78th Sturgis rally on track to be second largest in 10 years

STURGIS, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Most motorcycle rallies around the nation are seeing a slight decrease in attendance, but the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is an outlier.

Last year was the second-largest Sturgis Rally looking at the past 10 years and this year is on track to beat those numbers.

Sturgis city manager Daniel Ainslie says "in comparison to last year, all of our numbers so far show that this is a larger rally. Any of the metrics are anywhere from 3 to 7-8 percent higher.”

The city looks at a variety of factors in determining how large the rally will be.

"We do traffic counts, vehicles coming into the city of Sturgis. We do amount of garbage or tons of garbage that is hauled every single day. We also do photo counts and so different times of day for several years we've been taking photos and we actually count the number of people in each of those photos. We also look at sales tax collected, amount of liquor that's sold," explains Ainslie.

And The Knuckle Saloon can attest to those alcohol sales being up as well.

Knuckle Saloon owner,Ken McNenny states "Our beer sales are always kind of up cause we brew our own beer. So therefore we combine that with other beer that we get from other breweries and it really makes a big difference for our bottom line."

According to Ainslie, the city sees an average profit of nearly a million dollars and that's not including surrounding locations.

All the data from the city is preliminary and the official numbers for this year’s Sturgis Rally will come in a few weeks following the rally's conclusion.