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Businesses prepare for upcoming Sturgis Rally and Vanilla Ice concert

In this Aug. 5, 2016 file photo, bikers ride down Main Street in downtown Sturgis, S.D., before...
In this Aug. 5, 2016 file photo, bikers ride down Main Street in downtown Sturgis, S.D., before the 76th Sturgis motorcycle rally officially begins. South Dakota, which has seen an uptick in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, is bracing to host hundreds of thousands of bikers for the 80th edition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Over a quarter of a million people are expected to rumble through western South Dakota.(Josh Morgan/Rapid City Journal via AP)
Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 4:25 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - In just a couple of weeks, the streets of Sturgis will be swarmed with motorcyclists, and despite the already busy tourist season, local businesses say they’re prepared.

Ken McNenny of the Knuckle Saloon says after 21 motorcycle rallies, the business is confident in their experience with the week-long event.

“We’re way prepared. We’re just kind of waiting to pull the trigger on all of our planning and that type of thing and we’re ready as ever like always,” said McNenny.

McNenny said the business uses numbers from previous years to plan out future rallies, but he believes this year will be bigger than before after an already busy tourist season.

“We’ve definitely noticed the influx of tourists. I’d say starting in May and June we could tell things were really taking off for those guys,” said McNenny.

While The Knuckle said they hire and receive a lot of returning help for the rally, the Loud American Roadhouse started their hiring process back in late winter.

“You know, starting in February we start staffing for the Sturgis Rally and throughout that period of time, we’re staffing for the restaurant as well. We are super excited, I mean, it’s been one of the busiest years ever starting from Memorial Day and leading up until now,” said Jessica Espinoza, the Loud American Bar Manager.

Both locations have a full slate of live entertainment every day of the Sturgis Rally and while preparations continue, The Knuckle Saloon is also getting ready for this weekend’s crowd as Vanilla Ice makes his way to South Dakota.

“First of all, you have to get the community excited about it and everybody else that’s a supporter of our place, and anybody who loves Vanilla Ice for one thing. Then we just have to make sure we have all our ducks in a row as far as infrastructure and getting ready for a big crowd. I think it’s going to be great fun for everyone,” said McNenny.

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