City of Sturgis seeks public’s opinion on holding rally this year

STURGIS, S.D. — Should Sturgis hold the 80th rally in August? The overwhelming answer from city residents is no.

62% who answered a survey say they want to postpone the rally, while acknowledging people will still come.

Sturgis City council and manager have a lot to consider when it comes to the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally to be held in August. Right now, they have about two weeks to decide whether or not to cancel one of the city’s biggest moneymakers.

Sturgis City Council has been asking for opinions on the issue for over a month. Just over 3,200 were sent out and 1,100 that were returned said they want the event canceled to avoid COVID-19 spread.

Dan Ainslie, Sturgis City Manager, said “When we sent the surveys out myself and council were receiving a lot of inquiries from the public to find out if the rally was canceled, what would that financial impact be on the city. And looking at it and just as an estimate, but looking at it does look like if we were too fully cancel the rally it would probably be a net loss to the city of about 1.7 million.”

Main Street business owners say they need the rally to keep their doors open.

Jessica Kerlin, Owner of Unique to Antique, said “If the rally isn’t here I will lose my building. I own it and without that rally income there’s not enough money to support it.”

Ainslie says there is still the potential for tourists to come if the rally is canceled this year.

Robin Baldwin, Owner of Sturgis Rally and Gold Inc., said “We know there is going to be a lot of motorcycles here anyway, a lot of people have said their coming and campgrounds are full, so we know we will still be busy. Our concern is we still need to have a lot of things in place by the city to manage the number of people that will be coming.”

A special meeting on June 8 will be held at the Sturgis Community Center to discuss the rally.

The final decision on whether to cancel will be made on June 15.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News