STURGIS, S.D. (KBHB) – Around two dozen people spoke to the Sturgis City Council Monday night in favor of and opposed to a full fledged motorcycle rally this year.
The council is faced with a difficult decision next week — whether or not to go ahead with the rally as planned, or tone it down and prepare for the crowd certain to come regardless.
The city council held a public meeting last night to gather more input on what residents and business owners think.
Those opposed worry about the COVID-19 pandemic, and the possibiity the rally will infect a lot of people. Others worry the area’s medical community will be stressed to the limit because of the virus.
But others says people will come anyway and the city can’t stop them from visiting the Black Hills.
Vernoica Grosek is director of the Sturgis Chamber of Commerce, and says most businesses they have surveyed are in favor of the city hosting a rally.
The city earlier this spring sent out a survey to some 33-hundred residents. Of the 1,816 that came back, nearly 63-percent said they would like this year’s event to be postponed because of COVID-19.
But, Sturgis City Manager Daniel Ainslie says if the city decides to postpone on their side, the county and area campgrounds are preparing, and the city will have to do that, too.
Ainslie says the decision is incredibly complex as it has a multitude of impacts within Sturgis and throughout Western South Dakota.
The council will decide June 15 as to how to handle this year’s event.