CUSTER, S.D. (KELO) — Things are revving up all over the Black Hills as the Sturgis Rally is just days away. The rally is getting national attention, as it’s one of the first major events to take place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. While it’s raising concerns as cases surge in parts of the county, communities here in KELOLAND are preparing for an influx in traffic.
The streets in Custer are filling up with motorcycles from all over.
Jessica Noteboom, Marketing Director for Custer Hospitality says hotels, like Holiday Inn are making sure to take proper health precautions such as a grab and go breakfast, plexiglass shields, and wearing masks.
“We’ve lightened our cancellation policy so normally rally week we would do two week cancellation policy as it’s a really high demand time in our peak season. So even 24 hours out if a guest needs to cancel, they may do so,” Noteboom said.
Noteboom says that the hotels and resorts ask that visitors wear masks and to stay home if they are not feeling well.
Cherish Baker with Baker’s Bakery and Cafe said that just yesterday the business sold about 150 pounds of hash browns.
“Oh yes. We were on a wait yesterday, they were coming faster than I could write down their names,” Baker said.
Right now, Baker says she is ordering food to stock up for rally week and she hopes she has enough.
“So yesterday was the same as last year’s first weekend of the rally so I’m a little bit nervous,” Baker said.
The restaurant is protecting customers and staff by using online menus. They’re also not leaving condiments on the tables but bringing to customers when they ask for them.
“We’re just going to do the best we can with what we got this year so that’s about it,” Baker said.
The Custer cafe is one of many Black Hills businesses doing everything it can to make sure rally-goers return home with good memories and not a virus.
The owner of Baker’s Bakery says the business is hiring. Normally, the seasonal cafe hires some employees from other countries. However, that could not happen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.