The Sturgis City Council is holding a special meeting tonight at 6:30 Mountain to discuss, among other things, the 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The 80th Rally is scheduled to descend on the Black Hills August 7–15, but, according to a citywide survey the city mailed out, if Sturgis residents got to vote, they’d put it off until we’re a little more certain about the coronavirus:
For more than a month, the Sturgis City Council has been seeking input from a variety of sources on whether the City of Sturgis should host the 80th Anniversary City of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The decision is incredibly complex as it has a multitude of impacts within Sturgis and throughout Western South Dakota.
One of the data points included a survey of residents within the City of Sturgis. In total, 3,290 surveys were mailed to the resident addresses used by the 2020 Census. The survey results included the following:
- 1,816 surveys returned (55.2%)
- 1,144 responses indicated that they would like the event to be postponed (62.9%)
- 672 responses indicated that they would like the event to proceed (37.0%)
- 7 responses included notes stating that they did not care either way (0.4%)
The Council is continuing to gather data and speak with numerous individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, and various other groups throughout the state in order to make the wisest choice possible [City of Sturgis, “Survey Results Added to Council Considerations,” city website, retrieved 2020.06.08].
The Sturgis City Council is just having the conversation tonight; they won’t make any decisions pertaining to maybe changing the Rally until their June 15 meeting. But Buffalo Chip rally site owner Rod Woodruff, who answers to his profit margin and not his neighbors, says he’ll be hosting Rally camping and concerts in August regardless of any city edicts. Woodruff anticipates lower attendance, but he’ll take whatever he can get. “We’re just dang happy,” Woodruff told KOTA-TV, “to be in South Dakota where common sense continues to prevail.”
Yet the most common sense in Sturgis appears to be that the Rally should wait.