Motorcycle rally coming next week, tourism asking locals to be aware of influx and motorcycle riders
At least 4,000 people are coming to Great Falls next week for the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association National Rally.
The event was originally scheduled for summer 2020 but was moved to June 24-26 at Montana Expo Park due to COVID-19.
Great Falls Montana Tourism said the economic impact to the community will be significant but also asks the community to be patient with local businesses that are struggling to get fully staffed and will be dealing with the influx of customers.
Local businesses sponsored the Great Falls Trolley to run from Montana Expo Park through downtown from 2-10 p.m. daily, so Jason Laird, tourism sales director, said that downtown businesses may be more full than usual.
As of last week, there were about 4,100 people registered and they’re anticipating up to 5,000 people for the motorcycle rally. There will be a large camping contingent, but many hotels are also booking up, tourism officials said.
Using tourism’s general estimate for economic impact of $277 per overnight visitor per night, with 4,000 people coming to town for two nights, the local economic impact could be at least $2.2 million. Tourism expects at least some of the participants to come to town before the event and/or stay afterward.
“The rally organizers selected Great Falls for it’s diverse landscapes and amazing scenic rides, as BMW Motorcycle Owners enjoy riding as much as they can,” Rebecca Engum, tourism director, said in a release, and asked area residents to pay more attention as motorcycle riders can be hard to spot.
Tourism has been working to bring the rally to Great Falls since 2018 and Engum said, “we are grateful to have worked with such great rally chairs and association staff to make this event happen in Montana’s Greatest Dam Town, Great Falls.”