Sturgis Motorcycle Rally brings travel benefits to Sioux Falls
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - It’s no secret that the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally brings visitors not only to the Black Hills, but the rest of the state as well. It’s an increasing target for communities along the way to get those bikers headed out west to stop in eastern South Dakota, especially Sioux Falls.
Sioux Falls sits at one of the last crossroads for those looking to get to Sturgis from the east and south. Over the years, it’s become the last stop for many looking to head west. Experience Sioux Falls has spent the last year leaning into that reputation.
“We’ve advertised ourselves over the year as the perfect ‘one-day-out’ stop from the Sturgis Rally. We’ve been all over in magazines, print, digital letting people know that.” Experience Sioux Falls Executive Director Teri Schmidt said.
Schmidt said they’ve seen an increase in bikers stopping and staying in Sioux Falls before making the last leg of their trip to the Rally, and those visitors spend money in businesses of every kind during their stay.
“We see them in our hotels, we see them in the restaurants. A lot of times, they’ll stop at a grocery store to grab some things.” Schmidt said.
One of the most visited spots in Sioux Falls is J&L Harley-Davidson. Co-owner Jimmy Entenman said the weeks leading up to, during, and after the Rally are some of the biggest they have all year, and they want to make sure those visiting Sioux Falls have a great impression.
“It’s our job to take care of them while they’re on the road, to make sure they get where they’re going. Take care of their bikes if they need it. Host them, make sure if they need help looking at the merchandise, that we help them. But we want to make sure that we’re taking care of our local customers during the Rally too.” Entenman said.
Entenman said they’ve seen more visitors this year from outside the country as well, something they see as a welcomed surprise.
“It’s kind of nice now with a lot of the COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, that we’re seeing a lot more international travelers. So that was pretty cool.” Entenman said.
Schmidt said the better the Rally in Sturgis does, the more visitors Sioux Falls receives. So it’s important for Experience Sioux Falls to help make sure bikers’ visits to the state are as pleasant as possible, from East River to West River.
“We see more people stopping in Sioux Falls every year. As the Rally does well, so does the state of South Dakota. And I think that’s the main thing, not only economically. But to get to share the beauty of South Dakota with these people, is pretty important.” Schmidt said.
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