Daytona Beach — As Biketoberfest roared on the official first day On Thursday, a motorcycle fan pondered the importance of an event that transcended the chrome and steel celebrations.
Edwright, 60, traveled from Navarre, Santa Rosa County, Florida’s Panhandle to Harley-Davidson Street Glide, saying: “This is very spiritual to me.”
“It’s about how brothers and sisters get together,” said Wright, who attended the Bike Toberfest while sipping Budweiser at a table outside the Boothill Saloon on Main Street. “They are the best people in the world. It’s spiritual freedom for me, man.”
Judging from the crowd earlier this week, Wright will have many companions in his spiritual quest as the four-day event moves into high gear.
Daytona’s early arrival:When Biketoberfest 2021 starts early, a lot of people bark on the main street
At Ormond Beach, motorcycle fans were browsing vendors on Thursday in a vast 150-acre outdoor space on Destination Daytona, Interstate Highway 95, and US Highway 1.
At Bruce Rothmeyer’s Daytona Harley-Davidson, initial customer traffic and sales at Destination Daytona increased by 20% over last year’s Bike Toberfest, general manager Sherry Rothmeyer Pepe said. Stated.
She said the event was up 81% and 50%, respectively, at Rosmeyer dealerships on Main Street and New Marna Beach, spurring even greater year-over-year growth.
“We are obviously seeing more people,” she said. “The weather is good, people are happy with the vaccination and feel safer in the crowd.”
The weather should be almost perfect
On Thursday, after a few showers in the morning, Sunshine once again dominated the forecast. Looking ahead, the weekend outlook required clear skies on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with highs of 85, 87 and 81 respectively.
It’s the first time that one of Daytona Beach’s marquee motorcycle events has been unfolded without COVID restrictions since the pandemic outbreak in early 2020, and it’s almost the perfect backdrop for the Biketoberfest.
On the Ross Meyer showroom floor in Destination Daytona, Edwall was checking the color choices for the 2022 Harley-Davidson model. He and his wife, who traveled to the event from Columbia, South Carolina, were delighted to see the Biketoberfest unfold without restrictions.
“It’s much better to get back to normal. I arrived on Tuesday, but the hotel seemed to already have more bikes than last year.”
After hosting a limited number of external vendors in 2020, Destination Daytona returns to its usual total of nearly 70 under an outdoor tent that sells everything from custom exhaust systems to high-end audio speakers and leather jackets. Said Pepe.
Among the Destination Daytona vendors, Mike Alex, owner of Suspension Technologies, based in Largo, USA, said the business is active.
“We were absolutely blamed,” Alex said. “It was a great participant and the people were great. Everyone is very friendly. It’s really like day and night compared to last year. More people.”
Audiences at Destination Daytona included 62-year-old Bob Patton, who traveled 900 miles from Gadsden, Alabama. Although he was unable to attend last year’s event, he has regularly attended Bike Week and Bike Toberfest for over a decade.
He was pleased that the COVID restrictions were lifted, but admitted that the biker crowd was generally not overly interested in pandemics.
“I don’t think it bothered the biker,” Patton said. “But it’s there. You need to learn how to take action and stay away.”
The Iron Horse Saloon, a few miles south of US 1, attracted a large number of people on the first day. In the middle of the afternoon, there is an outdoor bar, a souvenir shop and a stage.
Jerry Whiting, 65, from Ormond Beach, said the return of the event to normal while drinking beer at the outdoor bar is good news for tourism and local businesses. Still, he had some concerns related to the potential infection of the virus.
“Honestly, I wish more people were vaccinated,” Whiting said, adding that he always wears a mask indoors, even if he is fully vaccinated. rice field. “I don’t know how many you are.”
Returning to Main Street, the merchants reiterated the economic importance of the event.
Danny Yanesh, owner of main street biker brothers T-shirts, bikers and beach apparel, said: “It will make up for a year of COVID. It will help the economy of many in the town.”
On the other side of the street, expectations were high for Carol’s Cat House, a cat-centered souvenir shop owned by Carol Bopri Daniel. We also have some dog-friendly items such as cat posters, pet toys, accessories, T-shirts, and bike riding apparel for small dogs.
“I expect to sell a lot of cat stuff,” said Boprie-Daniel. “This is my time to make money.”
She said the cathouse is also a rare and quiet place in the atmosphere of a party on the main street.
“It’s my cat’s fault,” she said. “It’s the world of cats. Cats don’t like loud noises, cats are everything.”
“Let’s come out and have fun”
The outlook was also optimistic behind the grille on the outdoor stand run by the Lakeland-based Baileys Concession on the corner of Grand Viewer Venue and Main Street.
“Let’s come out and have fun,” said employee Denin Pridy. “We are here to make money and pay invoices. Bikers need to come out and have a good time.”
According to Pridy, the company’s business recovered this year after the harsh 2020 of COVID. She has been working on a special event for 130 days.
“We all strive to be as safe as possible and as respectful as possible,” said Pridy. “We work every weekend. We’ll be back.”
Priddy is looking forward to the Biketoberfest, she said.
“This is one of my favorite crowds.” They are the most graceful and fun people in the world. “
Beyond the main street, the event also boosted business with Starlite diner, Said Kevin Gernaud, owner of a landmark restaurant just north of State Road A1A’s Ocean Center.
“I think everyone has a cabin fever,” Gelnaw said of the early crowds who began patronizing his restaurant last weekend. “They are coming. The weather is great. I’m looking forward to a pretty big Biketoberfest. I think we’ll see a boost that spans two weekends.”
Daytona Bike Toberfest 2021 starts with a large number of people and has no COVID restrictions
Source link Daytona Bike Toberfest 2021 starts with a large number of people and has no COVID restrictions