Sturgis holds first ever "After Rally Summit"

STURGIS, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The 2017 Sturgis Rally is in the books, but today the City of Sturgis held their first ever “After Rally Summit.”

It was an opportunity to bring community partners and businesses together to reveal the impact of the rally. And today the Sturgis City Manager said they saw an increase in people from 2016.

And that had a lot to do with an increase in digital advertising.

"It was a tremendous driver. It increased tens of thousands of attendees," said Daniel Ainslie.

In fact, at the summit they said digital advertising increased traffic by more than 90,000 people. However, official rally numbers aren’t in yet.

Earlier numbers showed only a small percent increase in attendance from last year, but newer numbers show this was one of the best rallies for attendance in the last ten years. Those numbers will be released tomorrow.

Ainslie said they also saw in increase in the younger audience this year, and non-riders. 15 percent of people who attended this year did not own a motorcycle. They contribute this growing number to advertising as well, along with the concert series.

"They are coming here because of different music venues, so those are ways to help grow the event and expand the motorcycle industry," said Ainslie.

In the past, the City of Sturgis Rally and Events Department held various presentations talking numbers, and this summit is a way to bring everyone together and work to grow the rally.

"What the entire impact of the rally is,” said Ainslie. “People can also see how Sturgis really does a lot of advertising, and expanding number of partners we have."

This summit is something the City of Sturgis plans to do for years to come. It continues Thursday, from 7 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Sturgis Community Center.