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Arctic Cat 50th Recap: People, Products & Passion


(8/1/2011)

Arctic Cat's 50th Anniversary

I truly can't think of a more perfect way to celebrate fifty years of Arctic Cat passion than what I just experience during the past few days in Thief River Falls.

Arctic Cat, TRF and Mother Nature threw down the welcome mat, and people came from all over the U.S. and Canada, from Sweden and Norway. There were individuals who came for the day, families who came for the week and everything in-between.

Collectors brought sleds… hundreds of them. And memorabilia, minibikes, WetBikes, bicycles, ATVs, Bug-O-Vacs, pictures, Scorpions, signs, posters and Arcticwear spanning fifty years.

There were red sleds, white sleds, purple sleds and of course LOTS of black ones. There were race sleds, trail sleds, prototypes and more. Some of the most historic machines in Arctic Cat history were on display.

There were factory tours, ATV tours of town, a Wildcat unveiling and the greasy goodness of fair food to season the days, while bands, beer and banter flowed during the evenings.

An on-site company store offered all kinds of 50th stuff for those who wanted to buy, while a swap meet offered the chance for anyone to sell.

Yet while indeed it was the machines that delivered the “Wows” and triggered memories for the thousands on-hand, the Arctic Cat 50th Anniversary wasn’t about sleds or gear.

It was about people.

It was about Arctic Cat people coming to TRF to reunite with each other. For some, it was a chance to see old friends, perhaps from a Cat’s Pride Tour, a long-ago race circuit or an antique or vintage club. For others it was a chance to meet a famous racer who’d captured their imagination sometime over the years.

For the people who work at Arctic Cat, it was a phenomenal opportunity to meet the outstanding customers who make their jobs possible, and see first-hand exactly how deep the passion runs.

There wasn’t one visitor who I talked with that expressed anything other than joy about the entire event. Likewise, every single Arctic Cat employee I talked with was humbled by the outpouring of people and passion that characterized the weekend.

Truly, everyone I saw had a smile on their face.

From those smiling faces flowed stories and conversations that spanned fifty years. I heard countless tales that further reinforced my belief that Arctic Cat people are the most dedicated in the world.

Some examples:

-A guy from Canada brought a brake lever that had fallen off of Jim Dimmerman’s Sno Pro race sled when he crashed into the wall – 30 years ago! – and finally got it autographed.

-Upon seeing the reproduction Boss Cat I, Roger Janssen told a crowd the story of its very first run, literally scorching the grass strip he ran it down.

-Collector Henry Briscoe, whose battled cancer for many years, refused to let his health deter his intention to attend. He couldn’t bring his sleds, but he wouldn’t miss this weekend.

-Glen Hetherington, upon seeing his picture in the book “50 Years of the Cat,” literally broke into tears.

-People – probably hundreds of them – unabashedly wiping the tears from their face as they watched Roger Skime tell the story of fall of Arctic Enterprise in the outstanding video, “50 Years of Arctic Cat” that played throughout the weekend in the Huck Olson auditorium.

 

Everyone I talked with had a story to share. I only wish the event could have lasted another week so that I could have had enough conversations to feel satisfied. Indeed, I drove out of TRF on Sunday feeling gutted that the weekend had to end, and that I had to go to my “other” home.

There will be more photos and stories to share in the coming days, but for now I want to thank everyone who made the Arctic Cat 50th the ultimate reunion. I’m supremely grateful to part of this magnificent family.

Arctic Cat's 50th Anniversary

Kerry Zerbes not only made the trek from Ontario, but he also has an Arctic Cat tattoo on his arm. That's hardcore. (Thanks for the update on your name, Kerry. Sorry the first version of this story didn't contain it.)

 

Arctic Cat's 50th Anniversary

Saturday morning in the swap meet, I ran into Eric Bergstrom (purple) and Tom Rowland (black jacket), finding goodies for their fleet of vintage Cats. (Note to Eric and Tom: Remember the 48-hour rule when it comes to working on your WOBLE sleds!)

