Well - true to form the City of Salmon Arm is following the path of so many communities in the greed factor from what I am reading today in the Salmon Arm Observer. 

Approve an event and then start gouging it. Way to go Salmon Arm!

It would appear that the thought of having all of the hotels, motels and campgrounds for miles around full, the restaurants and stores busy - all of the gas stations, car washes and convenience stores well utilized is not enough of an economic benefit to Salmon Arm. 

The average motorcyclist is going to spend somewhere in the neighbourhood of  $470 - MINIMUM outside of the event ticket costs. 
If 10,000 people show up that translates to 4.7 million dollars of new money coming in to the town.

Here is a quote from Councillor Harrison of the City of Salmon Arm (from the SA Observer):
"Harrison emphasized the reason council is looking at the bylaw is because of the for-profit Sturgis North motorcycle rally expected to be held in Salmon Arm this summer.
“In my mind, the line is that public taxpayers should not be subsidizing for-profit, privately run events; that’s where my line is,” commented Harrison. “So that’s what I want the bylaw to read. That would solve the problem we’re all talking about.”"

It is my understanding from talking to the organizers that they have the Fraser Valley Thunder running the charitable side of the event - that they have donated space to the veterans and have their own security, medics and a well thought out fire and safety plan. They are providing shuttle buses to ease the security and policing needs and to keep show goers and their drivers licenses safe. From everything I have heard on this issue, the organizers are putting safety and security first - I am not sure I understand why this city is NOW wanting to put bylaws in place to further restrict this event or others from bringing in tourism dollars but it would appear yet again that tourism and government are at odds with each other. It would also appear that a number of hoteliers have jacked up their prices for that week - hmmmm - I get supply and demand but I think like everyone else out there that greed will get you something now, but what about later?

I, myself, have held these types of events before and know only too well how greedy communities and police services can get - it's all about their budgets and to heck with the small business people who own local businesses that benefit and the employees who will get a paycheck out of the deal. The community administration will spin the worst face they can on any event so that they can build their coffers as well as those of the police services...

If you read what is being proposed you would swear that a for profit event is a bad thing and needs to be held to a different standard than the non profit events (do people in large numbers become less thoughtless and stupid at a non for profit event than they do at a for profit event?) - you would swear that we riders are going to come in and destroy their town - it saddens me that great ideas and great events get penalized in this tragic way. In these economic times you would think that the community of Salmon Arm, a community that is economically depressed like so many others, would be happy to have the outside funds coming in so that small business can pay it's taxes and it's employees (and in the case of some of those businesses - really line their pockets.)

If the City of Salmon Arm was smart - they would impose a $2 per bike charge for the week and offer a sticker for the bike that says the bike owner has paid the $2.
And CITY personnel should do the collecting - then they would know exactly how many bikes came. If this was done, the city administration would share in the benefit of the riders being there and they would share in the risks of hosting the event. They would be more invested and have the ways and means to deal with the "costs" from a municipal level. 

GREED stops so many great things from happening - I pray that the team of Sturgis North is able to negotiate and navigate the land mines of these last minute proposals well and perhaps next year consider moving the event to a place like Sturgis they'd love to have this event in their community.

I hope that the charities this event is supporting get on board with promoting this event to the powers that be at city hall and that the show goers are going to support the event coordinators by showing up en mass, by not being disrespectful, by treating the community of Salmon Arm like it is our own and leaving it clean and better than when we arrived. If WE - the riding community use this event and community well, they will want us back - if not - we could further destroy our image and community and make it harder and harder for great motorcycle events in Canada not just in BC.

The onus of having a great event is on the city and the way it conducts itself, the police services and the way they treat visitors, the businesses and how visitors perceive the value and treatment they get, the show coordinators for how well organized they are and how the visitor perceives the quality and value of the entertainment and lastly the visitor plays a part as well. How those who are non riders conduct themselves will be just as important as how we riders conduct ourselves. EVERYONE plays a part in this event's success.

The organizers of this event stand to loose their investment in the event and the infrastructure - they alone bare the risk.

I lost $130K hosting a custom motorcycle show - I know better than many the potential for financial ruin - no one has stepped up to help me pay that debt back and they sure didn't turn down the cash they made either.  

Everyone can share in the benefits of a well run event - but only the event coordinator/host looses if the other parties don't do their part.

That's my humble opinion - I would love to hear your thoughts.

Lost of news in the feeds today - visit to get caught up on what is happening around the world.

Have a great day everyone!

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

Post a Comment

  1. If the average rider is going to drop $470, then a couple will drop about $940. Add to this the 5 day pass per person at well over 300, $600 per couple, now you're looking at $1500 PLUS, for the weekend.
    Notwithstanding the super lineup of bands and attractions, I'm sorry, but $1500 can carry me a much longer period of time spent away from "Sturgis North". And I'm not the only one of that mindset.
    If I decide to take my motorhome rather than tent it, add about another $250.
    Now maybe I'm cheap,(I don't think so), but for just less than 2 Grand, I can ride a hell of a lot longer, further, and enjoy myself just as much, if not more.
    Now the way I understand the whole thing, it's not just a bike rally. It's a music fest, open to everybody. I would rather spend time with like-minded people than have to deal with the general public who, for the most part, dislikes "bikers".
    After having been part & parcel of the shenanigans at Olds, I'm also NOT willing to put myself at the mercy of unscrupulous and over-zealous Law "Enforcement" officials, who will not doubt be brought in.
    I will have better ways to spend my hard earned money.