On March 5, 2018, the Hollister City Council voted to cancel this year’s famed motorcycle rally. Dubbed as the biggest on the west coast, the beleaguered biker rally bit the dust in a 3-2 vote by a City Council whose majority members cited a lack of a promoter to act as the event manager.
Reno-based Roadshows Inc. had previously been Hollister’s selected promoter, but this year the company’s owner, Randy Burke, told city officials that he was $50,000 shy of the required $180,000 of front money required by the City.
Hollister City Manager Floats Statement About Canceled Biker Rally
“There was a time when people thought we’d make a bunch of money and since everybody was making money, why shouldn’t the city,” he said. “Our approach was we just need to stay solid and whole. We just wanted to make sure we covered our costs.” City Manager Billy Avera made this statement to a BenitoLink reporter the day after the City Council voted to cancel the rally. He went on to say: “We’ve done this three or four times now,” Avera said. “It’s been around and it stopped a number of times. That’s what’s disingenuous to me. It was disappointing last night for the mayor to say the rally is dead forever. That’s simply not the case. The past has proven that it can be resurrected in any given year. People like coming and if you give them a reason to come, they will come.”
Poppy-cock. The City Council and its de facto puppet string puller, Avera, are unequipped and uneducated – and unwilling to become equipped or educated – to deal with a money making regional event like the Hollister Motorcycle Rally, let alone the world-class event and tourist attraction it should be.
8,410,255 motorcycles, but not many in Hollister
Did you know?
As of the most recent report by the Department of Transportation, there were 8,410,255 motorcycles registered in the United States by private citizens and commercial organizations in 2011. To put this staggering number into perspective, out of every 36 people you meet in the U.S., one of them probably has a motorcycle.
Harley-Davidson accounted for 29.3% of all new motorcycle sales in the U.S. in 2015, followed by Honda Motors at 14%, and Yamaha at 13%. Polaris Industries represented just 4.4% of total sales that year with its Indian and Victory brands. Yet Harley reported at the end of January, and 2016 U.S. sales fell 3.9% and were down globally 1.6%. Polaris, on the other hand, said its sales were up 1%, with Indian Motorcycle enjoying mid-20% growth. Source: HARLEY-DAVIDSON QUARTERLY SEC FILINGS.
Going Back to Cali
California had the most new motorcycle sales, at 78,610, or 13.7% of the total. The next closest state was Florida, at 41,720, followed by Texas, with 41,420 new bikes sold. Despite being home to the annual motorcycle pilgrimage of Sturgis, South Dakota sold only 2,620 new bikes in 2015.
Hear that, Hollister? Sturgis can get itself named for motorcycle sales, but not Hollister, the birthplace of the American biker.