Money, Money, Money, Money

September 10, 2014

All Posts, News

The numbers are in for the motorcycle rallies in Sturgis, South Dakota and Atlantic Beach, South Carolina. Guess who won.

You, and you know who you are, dropped a collective total of $18,822,304 with 954 temporary vendors on things like tee- shirts and collapsible batons at the Black Hills Rally. The figures do not include costs of lodging, fuel or refreshments at permanent restaurants. There were eleven fewer vendors this year than last.

Total tax revenue during the rally that has been reported so far is $1,361,924. Last year’s tax revenue was about $40,000 less.

The South Dakota Department of Revenue divides rally sales and tax statistics between the Northern Hills and the Southern Hills regions. The Northern Hills includes Sturgis, Deadwood, Lead, Spearfish and Belle Fourche. The Southern Hills includes Rapid City and the campgrounds south of that in places like Custer.

The towns in the Northern Hills will realize $1,081,846 from sales and tourism taxes collected during the rally from $15,083,795 in vendor sales there. South Dakota collects a four percent tax on all sales. The state imposes an additional 2.5 percent tourism tax on just about anything you can buy during the rally. The city of Sturgis has its own two percent sales tax.

City Of Sturgis

This year the city of Sturgis had a budget of $7.044,422 and the city anticipated spending $310,000 for rally costs. The largest line item in the city budget is $1,789,519 to pay for cops.

The city anticipated it would make $380,000 from selling “transient merchant” licenses, $100,000 from “franchise fees,” $280,000 from rally rentals, $270,000 from rally sponsorship, $6,500 from rally information booths (because, you know, knowledge is not free), $5,500 from rally parking, $65,000 from a couple of sponsored rides, $17,000 from the photo towers at either end of Main Street and $10,000 in rally website sales.

So Sturgis, South Dakota probably made about $1.6 million from this year’s rally which was almost enough to fund the police.

As the rally sprawls so does the income. This year there were 181 vendors in the Southern Hills and they had gross sales of  $3,738,544 which was up about ten percent from last year. Total tax revenues amounted to $280,078.

Black Bike Week

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, the controversial Atlantic Beach Bike Fest rally in South Carolina only generated about $99,000 in income this year.

The rally, which is popularly known as Black Bike Week, made national headlines last May when eight people were shot in multiple incidents that left three people dead. After the rally, Governor Nikki Haley called for the annual event’s cancellation. Mayor Jake Evans has promised that Black Bike Week will continue.

Part of the Atlantic Beach rally’s appeal is the money it injects into the city. This year Atlantic Beach made $80,000 from vendor fees and almost another $20,000 from rentals and other sources. But the city incurred about $48,000 in expenses connected to the rally including $13,000 for cleanup and $10,000 for portable toilets.


55 Responses to “Money, Money, Money, Money”

  1. rollinnorth Says:

    They just don’t get it.

    Rift between Motorcycle Week Assoc. & ‘Harley shop’ now out in the open

    Published Date Friday, 21 August 2015 12:04

    MEREDITH — Simmering out of sight for some time, the rift between Anne Deli, president of Laconia Harley-Davidson, and the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association (LMWA) boiled over this week when Deli told the Board of Selectmen that the town was wasting its money by paying dues to the association.

    Deli appeared before the board to speak against a proposal to levy licensing fee on transient vendors to defray municipal expenses incurred during the annual rally, which is centered at Weirs Beach. Urging the board to reject the proposal, she asked “does Meredith really want to put one more nail in the coffin of Motorcycle Week.”

    Her remarked prompted Nate Torr, chairman of the board, to ask if the town was wasting money by paying $5,000 in annual dues to belong to the LMWA, which Deli earlier had described as “insolvent”.

    Deli replied that Laconia Harley-Davidson left the association last year and this year, for the first time since she and her husband acquired the dealership in 2008, did not place an advertisement in the Rally News, the magazine published twice each year by the LMWA to promote the rally. She explained that the company received no significant return from either its membership in the association or advertising in the magazine.

    Selectman Bev Lapham asked Deli if she could quantify the return on the investment in the LMWA and Rally News. “Yes,” she replied, “based on sales and number of people (who visit their property).”

    She said that she had spoken to Jeff Rose, Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) about whether the rally is important to the state. “Everybody says yeah, yeah, yeah, but it’s going down like that,” she said, dropping her hand toward the floor.

    Deli told the board that her staff counted about 40,000 visitors to the dealership during the rally and estimated that between 80,000 and 100,000 attended the rally in 2015 — “a lot less than what’s reported”. When Jonathan James suggested that an aging demographic has contributed to the diminishing crowds, Deli replied “people come if there are things to do. There are not enough things to do.”

    Deli said that this year 1.2 million were drawn to the 75th Black Hills Motorcycle Classic in Sturgis, South Dakota, adding that a friend who attended told her what he loved about the rally was “organized chaos and people watching. The less there is to do, the less people there are, the less people watching there is. It’s just a spiral.” .

