundraiser event next month.

On Feb. 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., snowmobilers and enthusiasts will have the opportunity to meet up at Andy’s Lake for a chili poker run. 

“It’s just one of our fundraisers for the club, it costs money to keep all this equipment running and put fuel in the tank and insurance and all that kind of stuff,” Rizzardo said.

He added that the club has seen a downsize regarding membership, probably due to the economy or the snowpack being low for the time of the year. But those who wish to help can participate at the event or donate through their website year-around.

“Hopefully, like the last couple of years, we’ve actually had really good weather during the events and it’s a safe environment,” Rizzardo said. “We’ll have the trails groomed up either the night before or two days before kind of thing so it’d be nice and smooth on the way up and down and definitely want to see everybody get out there.”