By Kellen M. Quigley
For the first time since its inaugural event, the AMSOIL Championship Snocross snowmobile event at the Seneca Allegany Resort and Hotel will take place in the east parking lot.
“It works great for spectators because there is a large hill to stand on in addition to all the bleachers,” said ISOC Racing spokesperson Gene Shaw. “Viewing is better and another thing that is better is the proximity to everything.”
As many as 15,000 people are expected to visit Salamanca during the weekend of Feb. 16-18 for the championship series’ sixth annual visit.
With that many potential vehicles and the east lot occupied by the races, space will be limited — but officials said there are other places attendees can park.
“Parking, as always, is available in our parking garage, which fills up fast, and our gravel lot as you enter the casino where the event was last year,” said casino spokesperson Nadine DiStefano.
DiStefano said additional parking will be available off property at the Seneca Nation Administration Building and Seneca Nation Health Center. Shuttles will also be available if parking off site.
The stop in Salamanca is the farthest east for the national touring series and is the fifth of eight stops during the 2017-18 season. The first four events have been successes, according to Shaw, with good weather playing a big role. He said recent weather was cold enough this year to make the snow early at the casino, meaning they are ready to go.
“We have had cold weather and a lot of snow, so people have been able to enjoy snowmobiling,” he said. “We hope that continues through the rest of the winter.”
The casino’s preparations for this year began almost immediately after the previous season’s event, with room bookings starting about a year out. DiStefano said recent preparations have gone smoothly, including the snow making, which starts about a month before the event.
“Weather for the most part has been very good this year,” DiStefano said. “One small warm up created an issue for the snow makers but other than that it was good.”
By moving the event back to the east parking lot, Shaw said the proximity of everything will be a highlight for the spectators, putting them right in front of the action.
“The event center is really close, and people can warm up throughout the day,” he said. “We are excited about the new location and think people are really going to enjoy it.”
“We have many vendors in the Events Center, we also have large screen TVs that the guests can view Snocross even if they don’t want to venture outside,” DiStefano said. “We also show it on the television in our two guest bars.”
DiStefano said last year’s event had an attendance of nearly 15,000 people, but as many as 18,000 were in attendance in previous years. She said the event brings many new and returning guests to the casino, with the hotel and restaurants becoming busy throughout the event.
Shaw said ISOC is thankful to all the parties involved in the event, especially the casino. He said the casino has been a great partner in full support of it from the beginning and hopes to make the event better every year.
“It’s going to be a great event with all the best snowmobile riders in the world being there. There is going to be nonstop action,” Shaw added. “I hope people come out to the event this year even if they have or haven’t come out in the past. It is going to be great and a lot of fun for the whole family.”
For guests are looking to purchase tickets for this year’s event, they can go to The Logo Shop inside Seneca Allegany Casino or purchase online at snocross.com.