STURGIS, S.D. – City officials held their annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Post-Rally Summit today at the Sturgis Community Center.
The annual summit brings together those who cater to rally-goers to learn more about who attends and what it takes to market to them.
Today’s summit provided programs on rally initiatives, sponsorship insights, impacts on local businesses and attendee demographics.
Sturgis Director of Communications and Outreach Deb Holland provided the demographics of this year’s rally – noting that Minnesota, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming continue to be big states in attending the annual event. Of note, Holland says they noticed a drop in the 65 and older crowd this year and an increase in the younger demographic.
Also speaking today was Sponsorship and Brand Director Lance Scherer, who touched on this year’s new sponsor, Ride With Us. They provided motorcycle enthusiasts that don’t ride a chance to ride one. The first-ride experience was free, with bikes, gear and personal coaches provided.
And, Sturgis Council President Beka Zerbst provided the Rally’s economic impact this year. Zerbst says this year’s event brought in $658,581 in sales tax for the city of Sturgis. That is second only to the 75th in 2013. Zerbst also says they estimated this year’s attendance at 617,000 people. The city arrived at their figure by using a new A.I., or Artificial Intelligence system.
The old method of calculating the attendance relied on D.O.T. counters placed around Sturgis.
To conclude this year’s summit, the city presented checks to area non-profits with proceeds from Rally events such as the annual Mayor’s ride.