STRATEGIC 5 YEAR PLAN:
The Strategic 5 Year Plan for the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum is to continue the growth of public awareness and visitation as well as to continue to increase revenue for the operational support and proposed improvements to displays and infrastructure. Outreach efforts will continue to be through on-site events, traveling shows, word of mouth, media, museum website, Facebook page, newsletters and partnerships with organizations, schools, other museums, historical societies and institutions. In particular the goal is to grow the outreach in North America, Europe and other foreign countries. Rotation of displays and creation of new dioramas is a regular practice to maintain a fresh representation for patrons. Increase in revenue is proposed by continuing the provision of a large interesting inventory in the gift shop available on site as well as on the website, increasing membership, continuing to encourage donations from members, enthusiasts and organizations, applying for grants, increasing the use of the meeting rooms including video conferencing and growing the use of the Bud Knapp / John McGuirk Library.
The museum’s website, Facebook page, WiFi, and newsletters (2 / year) will continue to be key items for the provision of museum real time information. The museum’s gift shop merchandise will continue to be up to date on the website. The website and Facebook page will continue to provide an inquiry / answer source for the general public and snowmobiling enthusiasts. An expanded full-service video conference system is available for use in the meeting rooms.
The museum’s gift shop will continue to be a key part of the operation. It will be very active with educational and interesting matter for patrons. The museum’s large gift shop has an inventory for adults and children consisting of clothing, gifts, artwork, toys, banners, coat hooks, light-switch covers, door mats, puzzles, snowmobile rockers (for young children) and books. The inventory is maintained fresh with new items added often.
The museum recently added paid staff to the operational support of the facility. This has greatly increased the efficiency of operations by assisting the volunteer staff. The paid staff work part time and provide key services such as janitorial, increasing gift shop inventory, library organization, serving at the main desk, setting up for meetings and display maintenance. The continued use of paid staff will greatly assist in the operational growth of the museum’s activities, exposure and outreach.
The museum staff will continue to provide a fresh presentation by rotating significant display items in and out as well as introducing diorama displays of unique snowmobile related adventure themes.
Activities with the “Bud Knapp / John McGuirk Library” will be active and continue to grow. The library room also doubles as a second meeting room. The “Bud Knapp / John McGuirk Library” has been recently completed. It is a donated compilation of book cases (w/ manuals) and file cabinets containing detailed information of over 350 different snowmobile manufacturers along with file cabinets with 80 different snowmobile magazines back into the early 1960’s. Manuals, product information, photographs, and magazines are regularly donated to the library by enthusiasts and incorporated into the inventory. Patrons and enthusiasts have visited and researched the library and requested copies of specific information (manual copies and electronic). The inventory of magazines has 1,050 multiple copies of individual issues which are available for sale.
Outreach to others by presentations on the history of snowmobiling is a high priority and will continue to grow. The museum hosts the annual Top of the Lake Snowmobile Show and Ride, The I-500 Vintage Ride for the Mile in Sault Ste. Marie, the annual Swap Meet, the Mackinac Bridge Crossing and co-hosts the Antique / Vintage Snowmobile Show at the Annual Tractor Show in St. Ignace. Museum staff will continue to be very active with the antique / vintage snowmobile associations. Museum staff members regularly attend a minimum of 9 regional and national antique / vintage snowmobile shows during the year. The museum also hosts presentations to the general public, historic societies, schools and other organizations throughout the year.
The use of the museum meeting rooms (main meeting room and library) has grown into a community center. Continued use of the meeting rooms for large and small meetings and catered meals is a high priority. Staff will continue to provide availability and expand its use. Video conferencing will grow as a service for the meeting rooms.
A new 24’ x 36’ storage garage has been completed on the facility site. It will be used for storage of display overflow, donated items for sale, storage of maintenance equipment and also a drop-off site for those individuals buying and selling antique / vintage snowmobiles. It has already become a key component of operational efficiency and its use will continue to grow.
The museum has a long-term goal (5 +/- years) to obtain a grant with support of a university library to have the entire library inventory placed on a user-friendly museum website. Significant copyright clearances will be required. Very preliminary cost estimates are $5,000 to $10,000.
Paving of the large parking lot behind the museum is a high priority. Current plans are to pave a 24’ wide portion adjacent to the sidewalk along the north side of the building to allow for parking on pavement rather than gravel. Paving of the remaining portion of it is planned for a future date following the 24’ strip paving.
The storage unit complex behind the museum has been noted as a goal for purchase to accommodate the need for additional storage. Future planning will continue to maintain that goal. The museum has been granted first right of refusal for the purchase of the storage unit complex.
The museum has initiated a scholarship program for the Engadine Consolidated School. A $1000 scholarship will be awarded to a successful applicant. Students interested will be encouraged to provide community service at the museum. The duties will include learning to perform docent duties, work in the Library, assist in display set-up/maintenance and other miscellaneous duties.