SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Another Sturgis motorcycle rally is on the books.
But for Tammy Even-Cordell, this rally was special. In her new position as director, this is the first time that she has planned this big event.
Riders from across the country and beyond… Sturgis Rally newcomers and veterans, this year’s Motorcycle Rally had it all.
“My brother-in-law and I drove about 14,000 miles to get here. We had a few days on the road and it’s absolutely amazing to be here. To really see the spectacle that is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally,” said biker Jon Granberg.
It is the 82nd anniversary of the event. And while some say it’s not the busiest year they’ve ever seen, hundreds of thousands of visitors continue to throng the city. »
“The trip was so amazing. The view, the landscape is amazing. We’ve been to other events like Florida Bike Week, nothing to do with Sturgis. Sturgis is the pinnacle, we’ll never miss it again, I love this place,” said biker Randy McDaniel.
While those rally goers enjoyed their time at this year’s week-long event, the folks behind the scenes worked long days to make sure things went smoothly.
From public works crews to law enforcement, everyone is coming together to make this possible.
“Everything seems to be going well, we’re having a good year,” Meade County Sheriff Ron Merwin said.
“The rally was fluid. We’ve had it for 82 years, everyone’s got it somehow broken. We have a lot of seniority and veterans for the rally, which makes a huge difference,” said Rick Bush, director of public works.
But for Tammy Even-Cordell, the new director of rallies for the town of Sturgis, this year is one she won’t forget.
“I just want to thank all the city staff. They went beyond. They do their real job, they step in and they do other work, they step away from it and help me do other things. The staff here are just amazing,” Even-Cordell said.
For many years, Even-Cordell has participated or worked in the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. She previously worked on other major rally events around the country. But planning one of the biggest motorcycle events in the country is a daunting task.
“I’ve always been around rallying, I’ve worked on other rallies across the country and this week is still a week I look forward to. I know that’s almost no sleep for any day of the week. But it’s fun, I love seeing the friends I’ve made and all the friends I haven’t met yet who will also come to the rally,” said Even Cordell.
City manager Daniel Ainslie helped plan the rally for several years. He says for the most part this year has been good.
“The average length of time people stay downtown continues to increase. Which is fantastic for our suppliers and fantastic for our year-round businesses that instead of people being here for two hours, they’re here for six or eight hours,” said City Manager Daniel Ainslie.
However, there were a few challenges along the way. Including the lack of parking and staff.
“One of the biggest challenges we have and it’s not just unique to us, it’s any business in all of the Black Hills is the significant labor shortage. It hit our town hard all through the summer trying to hire seasonal workers and especially during the rally,” Ainslie said.
Either way, Even-Cordell says she’s happy with how things have gone this year and is already looking forward to next year.
“Oh, I have a list. It’s kind of like a suggestion box from me, to me, of things I’d like to change this year,” Even Cordell said.