Officials with the City of Sturgis and the Strugis Motorcycle Rally are extremely pleased with the final numbers for the 2018 motorcycle event in the Black Hills.
They show an attendance rate that was well up from last year, and is one of the biggest rallies in recent years.
Organizers already had the feeling the 2018 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was going to be a good year. Now the official numbers confirm that gut feeling.
“It was a fantastic year. The total attendance was 495,000. That was over a 10 day period. You know, one of the surprising statistics was actually 17 percent of the people came before the rally, so that 495,000 doesn’t include an extra 90,000 people that came before the rally even started,” said Daniel Ainslie, the Sturgis City Manager.
Ainslie says the 2018 rally was the second biggest rally in the last decade.
And those numbers were largely reflected in the impressions we got from talking to merchants
around town. For example, Indian Motorcycle says it has seen a steady increase over the last few years, but 2018 brought in more customers than ever.
“We did have our biggest rally ever, and we set records internally for ourselves and everybody was smiles at the rally that’s for sure, so, yeah,” said Matt Hensley, with Indian Motorcycle.
The economic impact for the entire area was also substantial.
“Over a half a billion dollars of direct investment here in the Black Hills region,” said Ainslie.
Ainslie says organizer’s efforts to attract a younger generation are also working. This past year, the average age was under 50.