Sturgis prepares for 75th Motorcycle Rally
The 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is fast approaching. Early birds are already rolling into town. Rally predictions are showing more people are arriving much earlier for this rally than usual, which means we could begin to see an influx of people.
With less than two weeks away until the official kick off, the City of Sturgis is hard at work. "We are finalizing our plans. We’re getting infrastructure in place, hanging banners, putting out temporary stop signs, setting barricades," says Christina Steele, Public Information Officer.
This year’s rally is expected to bring in at least 750,000 people. The City of Sturgis says vendor licenses are already up from 2014. "So far we have about 185 licenses issued and we normally don’t track them real close. So being two weeks out and having that number means were going to have a very big year," says Steele.
Holiday Inn Hotel Manager Jenni Hall says, "It’s something we have prepared for or tried to prepare for the last year. You just have to make sure your staff is up to date on everything that’s happening, all of the events. They know the quickest and fastest route to get everywhere. It’s just a lot of knowledge."
Many hotels are already sold out. "The week before this year’s rally, we are completely sold out, so we're seeing a lot of people that want to get out and ride when it's less congested. I think that’s what they are hoping for. So we have seen a huge increase in that week before," says Hall.
Steele says people arrive earlier for other reasons "A lot of people find that fascinating to see the tents going up, the vendors coming in, so a lot of people are here earlier.”