    Ray Moritz wondered why if Deli is concerned by shrinking attendance, she left the organization formed to promote the rally. “A different marketing strategy should be put forth,” she responded. “The magazine is probably not the right vehicle anymore.” She explained that Laconia Harley-Davidson has pursued a digital marketing campaign, using an e-mail list of more than 20,000 addresses.

    Reacting to Deli’s remarks, Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the LMWA, recalled in 2008, when Deli and husband Steve, bought the dealership, they tried to take control of the Rally News. “She didn’t think it was the wrong vehicle then,” he said. This year, the first since the Deli’s left the association and dropped their advertising, St. Clair before and after the rally he regularly fielded calls from employees of dealership asking for copies of the Rally News. “That’s a fact,” he insisted.

    St. Clair noted that when Herb and Linda Johnson owned what was then called Meredith Harley-Davidson they not only belonged to LMWA but also contributed $20,000 a year as a corporate sponsor of the rally. The Delis, he noted, have never sponsored the event. “We listen to our major sponsors like Progresive Insurance, Sysco, Budweiser , Pepsi, Hot Leathers, Bank of New Hampshire and Amsoil,” he noted. “They love the magazine.”

    Cynthia Makris of the Naswa Resort, president of the LMWA, told The Daily Sun didn’t at all agree with what “she (Deli) has to say about us”. She recalled that last December, Deli invited some 40 Motorcycle Week “stakeholders” to a meeting at Church Landing in Meredith in an attempt to wrest control of the rally from the association. No one from the LMWA or The Weirs was invited and only Mayor Ed Engler and Vicki Routhier from the Bank of New Hampshire attended from Laconia, she said.

    Engler said yesterday that about 20 people attended the meeting. He said that there was no consensus support for forming a new organization to displace the LMWA and promote the rally. Likewise, a proposal to take a vote of no confidence in the leadership of the association — specifically St. Clair and Jennifer Anderson, the director of the LMWA — also died for lack of consensus.

    Makris, whose family has taken part in 80 of the 92 rallies, said “I’m very proud of the LMWA and the work Charlie and Jenn do.” Calling the Rally News “a signature piece of Bike Week,” she said it provides a program and schedule of all the events during the rally in a readily accessible format”

    Makris resented suggestions that the association is insolvent and said that financial issues facing the association have been addressed. “We’re turning things around and have begun planning for the 95th and even begun thinking about 100th,” she said.


  2. fayettenamhoe Says:

    and “Farm Aid” was a blast, bye bye

  3. fayettenamhoe Says:

    i like mr. rebel, he posted on his web site; to quote the true savior of this blog, “the man who dies with the most stories wins” i know i’m not even close, i know i lost, i got to go, love to all RtC, you won’t miss me, none of you will, because your all to smart, may you all ride with in peace with out incidents or hurt, beware the pigs

  4. Magoo Says:

    I used to live near Laconia (down the road in Loudon) and went a few times. The first year I liked standing on the side watching all the bikes go by. The second year, I was pretty much over that but I found the hill climbs. That was kind of fun. (Of course, I don’t think it would have justified coming a long way. I lived pretty much down the street.). After that, I wasn’t too interested. I guess there are some classic bike races thru town or some such? That would be interesting but I never.

    Other than that, Laconia looks a lot like Myrtle, which looks a lot like Daytona, which looks like.. etc. I think much of it has to do with them all having the same vendors, which shows how commercial it all is.

    I’ve said for several years, once you get past looking at bikes. there are two reasons I can think of to go to those rallies. To meet up with old friends and to shop. Don’t have any old friends. And you can only shop (in the same places) so much before that gets old. And there’s not much from there that I want.

    Went to another rally I’d never been to. Hmm.. $2/beer vs. $6/beer im Myrtle. Myrtle’s starting to feel a lot less appealing. And I had a freakin’ blast at the other rally.

    I’ll do Sturgis for reasons stated above. I definitely want to do Laconia next year but mostly to see some old friends again. And I’d LOVE some broccolo pizza from Luisa’s in Manchester. I haven’t had it in 6 years. Hell, I’d almost ride to NH for that. And there are some nice roads there too.. around Winnipesaukee and up into the White Mtns.

    Probably going to pass on Myrtle in the Spring. I’ve had a jones to do some motorcycle camping. I think I’ll pass on the vendorfest, get a couple guys together, load the tents on the bikes and head for the mountains upstate for a couple days.

  5. Oldskewl Says:

    OC VAGO 1%er Says:
    “I said this before but………Explain to me again why I want to go to a place of angry lynch mob residents, overpriced food & beers & hotel rooms, over aggressive cops, dickhead drunk strangers and their stupid fat ass ol ladies, asshole posers, Laffing Devils dildos, idiots that cant ride, Sons of Anarchy lookalikes & Sin Mobber fags that I don’t want to know?”

    Dear OC Vago 1%er
    Maybe I’m getting old but the safety net at the crib looks better and better with each passing season.



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