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Thread: Billings chamber announces BMW motorcycle rally in July 2015

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    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Billings chamber announces BMW motorcycle rally in July 2015

    http://billingsgazette.com/content/tncms/live/


    Event may draw 7,000

    The BMW Motorcycle Owners of America has booked a rally in Billings for July 23-25 next year that is expected to bring up to $5 million to town.

    The international BMW organization has about 35,000 North American members and expects about 7,000 visitors for the 2015 rally.

    About half the group is expected to spend four nights in hotels and motels, which would be a $2.7 million boost to the local economy just from lodging. The other half of the group will camp on the MetraPark grounds.

    "It's satisfying from time to time to be reminded through the eyes of our guests just how desirable Billings is," said Chamber president and chief executive John Brewer.

    The announcement was made over Skype by Bob Aldridge, executive director of the BMW Motorcycle Owners Association, who spoke from the group's headquarters near Kansas City, Kan.

    "You've got just great natural amenities, whether it's the Beartooth Highway, or the Rimrocks or the Little Big Horn National Monument," he said. "All of the routes to get to Billings are wonderful rides."

    The international convention could draw BMW motorcycle fans from two dozen countries, including Australia and New Zealand, said Billings BMW veteran rider Gary Smith. He is an ambassador for the organization and has worked for three decades to bring this event to town.

    There are only two kinds of BMW riders: "Those who have ridden the Beartooth Highway and those who haven't," said Smith, quoting another fan of the German-made bike.

    With today's helmet and bike-mounted digital cameras, their trip will be shared with thousands of other people, he said.

    "They're going to take all those pictures home and they're going to share it with their clubs," Smith said. "We're going to see the spilloff for the next 15 years."

    Steve Wahrlich, who heads the Chamber?s Tourism Business Improvement District, said the TBID spent up to $15,000 in travel expenses over the last four years courting the BMW owners.

    ?When you go after these things, it?s like a date,? he said. ?It worked and we got engaged for one year.?

    By promoting this event, Wahrlich said the TBID hopes to boost attendance from around 7,000 to 8,000 or more.

    The BMW owners hold a convention each year alternating regions of the U.S. This summer?s convention will be held in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The 2013 rally was held in Salem, Ore.

    Billings beat out two other Rocky Mountain communities, which Aldridge declined to name.

    During two scouting trips to Billings, the BWM executives walked almost every inch of MetraPark's 189 acres, said the facility's general manager Bill Dutcher.

    Ron Spence, who manages the Billings Hotel & Convention Center, said the group comes at the right time for his hotel, which is completing a $1.5 million project remodeling all 235 of his rooms.

    ?We?ll be doing something special like bike washes and things to make sure these guys have a great experience,? Spence said.

    A BMW motorcycle starts at $7,500, Smith said, and ranges up to $30,000.

    The Honda Gold Wings Road Riders Association held its convention at MetraPark in 1997, 2000 and 2007, Dutcher said.

    In 2006, the Harley-Davidson owners group brought about 10,000 people to Billings, who spent an estimated $6 million.

    When asked how the BMW folks differ from the Harley riders, Smith said, ?We?re a lot quieter.?
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    BeemerBoy terham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    http://billingsgazette.com/content/tncms/live/


    ?We?ll be doing something special like bike washes and things to make sure these guys have a great experience,? Spence said.

    In 2006, the Harley-Davidson owners group brought about 10,000 people to Billings, who spent an estimated $6 million.

    When asked how the BMW folks differ from the Harley riders, Smith said, ?We?re a lot quieter.?

    ..and we really don't like "bike washes". We do ride, rather than polishing chrome.....

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    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the news, Kevin.

    Does anyone know why the news was announced by Skype to the Billings Gazette and not simultaneously announced to the MOA membership? Or perhaps Kevin's post is that announcement on behalf of the MOA?
    Dan

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    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancogan View Post
    Thanks for the news, Kevin.

    Does anyone know why the news was announced by Skype to the Billings Gazette and not simultaneously announced to the MOA membership? Or perhaps Kevin's post is that announcement on behalf of the MOA?
    I suspect it was because the Chamber of Commerce got out ahead of the MOA - which often happens with Rah Rah Rah type civic organizations. I don't think MOA called the newspaper. I think the deal got signed with the facility and the chamber got all over it. Just guessing having watched numerous civic organizations over a lot of years. Last I checked Skype is just a telephone service. Mentioning Skype in a newspaper article seems superfulous at best.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Outstanding location!

    But first, on to St. Paul for a first-rate MOA experience!
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    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Last weekend I spoke to the President of our local club about a variety of MOA dealer and club topics. He mentioned during our discussions that our local dealership in Missoula (only one in MT) was unaware of the rally in Salem last year and caught off guard by the surge in business from rally travelers. We are going to make sure that does not happen in 2015 for the MT and SD dealerships.
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    MOA Life Member t2moyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dancogan View Post
    Thanks for the news, Kevin.

    Does anyone know why the news was announced by Skype to the Billings Gazette and not simultaneously announced to the MOA membership? Or perhaps Kevin's post is that announcement on behalf of the MOA?
    It was announced at the Board meeting this weekend and it will go up on our home page momentarily. Yep, the Billings News got the jump on us, but still good things to talk about. We have a heck of a party coming up in St. Paul and now we have Billings to look forward to as well.
    Ted Moyer
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    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t2moyer View Post
    It was announced at the Board meeting this weekend and it will go up on our home page momentarily. Yep, the Billings News got the jump on us, but still good things to talk about. We have a heck of a party coming up in St. Paul and now we have Billings to look forward to as well.

    Thanks, Ted. Yes, it is good stuff to talk about and I'm excited about the location. 'Nuff said.
    Dan

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    X-Troller hexst's Avatar
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    Seems like a great place to start or end an Alaska trip!
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    Thumbs up Exactly what I was thinking.....

    .... Hope to "ride far" during the trek west in 2015! "Keep'ye scalp till then" HexST. .

    "travel'n" john
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    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akbeemer View Post
    Last weekend I spoke to the President of our local club about a variety of MOA dealer and club topics. He mentioned during our discussions that our local dealership in Missoula (only one in MT) was unaware of the rally in Salem last year and caught off guard by the surge in business from rally travelers. We are going to make sure that does not happen in 2015 for the MT and SD dealerships.
    I am absolutely astounded that a dealer that close and on the way didn't know about the BMW MOA International Rally. I know that within a week or two of the announcement of Sedalia for 2012 Mike and Adam and Pat at Engle Motors in Kansas City were inquiring about how they could best fit in and support that rally. And I know that they are well aware that they are on one path folks will be taking to St. Paul.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I am absolutely astounded that a dealer that close and on the way didn't know about the BMW MOA International Rally. I know that within a week or two of the announcement of Sedalia for 2012 Mike and Adam and Pat at Engle Motors in Kansas City were inquiring about how they could best fit in and support that rally. And I know that they are well aware that they are on one path folks will be taking to St. Paul.
    Well they won't be able to make that claim in 2015. I tried to send an email to the dealership in Sturgis; it came back as undeliverable.
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    Registered User redsky49's Avatar
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    Seems like along time since a rally was held in the Eastern US.

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