Steven Marlenee: True Enthusiast
The majority of the snowmobile community is quite familiar with their “True Enthusiast” Steven Marlenee. When not working as a Vice President for an energy-centered construction company, the husband and father of a newborn somehow finds the time to tirelessly support the sport he loves - snowmobiling. What makes it all so remarkable is not just the amount of work that he puts in to benefit his community, but that Steven has found a way to make it look oh so cool!!!
Steven you’re a tough guy to catch up with these days.
Tell me about it. It’s what February 23 and I have only slept in my own bed four times since Christmas.
Hey Steven, tell us how your passion for snowmobiling all began.
Sometime ago our family had fallen on some hard times. We had some old snowmobiles from the early eighties lying around and the agencies were looking for people to help deal with the overpopulation of coyotes in the area. My Dad and I dusted off the old snowmobiles and utilized them to pursue the coyotes.
Ultimately this experience had a profound effect on a father and son as we both fell in love with snowmobiles at an early age. We developed a real passion for the sport and helped start a snowmobile club in my hometown back in Montana. We put on real popular drag races that grew and grew over the years and eventually it raised money for scholarships. The program years later continues to thrive this day.
The passion for snowmobiles as father and son continued all the way through high school, but then when I got to college I had to shut it off.
So when and how did Marlenee Photography come about.
After wrapping up the whole college experience I got back into the sport. For a number of years I was living and riding in Montana and Wyoming. But when a job brought me to Colorado, I was the new kid on the block; I did not know anyone, I did know where to ride and I did not know of any cool events happening in Colorado. So I got involved with a number of nonprofits like the Colorado Snowmobile Association and the Colorado Blizzards.
It was different scene here in Colorado and I saw a real opportunity to help grow the sport. I got involved with several large OHV promotional campaigns including the revitalization of the Rocky Mountain Snowmobile Expo, an extensive next generation mapping project to promote us, as well as working with Joe Duncan in the reintroduction of the Hill-Cross circuit and events leading up to the X-Games.
My passion for photography started off slowly. Initially I used an onboard camera to help promote our sport, but there is a real opportunity to capture the image itself; the beauty of challenge and the terrain we surround ourselves in. However no one really enjoys carrying around all that equipment and stopping to take pictures, we would all prefer to be riding. But for some reason I took on the challenge and began taking pictures of my favorite riders in some of the coolest places.
Well as it turns out, there is a strong appreciation for this type photography and it just really helps promote our sport. Businesses and enthusiasts alike connect with a passion to promote our sport through nonprofits such as the CSA and Colorado Blizzards, and they too choose to get involved by donating their time and money. It’s just been a contagious spirit, the love for our sport. Everyone is coming together and doing good things.
So your volunteer work has opened a bunch of doors for you?
Oh Yeah!!! I have been fortunate enough to create solid relationships with athletes and companies alike, which in turn choose to support CSA. Together we have had the opportunity to create trips, adventures and often stories that often are published. It’s a win-win-win all the way around.
Tell us about your experience at the Winter X-Games.
Well the Winter X Games started on a Wednesday night, I got a call that Wednesday afternoon from Joe Duncan saying, “I got you press pass your coming out”. I packed my bags, headed out and took pictures till midnight. Of course all the hotels were booked, I was 5 hours away from my house and luck have it a bunch of the pro athletes let crash at their pad. It was awesome. One of the most epic weeks of my life!
What advice would you have for people wanting to get involved in the sport?
Set the tone to volunteer 40 hours a year. There are so many resources not being utilized. So many cool experiences that are just raring to be had, but it is all for not unless people get involved and roll up their sleeves.
So what’s next in store for Marlenee Photography?
My primary responsibilities are my family and my day job. I am about tapped out with my volunteer efforts and I don’t want this to feel like a job. I am doing all this because I love my sport.
Who would you like to thank.
KLIM, zbroracing, Tyler’s Back Country Awareness, Brap Wraps, Sled Threads, Mountain Skillz with Matt Entz, CSA, Colorado Blizzard and Joe Duncan and a host of others.