Meade County considers ordinances that would impact Sturgis Rally business

 Meade County Office Building in Sturgis.
Meade County Office Building in Sturgis. (KOTA)
Published: Jan. 21, 2020 at 9:44 PM CST
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Meade County moved forward with the consideration of two ordinances that will not only impact business at the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally but all future rallies.

Last week, the Meade County Commission approved the first reading of Ordinance 11 and Ordinance 21.

Ordinance 11 includes raising vendor license fees by $50, which means this year, the overall cost of a vendor license will increase from $650 to $700 dollars.

Ordinance 21 is considering increasing fees for temporary campgrounds.

Of the six campgrounds impacted, county officials said some fees could double.

The director of equalization said these increases are meant to outset the costs of rally expenses.

"We're hoping of course, we would like to get more vendors, we would like to have more campgrounds open, the biggest thing that we're hoping will entice more vendors is by offering a discounted fee for a second booth, so hopefully we can get people who will open up two rather than one that they've moved to because of the higher fees," said Rhea Crane, director of equalization for Meade County.

Crane said there weren't any increased fees on vendor licenses the last two years.

As one of the most popular campgrounds during the rally, the owner of the Buffalo Chip said these changes will impact the "mom and pop" businesses especially.

"It's unfortunate that the county would continue on that program, I think it bears a substantial relationship to the gradual decrease to the attendance for the motorcycle rally, the businesses spend a lot of money attracting people here," said Rod Woodruff, owner of Buffalo Chip Campground.

Woodruff said he believes vendors do not cost the county enough to justify these fee increases.

Before any changes are made, the public can give feedback on these ordinances during the second reading on February 11.

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