DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona Beach city leaders on Wednesday voted on a measure that will seriously impact Biketoberfest. No outdoor vendors or concerts will be permitted this year, due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
Mayor Derrick Henry and commissioners reviewed a plan presented by the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, which organizes the event.
In the previous years, vendors were able to set up kiosks along iconic Main Street. There has been some reluctance to have a similar setup after researchers say 266,000 people across the country got coronavirus at the 2020 motorcycle rally in Sturgis, making up 19 percent of the country’s new cases in August.
Now, businesses say it’s not a question about whether the event will happen, just how it’ll look.
Jeffrey Honeycutt, assistant manager at Froggy’s Saloon, is certain bikers will come out regardless of permits. Mayor Henry agrees.
“The event is going to happen because bikers are going to come,” he said.
Honeycutt said permits allow them to prepare for the scale of the event. He said normally they would start preparing two months out but had been waiting for a decision.
“You really don’t want to invest the time and money without knowing, because it could cost you again,” Honeycutt said before the vote.
Mayor Henry said he is aware the longtime event’s future has become a passionate debate and said bikers and Daytona Beach go hand-in-hand.
“They’re welcome. They’re wanted,” he said. “The reality is, we have COVID and we’re gonna make decisions with that in mind.”