Sturgis leaders work to revitalize downtown - KOTA Territory News

Sturgis leaders work to revitalize downtown

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Each bike at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum has a story to tell. 

"We have bikes from Japan, we have British bikes and we have some custom bikes," Museum Executive Director Christine Paige Diers said. 

While each motorcycle is unique, they have one thing in common: they're part of the allure of the Sturgis community. 

"We are an important part of drawing outside visitors to the Sturgis area," Paige Diers said.

A draw that community leaders want to use to their advantage all-year long instead of just the month of August.  That's why the museum is looking to expand.

"We are pretty much tapped out on space in this building," Paige Diers said.

At the same time, the city of Sturgis is looking at a revitalization plan that will keep their town lively even when the bikes are gone. 

"We want to try and change the perception of just being a rally town to a town that has year-round activity," Mayor Mark Carstensen said.
 
The effort is still in its infancy but locals could start seeing changes soon. Mayor Carstensen says he hopes the construction of a downtown plaza on Second Street will begin by spring.
In the meantime, the city council is working to hammer out new ordinances to help promote local business development.

"Right now It's setup where people come in - rent a building for the month of August and then move out," Carstensen said.  He says they'll work to create a more inviting atmosphere for local businesses to come and stay for good.

It's all in an effort to make Sturgis a vibrant place to live, work and play.

"There's a lot we can do in the downtown to improve and get people moving around and part of the downtown," Paige Diers said.

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Forefront design, an architecture firm in Rapid City, is working with the city on the project. The city of Sturgis does have some funds set aside to pay for some of the revitalization efforts and And there is also talk of a business improvement district or BID being put in place.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum, which is a non-profit organization, is conducting a feasibility study to see what the expansion would cost.

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