FRIEZE HARLEY-DAVIDSON, the runner-up in the 2009 Dealernews Top 100 Competition, is angling to bring home the statewide Harley Owners Group Rally and gaining support because of the accolade.
The Stone Celts chapter of the Harley Owners Group, which is based at the O'Fallon dealership, plans to make a bid to host the Illinois HOG rally in 2010. The 2009 event is already scheduled to be held in Springfield.
Frieze sales manager Larry Sledge told the Bellville News-Democrat the Dealernews recognition along with Frieze's environmentally friendly building and the fact that it is the Stone Celts HOG chapter's 25th anniversary help the dealership make a case for the state rally.
"I think we have a pretty good chance," Sledge said. "We're working hard for it."
O’Fallon, Ill., has never hosted a rally and would likely benefit from the economic boost, according to the newspaper.
"To get the state rally would be huge, absolutely huge," Frieze said. "It's very prestigious to host the state rally, and it would bring in a lot of people not only to the dealership but to O'Fallon's conference center and hotels."
How much the event would bring into the city’s businesses and tax coffers depends on the economy, weather and other factors. It has hosted as many as 2,600 people when the weather is nice. The newspaper reported that last year, when it was in Effingham, it rained all weekend and only about 900 diehard riders showed up.