83rd Sturgis Rally tabs out

Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 8:55 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - As the 83rd Sturgis Motorcycle Rally closes out, so do tabs at the Sturgis bars.

The first few days of the Rally, bars were keeping people out of the rain.

The bar staff serving breakfast are the last to see the Rally crowd before they hit the road.

Owner of the Oasis bar, Rod Bradley said the week before the Rally was aggressively busier, and there was no calm before the storm. Bradley said after each Rally he tries to give the staff some time off to recoup for the upcoming events such as The 17th Annual Sturgis Mustang Rally Aug. 29 - Sept. 3. and the Community Appreciation Picnic Aug 23. 5-7 p.m.

“We had planned the staff for prior years, the week before the Rally and you know, we needed more staff, which wasn’t a problem. Once we needed more, we just pulled some bartenders and some servers in, you know the days leading up to the Rally,” Bradley said.

Another bar down Main Street Sturgis, The Loud American Roadhouse had a steady push of business as well. The president of The HomeSlice Group, which owns the Loud American Roadhouse, Dean Kinney said this is the best Rally they have had in eight years.

“It was a terrific Rally. We were up a little bit from last year and last year was a great Rally as well. So, we’re really happy with it. It was our second-best Rally ever. The only Rally that we had that was bigger was the 75th,” Kinney said.

Kinney said he attributes a successful turnout to cooler weather, people scrambling to stay dry, and the great staff return rate the Loud American Roadhouse witnessed. Kinney said 80-85 percent returned to the Rally to help. The bar typically runs with 75 year-round employees. For the Rally they staff up to about 250 employees.

“I can appreciate that the rain wasn’t great for everybody. It ended up kind of playing in our favor. People that were downtown were inside those couple three days and it was really rainy. I think that was part of it. And then we just had good tourism all summer. I think, you know I’m real bullish on the Rally. I think it’s a strong event and I think we’ll keep having them,” Kinney said.