Sturgis tattoo shop is ready for Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with COVID-19 in the air

Published: Jun. 28, 2020 at 1:37 PM CDT
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Rally goers like to mark their stay at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with a tattoo or a piercing. For body shops it's a time to make some major profit.

However, the ongoing pandemic is not taking too much money out of some people’s pockets.

”I’m doing really good but I am pretty surprised though," the owner of Tattoo Celler, Richard Otten, said.

Business is doing well despite the coronavirus putting a brief damper in the beginning, he said.

Especially, since he reopened his shop after a two-week closure from feeling COVID-19 symptoms at the end of March.

“I had no clients in here. I closed it down. I couldn’t breathe that night laying there in bed," Otten said. "The next day I slept all day. The next night I couldn’t breathe again and then I had a hacking cough for three weeks.”

He did not get tested but said he feels better these days.

As he gears up for his 24th rally, six other artists he hired from around the nation will join him and Otten is not worried about his out-of-state crew bringing the virus.

“Most tattoo artists are very health conscious, know their bodies well. If they were ill at all, they would quarantine themselves for two weeks," he said.

Besides, he has hand sanitizer, face masks and disinfectants on deck as he schedules appointments to avoid gatherings.

The only city rule Otten is worried about is wearing a face mask.

“I can’t talk very well with it. I don’t breathe very well with it. And other people wearing a face mask, I can’t hear them well because I am old and I am hard of hearing," he said.

Nonetheless, he said he is doing his best to abide by the rules and plans to create a new T-shirt with a design to remember the pandemic could not stop the rally in the Black Hills.