SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Another Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is in the books.
But for Tammy Even-Cordell, this rally was a special one. In her new position as Director, this is her first time planning the big event.
Bikers from across the country and beyond… newcomers and Sturgis Rally veterans, this year’s Motorcycle Rally had it all.
“Me and my brother-in-law rode about 14-hundred miles to get here. We spent a couple days on the road and it is absolutely amazing to be here. To really see the spectacle that is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally,” Jon Granberg, biker, said.
This is the 82nd anniversary of the event. And while some say it’s not the busiest year they’ve seen yet, hundreds of thousands of visitors are still making their way through town.”
“The trip was so amazing. The view, the scenery is unbelievable. We’ve been to other events like Florida Bike Week, nothing like Sturgis. Sturgis is the ultimate, we will never miss it again, I love this place,” Randy McDaniel, biker, said.
While these rally-goers enjoyed their time at this year’s week-long event, people behind the scenes were working long days to keep everything running smoothly.
From Public Works Crews to Law Enforcement, everyone comes together to make it possible.
“Everything seems to be going good, we are having a good year,” Sheriff Ron Merwin, Meade County, said.
“It’s been a smooth rally. We’ve been having it for 82 years, everybody kind of has it down. We got a lot of seniority and veterans staffing the rally so that makes a huge huge difference,” Rick Bush, Public Works Dir., said.
But for Tammy Even-Cordell, the City of Sturgis’s newest Rally Director, this year was one she won’t forget.
“I just want to thank all the city staff. They have gone above and beyond. They do their real jobs, they step in and they do another job, they get pulled away from that and help me do other things. The staff here is just incredible,” Even-Cordell said.
For many years, Even-Cordell has been either attending or working the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. She previously worked on some other big name rally events across the country. But planning one of the biggest motorcycle events in the country is a big task.
“I’ve always been around the rally, I’ve worked other rallies across the nation and this week is always a week that I look forward to. I know it’s almost no sleep for any day of the week. But it’s fun, I enjoy seeing the friends that I’ve made and just all the friends I haven’t met yet that are going to be coming to the rally too,” Even Cordell said.
City Manager, Daniel Ainslie, has helped to plan the rally for several years. He says for the most part, this year has been a good one.
“The average length of time that people are staying downtown continues to increase. Which is fantastic for our vendors and fantastic for our year-round businesses that instead of people being here for two hours, they are here for six or eight hours,” Daniel Ainslie, City Manager, said.
However, there were a few challenges along the way. Including lack of parking and staff.
“One of the biggest challenges that we have and it’s not just unique to us, it’s any business throughout the entire Black Hills is the significant labor shortage. That has hit our city quite hard throughout the summer trying to hire seasonal and especially during the rally,” Ainslie said.
Regardless, Even-Cordell says she is happy with how things turned out this year and is already looking forward to next year.
“Oh I have a list. It’s kind of like a suggestion box from me, to me of things that I’d like to change this year,” Even Cordell said.