 

Idaho pipes?

Montana pipes on a '73 Arctic Cat El Tigre? Hmmm...

 

Brian Sturgeon (l) and Aaron Scheele

Two other guys I ran into many times on Saturday were Team Arctic legends Brian Sturgeon (l) and Aaron Scheele. Right before I snapped this shot, I asked them to point to whoever was the fastest.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Brian Sturgeon and Aaron Scheele

Sturgeon was also seen sitting on his old race sled throughout the weekend, wearing his old leathers.

 

Team Arctic Cat's Chester Boman stuff

Near the Sturgeon display was another collection of stuff from a famous Team Arctic racer, Chester Boman. Chester himself was on-hand during the weekend, looking fit and capable of shredding the vintage class in the upcoming I-500. How about it, Chester?

 

Arctic Cat's Joey Hallstrom and Brian Nelson

Joey Hallstrom (l) and Team Arctic legend Brian Nelson pose with their first and second-place finishing 1979 Arctic Cat El Tigre Cross-Country sleds from last year's USCC vintage I-500. On the right is the 1978 modern-replica that Nelson built as a fundraiser raffle for the Snowmobile Hall of Fame.

 

 Team Arctic Cat's Charlie Lofton display

Charlie Lofton's children, Charlene and Chad, put together a display of some famous items from Charlie's racing days.

 

Scott Schuster and Doug Oster (r)

Two more legends: Team Arctic Cross-Country stalwart Doug Oster (r) and Scott Schuster, one of the truly great behind-the-scenes people who helps make USCC races possible, organizes the vintage display at the 50th, helps with a snowmobile club and does a million other things to improve the sport. These two guys are awesome. Right before I shot this pic, I told them to point to whoever has the most grey hair.

 

Snowmobile capital of the world?

Not that Crookston isn't a great snowmobile town with lots of history (including hometown of Dale Cormican), but the "Snowmobile Capital of the World?" I'm going to consult with West Yellowstone and Eagle River to learn the truth.

 

Arctic Cat's 50th Anniversary

Pure beauty on so many different levels.

 

Arctic Cat Girl

Speaking of pure beauty, the famous Cat Girl was reprised for the 50th, making for a very enthusiastic male crowd at the Arcticwear fashion show.

 

Arctic Cat's 50th Anniversary

The historical fashion show was an AWESOME piece of the 50th, with hundreds of unique and rare items modeled by dozens of Arctic Cat personnel, racers and even Roger Skime. I see Team Arctic's Cody Thomsen in this shot, along with Dean Lawrenz.

 

Original Arctic Cat factory

Dave Guenther snapped this shot of some "red" Arctic Cats in front of what was the original Polar/Arctic Cat factory in TRF. Cool!

 

Original Arctic Cat Boss Cat trailer

Speaking of "original," check out the original Boss Cat trailer, restored from "the dead" by Tom Ische (r) with the loving support of his wife Nancy and daughter Brianna.

 

Prototype 1982/83 IFS Arctic Cat

Lots of vintage amazingness to see at the 50th, including this prototype IFS sled of Tom Rowland's that might have become a 1983 model had Arctic Enterprises stayed in the game.

 

Arctic Cat Boss Cat I, II and III

I keep posting photos of Boss Cat I, II and III because it was a huge highlight for me and thousands of others. Every once in awhile Brad Warning would fire-up Boss Cat II, and the sweet sound of a Chevy V8 would echo through the auditorium, followed by applause.

 

Paul Groth, Kirk Hibbert, Brad Warning and Boss Cat III

Kirk Hibbert told the story of being taking by his dad to West Yellowstone in 1972, and seeing the Boss Cat. Just a kid at the time, Kirk sat and stared at for more than an hour, with the same awe that struck thousands of other kids who saw these miraculous machines.

