Home Archives August 2007 Bikers bring bucks to Baker City

Bikers bring bucks to Baker City

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, August 01, 2007

BakerCityCycles.jpg
Motorcycles lined Main Street in Baker City during the Hells Canyon Motorcyle Rally in June.

BAKER CITY — When thousands of bikers descend on a small town in Eastern Oregon you might expect the locals to be wary. But in Baker City, the Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally is a chance for the town to let its hair down, get to know a thing or two about bikes and the people who ride them, and make some good money.

With only 536 hotel rooms countywide, some of the estimated 6,000 bikers who showed up at this year’s June rally were put up in residents’ homes. Meanwhile, bars and restaurants were packed and local bands had the chance to play to a crowd. “It is really fun for the community to showcase itself like that,” says Kari Whitacre, Baker County marketing director, who joined a small brigade of volunteer designated drivers and shuttled a bunch of bikers from bar to bar in her minivan.

Born as an annual road trip led by Portlander Steve Folkstead to take in some of the state’s most riveting scenery, this was the third year of an official Hells Canyon Motorcycle Rally. The first, in 2005, had almost no advertising and drew 75 people. A year later nearly 3,000 motorcycles arrived and the rally became one of the biggest events in Baker City. As Folkstead puts it: “There were enough bikers to make the city stand up and take notice.”

After two years of sell-out crowds, all the county hotels have waiting lists for next year. Bars, restaurants and coffee shops pull in record numbers and residents flush with biker bucks spend more on everything from flowers to motor oil.

The event, which has surpassed the town’s expectations each year, isn’t through growing yet. Says Folkstead,“In time it will be the premium motorcycle event on the West Coast.”

— Brooke Matschek


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...

Molecular Movies

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Dr. Chong Fang isn’t God. But the assistant professor of chemistry at Oregon State University is getting closer to figuring out how he put everything together. 


Read more...

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


Read more...

True Blood

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Antibiotics really aren’t magic bullets.


Read more...

The Alchemist

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

David Howitt explains why Portland consumer brands like Stumptown and Voodoo Doughnuts are taking the world by storm.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Steve Balzac

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

082014BalzacBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."


Read more...

Video: The 100 Best Survey

News
Thursday, August 28, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1OB Research Editor Kim Moore shares some pointers about the 100 Best Companies to Work For survey.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS