North Carolina is brimming with rallies this summer, and the most recent addition will be the Smoky Mountain Rumble set to debut Aug. 17 to 19 in Franklin.
Rally organizers project an estimated 4,000 bikers to the town of 3,500 residents.
While local businesses seem to favor an event that will bring in new visitors in a tough economic environment, town leaders are apprehensive about the possible side effects of a rally, especially since this one is scheduled for a small downtown area, while similar established events in Maggie Valley and Cherokee are typically based in fields and outdoor festival venues.
Franklin Alderman Bob Scott says the organizers, USRider News of Georgia, should do more to work with the city on plans to accommodate the event.
“Every other festival we have ever had in here has come to and worked with the town board,” Scott told the Smoky Mountain News. “This outfit has never come to the town board, despite this having the probability of being the biggest impact event we’ve ever had here.”
The company received a $14,000 grant from the Franklin Tourism Development Authority to market the event. Scott Cochran, publisher of USRider News, says organizers will meet with Aldermen soon.
“There are always going to be some concerns we won’t be able to address until the event happens,” Cochran says. “It’s just going to take the rally happening to see what we are saying is true.”
Posted by Holly Wagner
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