Start your engines, it’s Rally time again

It’s early August in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and we all know what that means—it’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally time.
The rumble of motorcycles can be heard from the early morning hours until the early evening hours (or if you’re in Sturgis, all hours of the night), but when you start to feel annoyed by the sounds, or the traffic, or whatever else the Rally may bring, just remember—it’s also the sound of cash registers ringing up sales.
Our two-wheel visitors are among the thousands and thousands of visitors who flood the Hills each year. And, let’s face it, Custer is a tourist town. Whether you like it or not, tourism is the main driver of the economy not only here, but for the entirety of the Black Hills. The sales tax from tourism helps fund our towns, pay for our roads, etc. The more visitors we get, the better off the town is in the long run.
This year’s Rally isn’t any kind of anniversary rally, meaning it doesn’t end in a five or zero, which means it likely won’t be as large as those Rallys that have an “anniversary significance” to them. Rather, this year is the 83rd annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. That doesn’t mean the Rally won’t have a profound economic impact on the area, however. It always does. Even in the down years.
During a typical Rally, the Black Hills sees upward of 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts come to the surrounding area, and it is estimated the Rally injects $800 million into South Dakota’s economy. That is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
We know there is a segment of people both in Custer and around the Hills who don’t have much use for the Rally. Their reasons are many, and their concerns are valid. But try to remember, the overall good the Rally does for us far outweighs a week or two of inconvenience. In terms of the greater good, the Rally is a blessing that should be welcomed with open arms.
So, that is what we here at the Chronicle are going to do. If you’re a biker and reading this, feel free to stop into our office and say hi. Pick up a copy of our newspaper. Tell us about where you’re from and what you do. Make sure you leave with an armful of our free publications. They contain a ton of useful information that will help you out while you are visiting our home, whether you’re here for the first time or you’re here for the 30th time.
The Sturgis Rally is here, and with it comes our local rally, Custer Cruisin’. Restaurants will be full. Shirts will be flying off the shelves. More than a few adult beverages will be consumed. We encourage you to get out, walk around and try to participate in the Rally, if only for a few minutes. Who knows, you might find a bike you really like and really start to enjoy yourselves.
We want to welcome each and every biker to the Black Hills. We are glad you are here, and we look forward to serving you each and every year. Drive safely, watch out for the buffalo and don’t start any fires. Most of all have a great time in the beautiful Black Hills!

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