Rob Clarke Motorsports | Rob Clarke
Rob Clarke – Rob Clarke Motorsports (Springdale, NL)
As a kid, who introduced you to snowmobiling?
My father introduced me to snowmobiling when I was around 10 yrs old. My first snowmobile was a Ski Doo Citation LS, basically a Tundra with 2 feet cut of the back end. That’s how I learned to handle a sled in the backcountry; they didn’t come much tippier than a Citation.
Growing up, did you always want to work in/around the Snowmobile Industry?
Never really gave it much thought growing up! I just really enjoyed riding. My father worked away so when he was home and I wasn’t in school, we spent most of the time riding. He was a really big influence growing up. We lived on a farm so I didn’t spend much time with my friends outside school, so my father was my riding buddy.
Tell us about Rob Clarke Motorsports and your offerings?
Rob Clarke Motorsports (RCMS) is a snowmobile, timbersled snow bike, atv / utv and dirt bike rental and tour company. We have new, top of the line units that are terrain specific, designed for the areas we ride. This enables our clients the best opportunity to enjoy their rental or tour experience. Newfoundland’s Backcountry offers such breathtaking views and skill testing terrain, you shouldn’t have to worry if your machine is up for the task. For the clients that are not familiar or tourists we offer guided tours, all year round – Snowmobile and atv/utv tours. Tours range from renting a unit and follow a guide to all inclusive, where we provide everything you will possibly need from meals, food, snacks and beverages, fuel, helmets, rain suits, dust masks, rental unit, guide and transportation to and from desired tour destination. Our goal is to be Newfoundland’s premiere recreational vehicle rental and tour provider. We have rental units located at some of the best riding areas on the island for client convenience for what we call “rent and ride”.
What have been some of your biggest winter industry challenges over the past year?
Snow! Our units are located in Newfoundland’s so called snow belt, Central and Western Newfoundland. This is where the “die hard” sledders on the Island come to ride. The Upper Humber region and the Lewis Hills area. This is where the back country riders from all over the Island come to ride. This area offers snow when other provincial spot are snowless. Only issue last season was everyone had snow so they didn’t travel west to ride like winters past, thus the numbers were down.
Second issue was getting the word out to the public. Advertising is key. Not being familiar with advertising and what actually works was a major issue. The most popular thing we heard last season was that people didn’t know we were in business. Over the past season we have been working on getting our name out to the public. Printing and distributing brochures and posters, Facebook page, Twitter account, Web site and magazine ads. Even with all this we are still fairly unknown across the Island, but over time we are gathering steam and hopefully will soon be a recognized brand Island wide.
Who have been some people that have mentored or guided you over the years?
My Father is the one who mentored me the most growing up. He was always willing to help and is still there when I need a hand. Jonathan Noel owner of Prosperity Wealth Management and a very close friend of mine was extremely helpful in guiding me and sharing his business expertise with me. I also received a lot of help along the way from friends I’ve met within the industry, Sledworthy crew, Budgell’s Sports and Marine (my local dealer), Chris Tuck (long time friend and Tourism guru), and all the clients that have taken a tour or rented a unit and spread the word about our service. That’s the best advertising there is, word of mouth.
What have been some of the biggest changes you have seen over the years?
Over the past 10 years the industry has had some exciting changes in the machines and technology available. Machines make getting to the extreme backcountry much easier. Better fuel economy helps you stay out longer and reach deeper inland, you get to admire sights not before seen. Then there is the lifestyle people are living these days. No time to enjoy that $15,000 plus machine on a regular basis but really love the sport and enjoy the backcountry. This has been a growing issue for many people with the rising cost of living and not being able to afford to tie up the cost of a new machine. This is why I choose to offer the service we provide. Why buy when you can rent.
Check out Rob’s business at RobClarkeMotorsports.com