SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Some business owners asked Sioux City officials to deny requests to hold an annual motorcycle rally and concert fundraiser on their street, saying it drives away customers and has led to profit losses.
At least seven local businesses oppose the Awesome Biker Nights committee’s plan to continue hosting its charity event on Historic Fourth Street, the Sioux City Journal reported . The committee requested Fourth Street closures for its June festival at a City Council meeting Monday.
Julie Schoenherr, owner of SoHo Kitchen & Bar, voiced concerns during the meeting about how the event discourages regular customers from dining at her restaurant. She said she lost $12,000 in business during last year’s event.
“I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford $12,000 to be taken out of my business,” Schoenherr said.
Other business owners cited the event’s high participation fees and restricted access to storefronts as reasons for their opposition. Several of the Fourth Street businesses sent the committee a letter, dated in November, saying they didn’t want their street or storefronts blocked by the event.
Since the letter, at least 10 businesses have supported keeping the event on Fourth Street.
Awesome Biker Nights committee chairman Brian Hall said that since other Fourth Street businesses wish to participate, moving to a different location would prove difficult. Hall also said the business participation fees are used to help pay for security, which is required by city ordinance.
“That’s a $14,000 price tag. If we could relieve some of that, we could help relieve some of the costs to these businesses,” he said.
The council deferred a decision until its Feb. 26 meeting and asked that the committee meet with business owners to resolve the dispute.
Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com