Below is an article on the Bikes Blues & BBQ motorcycle rally in Fayetteville, AR which attracts around 300,000 visitors over 4 days. The year before they repealed the helmet law in Arkansas they had a few hundred people attend, look at it NOW!
The biggest event in Tennessee for 2007 was likely the HOG National Rally in KNoxville, drawing maybe 30,000 for a one time event. The Honda Hoot brings in about 15K for the weekend. Add all the Tennessee rallies together and you won't get 300K attendance combined.
What kind of economic impact is 300K? ON the conservative side we'll say each biker spends $200, that makes about $60 million being spent, and like I say, that's real conservative.
Bikes, Blues & BBQ Revs Up Events Giveaways, Barbecue Contest Add New Flavors To Festival This article was published on Saturday, September 8, 2007 4:05 PM CDT in Our Town By Marla Hinkle THE MORNING NEWS FAYETTEVILLE -- People notice them. Businesses want them. Sponsors are proud to be a part of them.
The eighth annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ is expected to bring 300,000 plus bikers to Northwest Arkansas and surrounding areas as part of a four-day festival.
Nelson Driver, event coordinator, said several new attractions have been added. They include:
* People's Choice barbecue tasting in addition to the Arkansas National Bank Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned barbecue championship.
* Three factory-direct semi tractor-trailers showcasing all Harley-Davidson/Buell, Kawasaki and Yamaha company products.
* 2007 Honda Metropolitan Scooter giveaway worth $2,500 donated by Heartland Honda Powerhouse in Springdale.
* 2007 Harley-Davidson Street Glide giveaway worth $19,000 donated by Cycle Connection. It comes with a $2,000 custom pin-striping job by legend Mike Robins of O's Custom Paints in Memphis, Tenn.
* Handmade Gibson "Blues King" acoustic guitar giveaway worth more than $2,000 donated by Janet Davis Music of Bella Vista.
* Gibson Guitar Bus and Trailer featuring dozens of Gibson acoustic guitars, mandolins, dobros and banjos.
Community support includes the following:
* Free parking and bottled water for motorcyclists at Central United Methodist Church of Fayetteville.
* Official Bikes, Blues & BBQ campgrounds of the Washington County Fairgrounds.
* A daily $5 Biker Breakfast beginning at 7 a.m. at any of the five senior centers in Elkins, Farmington, Fayetteville and Springdale.
Driver and other organizers, including Greg Mack of TaylorMack Advertising, joked about the "Please ride quietly" signs when asked about excessive noise levels.
"Someone stole all the signs last year and they are probably in someone's garage right now," Mack said.
Driver added that the event is not something that should alarm residents.
"This is a family festival and the board of directors will maintain that, or there will be not be an event."
Proceeds from the festival are contributed to more than 30 charities in the two-county area, including the Donald W. Reynolds Boys & Girls Club in Fayetteville. It has generated more than $275,000 for Benton County and Washington County charities since 2005.
Business owners have demonstrated support by agreeing to sponsor the event. Many special activities would not be possible without the donations, Mack said.
So far, organizers count 120 sponsors and are still accepting applications.
Although it's impossible to release exact numbers, Driver said the festival is in the top five motorcycle rallies. Top rallies include Daytona, Sturgis and Laconia.
Driver recently traveled to Laconia, N.H., for the Motorcycle Week there, which is in its 84th year and 30 to 40 percent larger than Bikes, Blues and BBQ.
Motorcycle companies are impressed with the Northwest Arkansas event because of the diverse crowd it attracts, Driver said.
"Harley Davidson likes to come here because it's not just Harley customers out there. There are several people who don't even own bikes, so there are a lot of potential customers out there," Mack said.
Residents also cater to bikers and rent their houses out for the festival. Mack has rented his house and said the guests left it cleaner than it was before.
Driver said he doesn't fear the event running out of room, although measures have been taken to ease traffic. The parade route has been changed to begin at the stage and end at the track in a continuous loop.
Most events will take place around the track and Dickson Street, but several regional businesses will host special events like the Pied Piper Pub & Inn in Eureka Springs.
"Let's face it. People don't come to motorcycle rallies to park their bikes and walk. They come to ride," Driver said.
AT A GLANCE
The eighth annual Bikes, Blues & BBQ will be Oct. 3-6. More than 200 vendors will be showcased at the Randal Tyson Track Center area. The event's main focus will be the Track Center, the site for the barbecue tasting, Arkansas National Bank Financial Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned BBQ State Championship, the Stokes Air Battle of the Bikes, factory direct trailers, stunt riders and the starting point for the RSC Rental Equipment Company Parade of Power.
Dickson Street will be the site for giveaways at the Best Western Main Stage in the Coors Light Beer Garden.
For more information, contact Nelson Driver, event coordinator, at 527-9993, Liz Boch at 409-7682 or visit the Web site at www.bikesbluesandbbq.org.
Source: Bikes Blues & BBQ