A quarter-century ago, marking the 50th anniversary of South Dakota’s Sturgis motorcycle rally, a friend with a house a block off Main Street told me he had just rented his place for $6,000.

“It will pay the property taxes for an entire year,” he gushed.

“So, you going to pay the taxes?” I asked.

“Naw, I’m buying a big-screen TV,” he said.

As reported by the Rapids City Journal, if lodging demands for the 75th Sturgis rally now underway are any indication, Best Buy better stock up on flat-screens.

“We’ve always called the rally a ‘phenomenon,’” said Susan Johnson, CEO of Black Hills Central Reservations. “We need a new word for this one.”

Johnson’s booking engine and reservation staff have rented hundreds, if not thousands of accommodations for this year’s rally, if you count all the hotel and motel rooms, RVs, B&Bs, and private homes it has booked. For the regional lodging reservation service, there’s never been a busier Sturgis rally.

Unlike previous rallies, Johnson said RV sites with full hookups were at a premium this year.

“Full hook-up RV spots have been the request we couldn’t accommodate,” she said. “Campgrounds have mowed massive fields to accommodate the increased demand for RVs, even without hookups. Thousands of RVs out there will be operating on generators throughout the rally.”

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