The story was contributed by Kyle Hofland.
If you were around in the 1970’s during the OSRF days (mostly in Canada), you may have heard a name around the track known as Doug Hofland. Well if you knew of him, he was my father’s uncle. He owned an Arctic Cat dealership called Sno Runner Sales & Service located in Belle Ewart, Ontario, Canada.
He first started dealing Cats in 1970 just after finishing dealing and racing skidoo’s. In November of 1978, the shop caught fire due to trailer welders inside. Only four sleds were saved. Lost was 21 brand new Jag 3000’s that had never seen snow, his fully restored 1976 Z 440 MOD which he used to race, and many other sleds and parts. But since he lived in a small town, everybody knew him so they donated everything they could so he could keep going. Shop, tools, compressors, etc. With all of the involment in the community, Doug reopened Sno Runner the next day.
He did really well as a dealer, winning Arctic Cat’s "Dealer of the Year" award three times. It was all family run. The employee’s who worked there were him, my father and his two brothers. He had some family friends work there but never an average joe.
p>Sadly in 1996, Doug was killed in a fire in Haliburton Forest where his trailer was located. Our whole family was devistated. I don’t remember much of him, (being only two years old at the time) but what memories I have a vivid and colorful.
In the winter of 1997 when Arctic Cat introduced the new ZR 500 & 600 prototypes, my great Aunt ordered one 500 for my dad and his brothers to try out. In the fall of 1997, my dad bought it, and still owns it to this day, looking like the day it was bought, and the spedometer reading only 3800 miles. In 1999 my great Aunt sold the dealership. Sno Runner Sales & Service was gone after 29 years.
To this day, my family still rides Arctic Cat’s. Growing up from a 1998 Kitty Kat, to a 2002 ZR 120, to a 1990 Jag 340, to a 1998 ZR 600 EFI, now to a 1999 ZR 500. Not to mention my 1976 Arctic Cat Pantera, which is currently under restoration. Until the day I die, I will always have my blood run green – It’s a family thing alright.