It turned out to be a good year for the Sturgis Rally in terms of crowd estimates and in terms of the money spent.
New numbers from the South Dakota Department of Revenue show a healthy growth for the 2018 Rally.
Reports from vendors varied for the 2018 Sturgis Rally, all the way from estimates of way down to quite good.
“Our head count was up about three times. So that was real good for us,” Rally Business Owner, Kimberly Roberts said.
“Yes, it was pretty steady. Not a parking spot to be found all week,” Rally Business Owner Jessica Kerlin said.
Hard numbers from the South Dakota Department of Revenue confirm that taxes collected, showed a healthy increase over last year.
“Stating that in general, overall, taxes collections were up about three percent. So that’s on all sales,” Sturgis Public Information Officer Christina Steele said.
During the 2018 Rally, the department took in $1.29 million, that’s up from the $1.25 million collected last year.
“This year was a good Rally. The weather was great. It had good attendance, so it turned out well,” Steele said.
Even though tax numbers were up, and business activity was probably up as well, that business activity was being conducted by fewer vendors: about 40 fewer than last year.
But estimates of overall attendance say about a half million visitors attended.
“I think a huge driving factor is the economy: How confident people feel in traveling because a lot of the Rally attendees come from quite a ways away.” Steele said.
And Sturgis is being more pro-active in promoting the Rally.
“And the fact this year we did a lot of digital advertising, more so than in past years. That made a big difference because we can target audiences through social media,” Steele said.
The word “successful” is the one being used most often to describe the Rally this year.
Sturgis Rally officials say they will have more complete and more specific Rally numbers next month.