Thanks to Brad Warning (r) and the Warning family, at the 50th Hibbert (seated) got a chance to sit both Boss Cat II and III. Better still, he got to meet Paul Groth (l) who owned and raced Boss Cat II during the NSSR speed run era.

 

The ArcticInsiders were raging on the Arctic Cat Boss Cat II

Brad Warning was graciously allowing many people to sit in Boss Cat II until this numbskull wearing a 1971 Arctic Cat dealer show vest (thanks Krogstad!) showed up and slapped an ArcticInsider decal on the windshield. The security guards promptly removed him.

 

Tubby Lund, Arctic Cat chassis legend

Arctic Cat racer, engineer and chassis/suspension guru Tubby Lund was all smiles when he saw the ArcticInsider dork get hauled away in cuffs.

 

Polar Bug-O-Vac

People kept commenting how there were no mosquitos flying around TRF during the 50th. The reason: this sweet Bug-O-Vac was doing its job quite nicely.

 

Arctic Cat Wildcat team for Baja?

Sucking in their guts and inflating their chests, this is one motley crew that has some big history at Arctic Cat. On the left is Craig Kennedy, an ATV/Prowler/Wildcat engineer who just recently left the company for family reasons. Next to him is Jim Creagan and Chris Fallon, the nucleus of the Bi-Polar racing team that won the 2008 Baja 1000 aboard an Arctic Cat Prowler XTZ. On the right is Darren Holter, an Arctic Cat engineer who helped with the winning effort. Lots of talk going on between these guys about a 2013 Baja effort with the new Wildcat.

 

P.J. Wanderscheid: 4-time World Champ Arctic Cat racer

Four-time Eagle River World's Champion P.J. Wanderscheid was a popular figure at the 50th. He and the Country Cat crew had a cool diplay with his Championship winning sleds and trophies.

 

Arctic Cat raffle sled

This 2012 Arctic Cat F1100 is a still-open raffle item for the Snowmobile Hall of Fame in St. Germain, Wis. It was signed by all the Team Arctic racers in attendance at the 50th.

 

Arctic Cat raffle sled

Some names I see: Larry Coltom, Jim Dimmerman, Brian Sturgeon, Roger Janssen, Karl Christian, Chester Boman, Jim Safranski, Paul Dick, etc...

 

Team Arctic Cat's Jeremy Fyle

Team Arctic terrain racing legend Jeremy Fyle was all smiles as he signed the machine. Fyle was there with his longtime teammate, Dan Skallet. Great to see these guys.

 

Smiling Jim Dimmerman

There were so many highlights of the weekend, I couldn't name a favorite. But certainly some of the most emotional moments took place during the Team Arctic autograph get-together on Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds of racers and fans shared stories, signed autographs (and posters, shirts, memorabilia, etc...), shook hands and relived some glory moments of history. Above, Jim Dimmerman signs "his" page of the "50 Years of the Cat" book.

 

Arctic Cat legend, Larry Coltom

It's a good thing the legend, Larry Coltom, is a hardcore fisherman. He needed the extra arm endurance for all the autograph-signing during the event.

In all seriousness, Coltom still looks like he could kick-butt in any form of snowmobile competition. Great to see you again, Larry!

 

Arctic Cat terrain racer, Jamie Anseeuw

It was also awesome to see Team Arctic terrain racer Jamie Anseeuw. Jamie made a HUGE mark for Team Arctic as a cross-country racer in the 1990s, then again as the Canadian Team Manager for Blair Morgan, Carl Kuster and Earl Reimer.

 

Scott Davis and Carly Davis

In this photo, a 7-time Irondog champ is standing next to his 2-time ISOC snocross champ daughter, while the son of a multi-time MRP snocross champ shoots their photo.

From left: Scott Davis, Carly Davis and Ian Scheele.

