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

Banishing oil burners reaps benefits for schools

News
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
04.02.14 thumb co2schoolsBY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.


Read more...

Airbnb laws will hurt Portland’s newest company

News
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
airbnb-logoBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Proposed regulations protect Portland’s strict zoning codes and hotel operators, but they may have an adverse effect on Airbnb’s business.


Read more...

Why I became an educator

News
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
03.04.14 thumbnail teachBY DEBRA RINGOLD | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How can we strengthen the performance of institutions charged with teaching what Francis Fukuyama calls the social virtues (reciprocity, moral obligation, duty toward community, and trust) necessary for successful markets and democracy itself?


Read more...

Workplace benefits

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Health care and vacations rule. That’s the consensus from our reader poll on workplace benefits that help retain and recruit employees.


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 33 Small Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 33 Large Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

Rapid ascent

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
IMG 4255-2BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Kelly Dachtler, president of The Clymb, redefines outdoor retail.


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