SIOUX CITY | Despite facing opposition from several area businesses earlier this winter, Awesome Biker Nights plans to return to the Historic Fourth District for its 19th year of festivities.
The committee that organizes the annual motorcycle rally and concert fundraiser will ask the City Council on Monday to approve street and sidewalk closures for the June 14-16 event.
Organizers of the charity event had discussed moving to an alternate location in December after receiving a letter listing 10 Historic Fourth businesses that asked the group to move the event elsewhere. Some of the businesses later clarified they had been listed in error.
The letter, dated Nov. 28 and sent to the Awesome Biker Nights committee and to city leaders, said the listed businesses didn't want their street and storefronts blocked by the biker rally.
In response, the committee reached out to Historic Fourth Street merchants and gathered signatures of support from 11 other Historic Fourth businesses, according to a city document.
The document lists those businesses as Heidman Law Firm, Western Equity Group, U Drive Acceptance Corp., Buffalo Alice, The Marquee, American National Insurance, Harris Rebar, Teasers, Rox & Rails, 1008 Key Club and Aalfs Manufacturing.
Those listed in opposition include SoHo Kitchen & Bar, M's on Fourth, Studio 427, Rebos, The Diving Elk, Ave Med Spa and Antiques on Fourth.
City staff see no issues with the Awesome Bikers Night's request and are recommending the council approve the street and sidewalk closures. Construction on a new Courtyard by Marriott hotel on the current Sioux City Convention Center parking lot will not conflict with the event, according to the document.
Awesome Biker Nights board chairman Brian Hall and a handful of Historic Fourth Street business owners contacted by the Journal were not immediately available for comment Thursday evening.
The rally has attracted thousands of people to downtown Sioux City each summer for live music, a bike show and other events for nearly two decades. All proceeds generated at the rally benefit charity organizations. It has raised more than $1.1 million during its existence.
Awesome Biker Nights returned to Historic Fourth Street in 2017 after holding its 2016 rally at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino's Battery Park and adjacent Fifth and Pearl streets.
The 2016 move to the opposite end of downtown came after some Historic Fourth Street businesses voiced concern about barricades that were placed around their entrances, blocking access to the street because they had declined to pay the $1,500 fee to participate in the event, which includes paid admission for a series of concerts.