SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — They came two by two and if they rode it’s on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and many are from Minnesota, Nebraska or Colorado.
The city of Sturgis Rally and Events Department conducts a survey during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The rally report for 2019 includes demographic and other data from 2019, 2018 and 2017.
For three years in row most out of state rally attendees came from Minnesota. Between 7% and 8% of attendees were from Minnesota in 2019. About 7% were from Colorado and between 6% and 7% were from Nebraska. The rank in 2018 was Minnesota, Nebraska and Colorado. It was Minnesota, Colorado and Nebraska in 2017.
The average age of 2019 rally attendee was 54, according to the city of Sturgis. The fewest number of riders came as a single and most traveled in pairs followed by groups of six or more. About 35% came as twos in 2019 while about 15% came in groups of six or more.
The average age is part of a group that didn’t make a decision to attend the rally until June or July, according to a South Dakota Department tourism report from 2017 given in a 2019 post rally report.
Most 2019 rally attendees stayed at campgrounds (about 50%) or motels, (between 10% and 20%). Between 10% and 20% stayed in private rentals while about 10% stayed with friends and family. Other spots were shared between air bed and breakfasts and a category described as other.
Those percentages were similar to those from 2018 and 2017.
Retirees made up between 25% and 30% of all attendees in 2019. From 2017 through 2019, most attendees’ incomes was in the $51,000 to $100,000 range. It accounted for about half of all income categories during the three years.
South Dakota Tourism includes as one of its target markets those who are 50 and older with household incomes of more than $100,000 with no children in the household. That market is called Wanderers, according to the state tourism department.
In general, the older the rally attendee, the more money they spent, according to the 2019 city of Sturgis rally report.
Attendees in the 44 to 54 age range spent $374 a day over 4.75 days, according to the 2019 city of Sturgis rally report. Those in the 55 to 64 range spent $366 a day over 4.85 days.
Those older than 64 spent $398 a day over 5.18 days.
Attendees 35 to 44 spent $365 a day over 4.29 days while 18 to 34 year olds spent $338 a day over 4.21 days.
Those over 64 and those 35 to 44 spent almost the same amount of money on food, beverage and lodging in 2019. Those over 64 spent slightly less on shopping and much less on admissions than 35 to 44 year olds. Those over 64 spent more on transportation.
South Dakota Tourism describes a target market in the 25 to 44 age range as searchers who have household incomes of $50,000 to $100,000 with no children in the traveling party. Searchers have a high interest in active vacations, are less likely to own a home than other categories and are more likely to have college degrees than other categories, according to the state tourism department.
While many attendees were retirees, others were self-employed (10%) and employed in trade or labor position, technical or management or other professions in which all percentages hovered between 5% and 10%. Medical, law, military, education and the category of other were just over 5% or below 5% of all occupations.