 

Arctic Cat legend Roger Janssen (l), and some dufus from ArcticInsider

After a quick vest-change, the weirdo from ArcticInsider was back to causing trouble, this time with 1969 World Champ Roger Janssen. (Note to Stephen Knox: wait until you see the autographs I got for your book!)

I wonder what Jeremy Fyle (background, left) saw that popped his sunglasses on his forehead?

 

Tucker Hibbert signs away

Tucker Hibbert signed lots of posters, books and cans of Monster during the weekend.

 

Roger Skime, VP of Engineering at Arctic Cat

The most in-demand signature at the event was Roger Skime.

Roger Skime, VP of Engineering at Arctic Cat

I've seen Roger happy and enthusiastic a thousand different times over the years, but I've never seen him so amped as he was this weekend.

Roger Skime, VP of Engineering at Arctic Cat

I'm so happy that people were able to express to him their appreciation for all that he's done for Arctic Cat, and that he could tell them how priveleged he feels to have had an amazing lifetime/career at Arctic Cat.

 

Team Arctic racers at the 50th

Many of the Team Arctic racers gathered for an impromptu photograph on Saturday. Can you imagine the number of victories represpented by this group? Or the amount of hours they've spent preparing sleds? Or the thousands of miles they've driven to races all over the world? Or the number of kids who have watched them in wondrous awe?

I'll tell you this: I know the majority of people in this shot, and I can tell you that every single one of them was humbled and appreciative of all the attention they received over the weekend. They are great people, and it was an honor to shoot this photo.

 

Arctic Cat's 50th Anniversary

How fitting is it that Anniversary Edition F1100s were on the assembly line during the 50th?!? I can't wait to ride one.

 

Next generation Arctic Cat fans

I'll end this post with a photo that makes me supremely happy.

I see this image, and I see two kids who (hopefully) will have a lifetime of snowmobiling memories together. Who will dream, experience and share adventures of places unknown to them now, but that will be forever imprinted in their middle-aged memories.

Perhaps one will race, or maybe crew for someone who competes. One might work at a dealership, or even at Arctic Cat.

One might work multiple part-time jobs to save enough money to buy their dream machine. One might someday restore an example of their favorite machine from youth.

Maybe they will spend their Christmas breaks on snowmobile trips with their family? Maybe their Thanksgiving weekends will be spent at Spirit Mountain in Duluth?

But no matter what paths these two take, I like to believe they'll take them on Arctic Cats. And if they do, they'll share a passion that spans generations.

And perhaps 50 years from today, they'll be reliving the joy and happiness they experienced at the Arctic Cat 100th Anniversary.



Comments (33):

Stephen Knox says:
8/2/2011 12:43:00 AM

Wow, that would have been fun to be at! thanks for the great coverage of the show John. It means a lot for those of us that could not make it.
SK
Gudni Hermannsson says:
8/2/2011 5:24:00 AM

Dear John
Thank you for all this great information and those fine pictures. It is priceless for people far away. And thank you for this great website. All Arctic Cat fans in Iceland send you best regards. I am sure Arctic Cat fans from all over the world wish they had been in Thief River Falls this weekend. I was'nt able to be there, but I was with you in spirit.
Keep up the good work.
Take care.
G.Herm.
Iceland
Eric Bergstrom says:
8/2/2011 7:16:00 AM

Great write up John! When it comes to expressing the greatness of this event, you nailed it. On so many levels, it was the show of a lifetime.

I have a quick Roger Skime story. When the autograph session began, Tom (Rowland) and I jumped immediately into a quickly growing line to get Roger's autograph in our 50th books. As I approached him with a mass of people on all sides, I said, "Hi Roger, you look like a busy guy right now!" His reply: "This is the best day of my life."

