Home Back Issues August 2007 Bikers bring bucks to Baker City

Bikers bring bucks to Baker City

| Print |  Email
Archives - August 2007
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

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...

Tight and Loose

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

As schools implement more rigorous academic standards, holistic and flexible approaches to K-12 education flourish.


Read more...

College Hacker

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KLINT FINLEY

Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson builds a 21st-century trade school.


Read more...

Powerlist: Colleges and Universities

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation about higher education with the presidents of the University of Oregon and Clackamas Community College, followed by September's powerlist.


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...

Report Card

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Strong public schools shore up the economy, survey respondents say. But local schools demonstrate lackluster performance.


Read more...

Fast Food Slows Down

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

The ubiquitous fast-food restaurant may be on the decline.


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