‘Two-wheel throttle therapy’ at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Business owners and managers in Sturgis say the city's changes to the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle...
Business owners and managers in Sturgis say the city's changes to the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally are not a problem. (KOTA)
Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 6:26 PM CDT
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It's official the 80th Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will happen in August but not without some changes.

Not even the coronavirus pandemic could cancel this year's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

But with the elimination of the opening ceremony, contests, tower for photos, and other large events, some Sturgis residents say these changes will take away from the traditional fun.

Rod Woodruff, the owner of the Buffalo Chip campground, disagrees.

"People don't come because of the opening ceremony," Woodruff said. "It's a gathering of 'hey we got all these people here right now, how about you all get together for a picture and we take a picture.' People aren't going to remember that nobody asked for that particular photo."

Lauren Hensley, the general manager of Indian Motorcycle Sturgis is not worried about the city's changes.

She said the spirit of the rally lives on just by revving the engine.

While the Buffalo Chip is waiting for 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer to arrive, Indian Motorcycle Sturgis is in the process of installing sneeze guards.

Even with the pandemic, neither business saw a huge decline.

Buffalo Chip only lost about half a dozen customers and Hensley says because campgrounds are staying open, her phone is ringing off the hook.

"All of those calls are flowing in, I am absolutely confident it will be a fantastic rally," Hensley said.

Woodruff agrees but did not expect this to welcome the big 80th Rally.

"But you know what we don't know yet, is how it's going to turn out," he said. "I gotta tell ya the mood of the people coming is wonderful because they are so dang happy to get out of that Marshall Law where they were locked up in the home with the family and stuff."

Hensley said it’s time for people to get out of the house and practice “two-wheel throttle therapy.”

"We need a little therapy. We need a little freedom," she said. "We need a little outdoors. and what better way than to come to the 80th Rally."

To reduce large crowd gatherings, the city stopped promoting the Rally by cutting their advertising costs.

Instead, the city will be saving more than $100,000 to advertise for next year’s rally.