I hope he knew how happy the rest of us were to share it with him. Thanks to Arctic Cat and everyone else who had anything to do with making this event happen.
Captain says:
8/2/2011 8:42:00 AM

It was an awesome time. One of my favorite stories from the weekend was Brian Nelson reflecting on an I500 race and all the backstage antics going on after the race was over.
Lots of politics behind the scenes and it was very interesting to hear this perspective.
I was in awe the whole time walking around looking at the various vintage machines, some of my racing idols from years gone by, etc.
But the highlight of the whole event was watching the video and listening to Roger Skime speak about Arctic Cat. This is what draws me to this brand, people like him and fortunately for Cat fans, the company is full of people just like him.
Kevin Hooper says:
8/2/2011 8:59:00 AM

The factory tour (I went twice) and meeting the AC legends were the highlights for me. Shaking hands with and talking to Dave Thompson and Larry Coltom topped it all. I was disappointed that Bob Elsner wasn't there, but other than that I met most of the racers I had hoped to meet and get their signatures.

Along that line I'd love to see a 'where are they now' on the racers who have retired from racing - how they spend their time - where they work - whether they ride sleds anymore - and if so what sled they drive (and things like that). How about it??

I too want to give kudos to everyone at Arctic Cat for welcoming us as they did. It was a great experience!
Shawn Hopkins says:
8/2/2011 10:22:00 AM

Great write up John, The 50th celebration was an incredible experience to attend. It was my wifes first trip to TRF and her first time seeing our oldest daughter, Megan Campbell #563, signing autographs for fans at the racer meet and greet. Mom wept seeing her signing the autographs and when she saw her sign the 50th sled. Special thanks to Wayne Davis for the incredible autograph posters he created for Megan.

As for my friend, Glen "Doc" Hetherington, being in the 50th book, the photo is of him and his father, Ted "Gramps" Hetherington, when they came to TRF when Glen won the Cat's Pride "Watch Your Sled Being Built Contest" The honor for him was even greater as a tribute to his father who passed unexpectedly last December.

Seeing old friends and meeting new ones was incredible, knowing that Megan and I will have our names on the 50th sled will be a part of Arctic Cat history is just amazing. Having Megan standing next to Kirk Hibbert in the racer photo along with "ALL" the Arctic Cat greats is an honor.

Also amazing.......Getting our own Arctic Insider Decals......watch for one to show up on Megan's new Race sled for this winter..........
John Zanon says:
8/2/2011 10:40:00 AM

Thanks to John Sandberg at Arctic Insider for making it easy for people who didn't attend see what it was all about. I got the feeling that another reunion will happen next summer after Roger Skime completes his 50th year at Cat.
"If that happens, I will walk the 500 miles from Upper Michigan if I have to!"
Eric "THE STALKER" Olivier says:
8/2/2011 12:06:00 PM

Seeing Glen and Gramp's picture in the 50th book was the highlight of the trip. We lost a great friend and Mentor when we unexpectedly lost "Gramps" last December. He is sorely missed by everyone who had the pleasure to know him. He was truly a great man.
Kerry Zerbes says:
8/2/2011 12:23:00 PM

Hi John,
Big... Big thanks to you and your site(arctic insider)thanks for the decals, it was nice to meet you along with Brian Nelson,Kirk Hibbert,Aaron Scheel and Joey Hallstrom.
Also nice work on the 50th DVD, i got a chance to finally see it when we got back to Canada....and yes it was difficult watching Roger and the gone fishin years!!
Thank you Arctic Cat for hosting 50 years....50 years of the Worlds finest snowmobiles!!!!
....oh and....John... for the record...thats me in photo #2 ....the guy with the Arctic Cat tattoo(cat head/air cat) :)

Kerry Zerbes
Ontario, Canada
Kyle Robbins says:
8/2/2011 1:03:00 PM

John, you hit the nail on the head. The 50th wasn't really about machines it was about the people. I didn't know it until reflecting on the weekend. I brought my two sons (ages 14 and 10) to TRF to show them a manufacturing plant and to give them an understanding of me and Arctic Cat. We took away more than I could have imagined. All three of us got caught up in the "passion." My oldest said at one point "is that why they say share our passion?" We also did not want to leave and end the wonderful experience. Everyone treated us like family. One of my sons out of the blue said he wouldn't mind living in TRF. I was also hiding tears during the video.

