Bring it on.
Sicamous retailers appear to be onboard and excited about hosting a Sturgis North event in July.
Already, Sicamous hotels and motels are booked between July 13-17, a direct spinoff of the Salmon Arm-based motorcycle rally.
Earlier this month, downtown business owners learned they too will get an opportunity to get in on the event.
Mayor Malcolm MacLeod has been courting Sturgis chief executive officer Ray Sasseville, with the hope that the community might be able to host the burnout competition on Main Street.
Sasseville was supportive of the idea and, on Wednesday, MacLeod informed council that the body sponsoring the burnout, the Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association, has given its thumbs up as well. This was good news for Sicamous Dollar or More owner Leanne Komaryk, who had already began stocking Sturgis North T-shirts, determined to take part in the event regardless.
“As a business, I’m excited,” says Komaryk. “That’s why I sourced out the T-shirts on my own. I found out from a friend in Salmon Arm and went and talked to the guy that is organizing it so I could be a part of it…”
Komaryk doesn’t hesitate in saying business has been slow, and she feels the community should endeavor to take part in such events.
Over at Dave the Barber’s shop, Dave Waugh, a motorcycle enthusiast himself, is stoked about Sturgis coming to town for a day. Asked if he’s for the event, a customer responded for Waugh, stating he would likely be leading the parade.
“Absolutely, you betcha!,” says Waugh. “It sounds like a good plan to get some people into town for the day.”
Michelle Wolff over at AJ’s and the Worx was of the same opinion, stating there’s nothing but good to be had in bringing more events to town.
Sicamous Chamber of Commerce manager Corrinne Cross says it’s fantastic Sicamous can be a venue for Sturgis, and that local businesses will be able to share in the success of such events.
Eagle Valley Pharmacy manager Diana Wiznuk suggested a committee might be set up to help co-ordinate things so as to take full opportunity of the event.
“Maybe a committee should be formed for all the downtown businesses so that we can all work together on this,” said Wiznuk. “We can figure out what we can do to get everybody involved so bikers do have something to do when they come here. Like have a market all the way down the street with all the different clubs.”
This would be part of the community buy-in MacLeod is hoping to see. The mayor believes there is a real opportunity for Sicamous businesses and community groups to benefit from the event.
“What we’d like to do is have more local type sponsored events, maybe a craft fair, on either side of Main Street… The idea is the community groups, clubs and what have you could use this as a fundraiser,” says MacLeod.
MacLeod’s vision for the event is to have Main Street closed off between Riverside and Shuswap, reserved only for motorcycle parking. The time of the event has been reconsidered, the mayor now suggesting it begin at 11 a.m. and run to about 6 p.m., thus allowing visitors to have lunch while in town.
“That would help out the merchants a little bit more,” said MacLeod.
After a meeting with Sicamous’ police sergeant on Wednesday, MacLeod said the RCMP is willing to help out with the event. Sturgis is expected to help orchestrate traffic in and out of the community. And while there are plans for a beer garden, MacLeod says drinking and driving is not usually an issue with the kind of crowd expected for the event.
Komaryk is hopeful the technical details around Sturgis will all be worked out as she says Sicamous needs all the help it can get.
“Most businesses rely solely on the summer, and I’ve had two summers that have been a little less eventful than past ones,” says Komaryk.