STURGIS, S.D. (KELO) — The 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is now in the books. The 9 day event, that wrapped up over the weekend, was the largest gathering nationwide since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Owner of Uncle Louie’s, David Stewart, says his restaurant was open 24 hours a day for the rally. While business was great last week, Stewart says it’s nice to get back to normal.
“It’s good because we can actually breathe, everybody is working 12 hour shifts so they got tired. But at the same time, we’ll miss everybody until next year. The good thing is, while we did have regulars come in, now more regulars will be able to come in because they can park on the street,” Stewart said.
As you can see the streets here in Sturgis are a bit less busy compared to last week. Some residents in the area are happy that the rally is over and some residents are sad to see it go.
Dennis Kopp has lived in Sturgis for 30 years. His family participates in rally events nearly every year.
“It’s not for everybody. I grew up around motorcycles so we love it. We like to see all the changes every year. It’s a great opportunity for some to come and make money as vendors,” Kopp said.
Shelby Speyer also lives in Sturgis. He was not in favor of the city hosting this year’s rally. Speyer says he’s glad it’s over.
“I was concerned about the COVID coming in with that many people and that close of distance. It tried to avoid the downtown area, except when I had to go down there,” Speyer said.
This year’s rally brought in hundreds of thousands of visitors. And now, the city of Sturgis is getting back to its normal population of about 7,000 people.
The city of Sturgis is hosting mass COVID-19 testing, which will happen roughly four to seven days after the rally. That should allow enough time for people to show symptoms if they caught the virus during the event.