Thanks to everyone involved in this celebration, the first 50 years, and anyone who has felt the "passion." This is a special group of people that we feel honored to be a part of.
Todd Ulschmid says:
8/2/2011 2:38:00 PM

Reading the story and seeing all the pictures is the next best thing to being there... Thanks John!
Chase says:
8/2/2011 2:41:00 PM

i really had a good time there! lots of cool things.. im kinda mad i couldnt go saturday!!
David Schark says:
8/2/2011 8:20:00 PM

John what a great job with the bood and dvd and web site. Arctic cat is luckey to have a guy like you great job. You sure made my day I have watched the video 5 times already thanks David Schark
Pete and Joan Wainer says:
8/3/2011 11:55:00 AM

Thank you John for the great photo coverage of Arctic Cat's 50th Anniversary! Wonderful to see...unfortunately, we could not attend that weekend. Our grandson, Jace is in the last photo...love your sentiments...we started his dad (our son, Kale) out on a 1967 Alouette - we didn't know any better at the time:) Look where it took him! We are so proud of him and his passion for the sport.
Chad says:
8/3/2011 12:45:00 PM

THANKS to ARCTIC CAT for putting on a great 50th party and THANKS to John for the follow up for the people who could not attend.

PS Nice vintage vest you had on when taking pictures!!!!! Do you have any pictures of that open mod ZRT to post?
flintstone says:
8/3/2011 3:15:00 PM

was karl there?lol
John Sandberg says:
8/3/2011 7:46:00 PM

I so very much appreciate all the comments and personal stories here. Thank you all!

And please: Keep 'em coming.

Chad: If you're referring to the sled that the Sturgeon "dummy" is on above, that's all I've got.

Eric and Shawn: I wish I could have met "Gramps." Sounds like he made a difference in this world.

flintstone: No Karl. He should have been there!
Chad Colby says:
8/3/2011 10:05:00 PM

John... great write up, wonderful seeing all the photos. Wish i could have made it. Been looking forward to your story. Congrats on the 50th Arctic Cat, as a former employee, it's makes me proud. :)
Darin Martens says:
8/3/2011 10:22:00 PM

Great work john on the video and book! the quality of the 50'th hard cover
book with the embossed title and clear glossy pics. is second to none! and reasonably priced as well!
thanks again!
Dick says:
8/3/2011 11:06:00 PM

John;

Thanks for the great pictures and stories of this Great Event. I never heard a bad comment the entire weekend.

It was great to meet all the people (some I've never met), and some I haven't seen for years.

When Roger Skime talked and thanked the people for their support over the past 50 years it really got to me. It almost sounded like what Edgar would have said.
Tom Rowland says:
8/4/2011 6:52:00 AM

I too, thought that this event far exceeded my expectations. I have spent a few days trying to pick out a few highlights of my weekend that I could post about, but I cannot. The entire weekend is blurred together for me, I enjoyed every aspect of it. The Arctic Cat brand enjoys a great group of people...consumers, racers, those that manufacture them...and all the multitudes in between. I think Arctic Cat themselves said it best a few years ago in an advertising line that was comparing Arctic Cat to it's competitors..."What seperates us from them, is us". Thank You Arctic Cat for not just a very memorable weekend celebration, but, also for an amazing 50 years!
s.t.i.c.s.9 says:
8/4/2011 11:55:00 AM

Am I glad that I went? Hmmm, let me ponder that question a
bit.................. YES. It is like the others say, "It's all about the people".

(Please excuse the excessive name dropping that is going to
follow): When we got to the plant at nine on Friday morning for the tour, it seemed like people were running from their cars through the front doors of the lobby as though they were picking up their million dollar lottery winnings.

