SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Businesses across South Dakota are preparing for bikers after the Sturgis City Council voted 8-1 to hold the 80th annual rally this summer. The event brings plenty of business to the Black Hills area, but also to the rest of South Dakota, as visitors from across the country travel through the state.
The summer months mean more motorcycles on the road and more business for J&L Harley Davidson.
“Being in the crossroads of Interstate 29 and Interstate 90, we see a ton of tourists throughout the summer. you know, July and August we have extended hours to help accommodate all those people riding through,” J&L Harley Davidson Co-Owner Jimmy Entenman said.
Nearly half a million people attended last year’s Sturgis rally. That increased traffic is important for motorcycle shops across the state.
“We definitely see an increase in our service business, an increase in our t-shirt sales, and you know we even sell bikes to people passing through that time of year. The summer tourist business is very important to us,” Entenman said.
Monday night’s announcement to hold the rally this year was some welcome news.
“I’m happy that it’s going to continue to go on, especially for the businesses in South Dakota, and for Sturgis and around the Hills,” motorcyclist Colleen Convey said.
And a decision both Convey and Entenman say makes sense.
“The vendors were going to be out there anyway so I think it just makes sense to be able to promote it, and still say they’re having the rally. Because you’re going to have the motorcyclists out there this July and August anyway,” Entenman said.