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August 4, 2016

Economic development groups reach out to motorcycle industry

A number of motorcycle-related businesses have made the Black Hills their permanent home in recent years. The Rushmore Region Economic Development Alliance hopes to further that trend by meeting with industry entrepreneurs and executives during the 2016 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

The Rushmore Region Alliance includes economic development executives from Belle Fourche, Spearfish, Deadwood-Lead, Sturgis, Wall, Rapid City and Hot Springs. They will be actively promoting the Black Hills at events including the Black Hills Harley-Davidson vendor party, the Veterans Charity Ride dinner in Hot Springs, the Buffalo Chip industry party and the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Breakfast.

“The Rushmore Region really is a good fit for motorcycle companies,” said Ben Snow of the Rapid City Economic Development Partnership, one of the alliance members. “We talk about the freedom to ride and the freedom to do business the way you want. That resonates with them.”

In addition, the Rushmore Region is centrally located in the United States, and South Dakota has one of the nation’s lowest cost of doing businesses. The Sturgis name is known worldwide. The climate affords bikers plenty of chance to ride the Black Hills.

Some of the motorcycle companies already doing business in the Black Hills include Legend Air Suspension, J&P Cycles, Competition Distributing, Samson Exhaust, Terry Components, Jerry Greer’s Engineering and Baggster. Earlier this year, Polaris opened a paint facility for its Victory and Indian motorcycles in Spearfish.

“Polaris is a great addition to our community,” said Stephanie Salazar of Spearfish Economic Development Corp. “We would love to establish more relationships like this.”

The Veterans Charity Ride began last week in Los Angeles. Twenty-two riders, including wounded and amputee veterans, are traveling on motorcycles, trikes and sidecars on the open road as a form of motorcycle therapy. Their supporters include actor Mark Wahlberg, comedian Jay Leno and Indian Motorcycles.

The group arrives in Hot Springs on Saturday, and that night Rushmore Region officials will join them for a dinner at the American Legion Hall.

“This is such a great opportunity to honor these veterans. With the Veterans Affairs facility and the South Dakota State Veterans Home both in Hot Springs, we well know the sacrifices that our soldiers have made,” said Andrea Powers, executive director of the Southern Hills Economic Development Partnership.


Dan Daly
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