While we were in South Dakota we took a trip up to Deadwood and Sturgis. Deadwood was fun, but Sturgis was a flop. It appears much of the town has gone bankrupt. I don't know if it's because we expected it to be more like Deadwood and Keystone or we just didn't understand what the town was all about.
Subscribe to the 3 "L" rule-don't stop livin', lovin' and learnin'
RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road.
or we just didn't understand what the town was all about.
That's probably all there is to it. Sturgis is a ranch town, and nothing more, 355 days a year. If you were there a decade ago, any time except during the rally, you would swear that you were in the wrong Sturgis. Nothing but a few small stores, churches, modest homes, etc... the same as thousands of other central states towns from Texas to Canada. What you see now is the odd combination of permanent rally venues, like giant saloons and Harley shops, and the typical main street decay of this type of town, as the grocery store and other downtown anchors migrate out to the interstate. Sturgis is a solid, friendly place, but far from a tourist destination, unless it's bike week. Hope you had a great time in the hills?
Another problem with downtown Sturgis, as I understand, is that property taxes on the buildings went out of sight due to the high rents paid during bike week. Many of the "normal" businesses would pack up their merchandise and move out for a few weeks while biker businesses moved in. As a former retailer, I can't imagine how difficult that would be, but rental rates for bike week were so high that it became a necessity, and that additional income drove up the assessed value so high that it became necessary to rent the buildings out just to pay the property taxes.
Sturgis is a very old town for this part of the west, but it's never been a tourist town, except during bike week.
It seems the norm for Bike Week event towns. Go to Main Street in Daytona Beach and it is a Ghost Town for the most part with empty store fronts until about two weeks before Bike Week and Biketoberfest. Then it is a bustling area again.
2005 Lance 1181 Loaded
2005 Chevy 3500 4X4 Duramax, Edge Attitude Tuner, 5" Exhaust, Airaid, Ranchos, Air Bags, Hellwig Big Wig
2007 38RL3 Mobile Suite
2001 Bass Tracker 185