2017 Sturgis Rally sees 6.6 percent attendance increase over 2016

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STURGIS, S.D. - The city of Sturgis released official 2017 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally statistics at an inaugural After Rally Summit.

According to officials, the 2017 rally saw a 6.6 percent increase in attendance, with a count of 480,000 people. Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie credits the increase to a first-time concentrated digital marketing effort. Ainslie says the strategy attracted a large number of first-time visitors and those younger in age.

As preparations begin for the 78th annual Sturgis Rally, officials are trying expand visitors' stay from three to four days to possibly five to six days.

"We are really looking to partner more and more with the community and businesses that are in the Southern Hills, that are in Rapid City, to have better programs and packages … it makes it easier for [new attendees] to actually be able to experience things here in the Black Hills, and make the most of their vacation," said Ainslie.

The After Rally Summit also discussed marketing tips for local businesses to attract motorcycle entusiasts.

The 78th annual Sturgis Rally will take place Aug. 3-12, 2018.

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