Written by Tim Kessel, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com
Others will certainly give you a rundown on the concerts, the skin, and the total “Sturgis experience”. What I am going to give you here are the hard numbers of the just concluded mega-rally. You’ll see the numbers are mostly encouraging, but there was some bad news.
First off, the 70th anniversary rally drew big numbers…really big numbers when you consider we are in a recession. Most rally experts put the total attendance at nearly 600,000. For comparison, there was a modern era low of 410,000 in 2008. On the other end of the spectrum, more than 750,000 riders (and non-riders) attended in 2000. The attendance last year was just under 450,000. Again, when you consider that most rallies have seen a marked decrease in attendance this year, the Sturgis attendance in 2010 is encouraging.
Also encouraging is the fact that local authorities say that both DUIs and overall police “contacts” were down from 2009 numbers. The South Dakota Highway Patrol puts the DUI reduction at approximately 25%. Here’s a shout out to riders for putting their drunk butts in lawn chairs rather than motorcycle saddles!
Officials at the Mount Rushmore Memorial report that 83,364 motorcycles entered the park during the rally. That’s up 10,000 bikes from 2009. Riders were obviously there to do more than just drink. Again, this is encouraging. Unfortunately, there is one strikingly negative number from the 2010 rally…14. That’s the number of deaths the Rapid City Journal reports are traceable to the rally (riding to, attending, or riding home). There were no deaths in 2009.