We went into the room were tour groups were gathering and I ran into an old friend from the Antique Snowmobile Club of America, Kevin Lehse (he is the talented artist that creates snowmobile prints and other artwork for Waconia). We shot the bull about the t-shirt that I was wearing (80's era "Arctic Cat Motorsleighs" with the picture of the old guy standing next to a model 170) as we waited for our guide. Our group had the most excellent guide, who is in charge of "lean manufacturing", I think his name was Tony.

Later in the day as we were going to the hockey arena, the first person I ran into was Dave Guenther past ASCOA president. He introduced me to "Captain" Kirk Hibbert as they just returned from Dave showing Kirk the trailer he owns which used to belong to Hibbert. Later we ran into my Thief River Falls "connection" Dick Krogstad.

While looking at the vintage sleds displayed in the Huck, I got into lengthy discussions with many of the displayers. I never knew that the Kranz from West Bend had such an elaborate collection. I have participated locally around here in shows with them. Everybody has their opinion as to which sleds are the best display pieces. All of the race sleds are cool, but are almost untouchable for the common collector.

Notable pieces that caught my eye:
-'67 Panther powered by a 4 cylinder Hirth Drone engine
-(3) '65 Tom Cats (just because I have one)
-'69 Panther with a 606 Wankel
-ALL OF TOM ROWLAND'S COLLECTION OH MY GOD!
-Boss Cats
-Bob Elsner's '81 snopro (first year that I went to Eagle River was '79...
so, I'm just saying)
-Every single last mini bike in the display (I would have given anything to have one of those back in the day)

While at the beer stand more BS'ing took place as we once again got hooked up with Dave Guenther and some guy from Eagle River that collects Vikings. Then we talked to a guy from Grand Forks who was interested in my blabbering promoting our S.T.I.C.S. group. (He is the guy that had a '51 Chevy flatbed with a model 500 on the back.)

Even while we were at the Black Cat, we got into a nice discussion with a guy from Flint, MI, although it was about Ford and GM.

On Saturday at the swap I ran into my local dealer. (T/A Motorsports Francis Creek, WI) Also on Saturday I saw many a few Arctic notables walking around (Skime, Sturgeon, etc.)

It honestly is a lot like a family or fraternity.
Doug Lubahn says:
8/4/2011 12:01:00 PM

Wow- simply wow. John thanks for all the coverage- it was especially helpful to those of us that couldn't make the journey up there!

And a big shout out to all of the past and present workers and staff at Cat- what a great group of people- without them none of our "passions" would ever have been!

Hope there is a 60th in the plans!
John Graber says:
8/4/2011 1:46:00 PM

My son wanted so bad to go but then couldnt find a friend to go with and was short on cash to get there. I had another comittment so also could'nt make it. I was wondering, was Gary Lemke from Grand Rapids there? He had a dealership that I worked for in '76-77....and heard he was a big part of Heeten and getting arctic going......so miss him and would of loved to see him...guess I'll have to run up too Grand Rapids.
Diane Sutton says:
8/5/2011 8:46:00 AM

Well, my comment is not going to be so glowing. Maybe a few others share our thoughts. We busted our butts shining up the sleds, loading them and driving many miles to get there. We spent a lot of money for fuel, lodging, food, etc. We did not even get a "Thank you", or a Tshirt. Come Sunday morning noone came to the arena to help us get the sleds loaded and out of there. The display of old sleds made the show. We will not do it again.
Dave Nehring says:
8/5/2011 11:01:00 AM

This may be a little callous, but I'm going to say it anyway - I know lots of people that brought vintage displays and sleds, etc - they did it for the sheer joy and passion that they get from showing their treasures - good for them - it's work, lots of work, but they still do it, not expecting t-shirts or thank you's, just for the passion - that's what last weekend was all about!!! Thanks, John, for all you've done, not just in the huge amount of work you had with the book and dvd, and prep work for the 50th, all you've done over the years - I for one, had the time of my life - I can't describe all of the emotions I felt last weekend and the days since.

