Campgrounds rule at Sturgis Rally

More than half of of the people at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally would rather bed down at a campground.
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT
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STURGIS, S.D. (KOTA) - Camping is king during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Visitors forgo hotel stays in favor of bringing their own tents, trailers, and RVs.

That’s according to a study done by the City of Sturgis that says more than half of the people who attend the rally choose to camp. The most common reason for camping boils down to economics, since rally-goers can get much more for their money, especially at places like the Buffalo Chip where campground fees include access to the various concerts the campground hosts during the event.

Rally-goers also like campgrounds since they allow people from different walks of life to meet each other, something that’s more difficult at a hotel.

“This is just a better atmosphere, a lot of comradery. I met so many different people already. I met a group from Canada yesterday and, such a small world, he works part-time in Las Vegas, and he works with a friend of mine,” said Sheri Owens, who is visiting from Las Vegas.

Campers say staying at the Buffalo Chip also offers a level of safety, since people do not have to ride to and from events because everything is in one area.

“You can drink as much as you want. You can party as hard as you want, and you can stumble back to your campground if you have to. You don’t have to worry about going out on the road. You don’t have to worry about finding a ride. You don’t have to worry about any of that stuff,” said Jason Slaters, from Pennsylvania.

For many, however, camping at the rally isn’t just a preference, it’s a Sturgis tradition.

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