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Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Attendance Down 18 Percent

Attendance at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally down 18 pct; high gas prices, uncertain economy cited



IMG_0431STURGIS, S.D. (AP) -- Organizers of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally say the estimated attendance this year was down 18 percent from 2007, likely because of higher gas prices and economic uncertainty nationally.

They put the turnout at 414,917. That compares with 507,234 last year and 633,000 for the 60th rally in 2000.

Rally officials say the weeklong event fared well in spite of the challenges. Decreases were noted in the number of vendor licenses, in sales and tourism tax collections, and in traffic counts at Sturgis and at Mount Rushmore.

Sturgis officials say city sales tax collections were up 18 percent in July, an indication that more bikers are showing up before the official start of the rally in early August.



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