Thank you,
Dave
John Sandberg says:
8/5/2011 12:05:00 PM

Couple thoughts:

When I saw numbers/size/quality of displays at the 50th, I realized that many, many people worked their butts off to be part of the event. They took days off of work, spent a lot of their own money and even more of their own time.

I KNOW that everyone - Arctic Cat employees, dealers and fans - HUGELY appreciated those efforts.

I also know that Arctic Cat is preparing a "Thank You" of sorts to everyone who came to the 50th, as well as those who brought collections and worked during the event.

Many people at Cat were running 100 mph last week and this week, and they're doing their best to express their gratitude ASAP.
Mark says:
8/5/2011 12:17:00 PM

Dear Diane,
I commend you for bringing sleds, spending the time and money to get to TRF.
Most people do it the pride they have in their sleds and personal satisfaction they get from preserving them. If you expected something more, we spectators are all sorry. If you're ulterior motive was gaining merchandise or some reward that is disappointing.
To everyone, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. You deserve accolades and the right to walk a little taller, puff out your chest alot farther!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jeremiah Johnson says:
8/5/2011 5:22:00 PM

Fuel for 2 vehicles(to bring 2 trailer loads of sleds to display): $1,100.00
Hotels for 6 of us:$856.00
32 hrs of driving
Getting to show our sleds at the Cat 50th: Priceless!

This is an event we would have never missed and were on sensory overload all weekend! We didnt even get to see it all. The best part of the weekend for us was seeing the racers from the past and how they mingled with the fans. We met some wonderful people and everyone was great. Cat did it up right and it was worth every second and every penny spent.

John- Your passion for Arctic Cat and the people reminds me of Rogers. Your enthusiasm for Arctic Cat and the people shines in your book, and we are honored to be a part of it. It was great to spend some time talking to you and your family! We are looking forward to having you and your family come and spend some time looking through the collection (Im sure Kate is ready to hold Justin again;)

To all of our friends in TRF we cant wait to see you guys again!

And Dave the 78's still not for sale!
Kevin Hooper says:
8/5/2011 8:04:00 PM

I also want to give a shout out to AC for providing the extended tours - and to the Arctic employees who guided the tours. These tours were led by employees from many different departments - and they did a great job. Our tour guide, Erick Halvorson, was outstanding. He was friendly, knowledgeable, and was a great representative of the company. My tour experience was so positive that I went a second time - this time on Saturday. The tour guide on that day also did a great job.

I guess what I'm really saying here is that while I have been an Arctic Cat diehard for many years, meeting the many dedicated and friendly employees of AC has taken my appreciation of the brand to another level.
Darrell Lish says:
8/7/2011 3:13:00 PM

John, The re-cap is the greatest. We are from Idaho and would not have missed this celebration. Also we have your autograph and to us, it is as important as all the racers that were there. I do not miss a day that I visit the ARCTIC INSIDER website. Thank you again for all the pictures and hope to see you at the 75th. Also to ARCTIC CAT for putting on a FIRST CLASS Party.

Thanks for the memories.
Darrell And Kathy Lish
Brent and Diane Beckstead All from IDAHO

PS. Brent is even in one of your pictures, of ROGER SKIME SIGNING THE POSTER.....
Greg Hallstrom says:
8/16/2011 1:52:00 AM

A great event! Would not have missed it for anything.
John Richards says:
11/25/2011 2:10:00 PM

Hi and thanks for posting the awsome pics and info. I cannot believe that we missed this event. We are a Cat family from Wawota Saskathewan Canada and planned to attend but wrongly assumed it was this coming July.
I am 52 so likely will be my boys going to the 100th.
I have a pic of Kirk and Tucker in the air on their race sleds and wanted to get it signed. I am also a huge fan of the vintage sleds and what better place to see the best of the best. I had booked a room for the event so will go tour the plant anyway, always wanted to see that. Thanks again J.R.

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