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August 04, 2014 10:00 PM

Small Towns See Boost From Bikers

Faulkton, SD

It's rally time, which means a lot of bikers heading to Sturgis and spending money in the state.  That isn't only money spent in and around the Black Hills. In fact, a lot of small towns see an increase in traffic as bikers make their way to Sturgis.

Crossing the middle of South Dakota, U.S. Highway 212 will eventually bring bikers to the Black Hills and through several other places too.

"We're going to take 212 all the way up to Sturgis," Watertown biker Aaron Marotz said. "Hit all the small towns."

Marotz will buy fuel and items such as cigarettes and energy drinks while in those small towns. He stopped in Faulkton Monday before continuing west. He also stopped in the small town of Doland and expects to spend money in other rural communities.

“We have a major benefit of sales tax dollars coming into town both on their way to Sturgis and on their way back, so big boost for our community," Faulkton Mayor Slade Roseland said.

Judy Grabinski works at a Faulkton gas station and says hundreds of bikers could pass through the doors on a given day. She says rally time is one of the bigger boosts the store will see all year.

It isn't only during rally week that businesses here expect an increase in traffic.

"You know, it's easily a week or two before the rally and a week or two after. I mean, people kind of spread it out; it's nice that it goes throughout the whole month," Grabinski said.

As he makes his way to the Hills, Marotz says he won't be gone that long but places like Faulkton can expect to benefit from his trip home as well.

"We're going to stay up there about three, four days and then head back and, yeah, same thing.  Going to stop at all the small towns," Marotz said.

Grabinski says a lot of traffic comes from the Twin Cities but some from as far away as New York have made stops in Faulkton this year.

The Faulk County Sheriff says he hasn't run into problems with increased crime around Faulkton as more people pass through the area heading to Sturgis.

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