Economy Affecting Motorcycle Rallies

Publish Date: 
Jan 23, 2008
By Holly J. Wagner

Other events, like Sturgis and Daytona, are experiencing what Massey-Swan calls rally spread, in which people go to the venues during the week before or after the event, or they stay further from the epicenter.

"It may be affected by the cost of coming to the event," she says. Visitors arriving on either side of the main rally week often enjoy lower prices as a result. "You have an increase in the cost of food, adult beverages and lodgings the week of the event," she notes.

Also, more people have ridden the hills and have become fond of neighboring communities that have also scheduled "mini rallies," so they stay outside of Sturgis, she notes.

St. Clair agrees. "To mitigate their lodging expenses, they stay further away from Laconia. They do the same thing in Daytona and Sturgis," he says. "It gives them an excuse to ride their motorcycles. They like to ride. People griped about the prices of the motels five years ago, but they paid it because they had the money. Now they don't."

And finally, there's the changing demographic of the rally-goer.

"Some of these riders that have been coming here for years are getting a little long in the tooth, like me," Killian says. "They are don?t party as much and maybe want to relax."

Organizers say they are working to enhance the diversity of the riders that attend. Some are adding stunt riders and getting cozier with a younger crowd on metrics, streetfighters and caf