Time to start planning now for 75th Rally
Published: Thursday, August 14th, 2014
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in 2015 could be an absolute horror show. All indications are pointing to a Rally the likes of which the Black Hills have never seen next year, as the Rally celebrates its 75th anniversary. Typically, the significant anniversaries of the Rally—or really any event, for that matter—brings a larger number of visitors to that event. Such will be the case next year, when those in the know are speculating that over a million bikers could invade the Black Hills.
Think about that for a moment. Over a million bikers into the Black Hills. On an average year, around 400,000 to 450,000 visitors come to the Hills for the Rally. Next year’s Rally could realistically triple the numbers we see on an average year. It’s both a daunting and scary thought. Where will we put them all? What about the additional trash? The additional traffic on the roads? By this time next year, we may be talking about the most chaotic Rally ever that devolved into a blood bath and disaster.
That’s why we believe planning must start now. Officials with the City of Sturgis don’t seem overly concerned about the significantly larger amount of traffic and biker bodies in town next year, saying simply that since Sturgis only can hold so many people, it will sort itself out. That seems a bit short-sighted. And it’s not just Sturgis that must plan. It’s every community Black Hills, and even region-wide. Hotels from here to Nebraska and North Dakota are going to be full and the additional traffic is going to make travel a nightmare and the probability of more accidents and more severe accidents that much higher. Emergency responders are going to have to figure out how they are going to respond to the predicted crush of people. More ambulances, helicopters and people to deal with trauma seem like a must next year.
Even those of us who just hunker down during the Rally have to plan ahead. If the predictions hold true, even doing the simplest of things like filling up your gas tank or going to the bank may become a chore no one wants to deal with. It may be a good idea to fill up with fuel and take care of all your chores downtown before the bikers arrive. A little planning can go a long way toward making the week much less of a headache.
While the additional people will obviously cause additional stress and further tax the area, it will sure be something to see. It will also be great for businesses in the area. The more people who come to town, the more money will be spent here. And, while the Rally can be an inconvenience, there is no denying the economic impact it has in Custer, the Black Hills and the state. In a state that relies heavily on tourism dollars for everything it does, having a million people flood the Black Hills will be a good thing, not a bad thing.
So, enjoy some peace and quiet while you can. A year from now could get really interesting, really quickly.
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