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

Podcast: Interview with Pete Friedes

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

082714-thumb friedesbookTom Cox interviews Pete Friedes, author of "The 2R Manager," about becoming a Best Boss.


Read more...

A Taste of Heaven

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Craft beer comes to Mount Angel.


Read more...

Is this employee right?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
081314 thumb employeefeelingsBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

When I say, “Your Employee is Always Right,” I do not mean “right about the facts,” but rather “right about how they feel” and “right about how they want to be led.”


Read more...

Interview: Dr. Mark Goulston

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 10, 2014
JustListenBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

By now we’ve all read the headlines: Starbucks is giving away free degrees. Except it isn’t.


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...

Buyer's Remorse

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Parents and students paying for college today are like homeowners who bought a house just before the housing bubble burst.


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