Around 500,000 bikers are expected at this weekend’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Many of them are traveling hundreds and even thousands of miles to be a part of the largest motorcycle event in the country.
Allan Robertshaw and his wife are making a pit stop along I-90.
Their destination: The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
But to get here, the British couple first flew across the pond from their home in France.
“We flew into Chicago, rented a motorcycle, and are stopping at various on route after I-90,” Robertshaw said.
But before Sturgis, they’re stopping in Sioux Falls.
“It was just Google. We googled what images came up and went, ‘That would be interesting,'” Robertshaw said.
That’s why the Sioux Falls Visitors Bureau and several hotels are set up here at the Valley Springs Information Center.
The goal: to make Sioux Falls a destination city. Not just a city to drive by, or fly over.
Hoping to convince more travelers to stop at the Falls before heading West.
“Several hotels ready to promote their businesses, if they have any questions, we can give them maps, we have the Sioux Falls visitors guide, the Falls Park brochure,” Rachel Crane, with the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau, said.
It’s estimated the rally brings $800 million to South Dakota annually, and Sioux Falls wants to capitalize on that.
So even if visitors aren’t making a stop on their way out West, there’s hope travelers will keep it in mind for a future destination.
“We have several people say, ‘Oh I heard about you’, we wanted to come back and stay and check out what you have to offer,” Crane said.
“Everything else seems to be falling into place, it’s terrific,” Robertshaw said.
This year marks the 78th annual Sturgis Rally which takes place the first week of August.