STURGIS, S.D. (KELO) — Camping is still the king for places people stay when attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
But home-sharing services like Airbnb and Vrbo have slowly been gaining in popularity for visitors. Four days before the official start of the 2022 Sturgis Rally, some Airbnb and Vrbo options still remain available.
According to the city of Sturgis’ 2021 rally report, rally goers visited Sturgis for an average of five days last year and the total length of stay in the Black Hills was seven days. That was nearly 8% longer than average length of stays in 2019, 2018 and 2017.
“So they stayed two days that they weren’t even in Sturgis. They were in Rapid City. They were in Hill City. They were in Custer. They were at Devil’s Tower,” Jerry Cole, the former director for the Sturgis Rally, said during the 2021 Rally Summit.
Ahead of this year’s rally, new rally director Tammy Even-Cordell said campgrounds and hotels were happy with the number of registrations ahead of the event. She said some places already had waiting lists going.
For 2021, more than 50% of people attending the rally listed camping as the location where they stayed. Camping outside of Sturgis was the highest at just over 30%, while hotels and camping inside the city of Sturgis were both just under 20%.
“Over 50% of the people in some means camped when they came to the rally,” Cole said. “That’s pretty much been the trend all along.”
Cole said hotel and motel stays have stayed fairly consistent.
“Places like the Buffalo Chip also had incredible entertainment and people stayed for that,” Cole said, adding that RV sales were up across the United States in 2021.
Airbnb and Vrbo were at 8%, ahead of private rentals, other and yard camping.
Cole said the Airbnb and Vrbo option has been a growing trend for rally goers and showed how the option has increased since 2017.
How do lodging costs compare?
According to Vrbo’s website, only 4% of 37 properties were available to rent for at least four people for the upcoming weekend. The most expensive was a new home at PowderHouse Pass for $1,500 a night for a house that sleeps 20. The cheapest option was $309 a night for an apartment duplex.
Airbnb’s website listed 12 stays ranging from $1,500 a night for a Victorian home and as low as $210 a night for an apartment in Whitewood.
A one-night campground admission costs $69 at the Buffalo Chip campground, while three-day campground spots cost $236 and a 10-day rally pass costs $370.
Many campgrounds will have options for same-day camping and some houses in Sturgis offer yard tenting during the rally.