More than a Motorcycle Mecca
Although its population is just 6,700, Sturgis is world famous as the home of the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™,an event that draws more than half a million bikers each August.
But Sturgis is much more than motorcycles. On the western edge of Meade County – recently named the eighth fastest growing county in the United States – Sturgis is a year-round business community that serves as a retail and agriculture hub for the region.
Through the Fort Meade Campus of the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs’ Black Hills Heath Care System, the Sturgis community serves the medical needs of veterans from South Dakota, and parts of Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana.
Sturgis is home to a thriving group of manufacturing and service businesses related to the custom motorcycle industry, the agriculture industry and the guns-and-ammunition niches. Air suspension systems, exhaust systems, clothing and custom metal parts for the motorcycle market are made in Sturgis. The city’s guns-and-ammo firms produce everything from high-end rifles to small-arms ammunition. Agriculture, a $25 billion industry in South Dakota, is supported by livestock containment production in Sturgis.
Sturgis was founded in 1878, shortly after the U.S. Army established nearby Fort Meade to protect settlements in the Northern Black Hills, especially the gold camps of Deadwood and Lead.
Recreation opportunities are abundant in Sturgis. Nearby Bear Butte has a hiking trail to the summit. Bear Butte Lake is popular for fishing and swimming. The Black Hills Centennial Trail, a 100-mile backpacking trail through the Black Hills, begins at the base of Bear Butte.