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To all of our loyal patrons and supporters of Muskegon Bike Time,
We are sorry to announce, that after 9 months of negotiating with local merchants, city officials and other entities that Muskegon Bike Time will not be creating Steel Horse Alley on Western Avenue in downtown Muskegon this year.
Muskegon Bike Time conducted several meetings with City officials and downtown merchants in an effort to plan and coordinate maintaining Bike Time’s Steel Horse Alley for 2015. In those meetings, everyone agreed that closing the street and creating Steel Horse Alley was essential. In the past, the costs to close the streets, provide police protection, private security, utilities, porta-johns, cleanup and insurance reached $80,000.
After 8 years of planning, organizing and funding Steel Horse Alley, the City of Muskegon has chosen to re-classify the 2015 Muskegon Bike Time as a different event, subject to new rules and policies.
Two years ago, the Muskegon City Commission had concerns about the growth of Bike Time and strongly suggested that we develop plans for the event beyond the downtown location. The Commission predicted that downtown space would diminish as the properties were sold and developed. In response to their desires, this year we announced a plan that permits growth, by expanding the event to the former Great Lakes Downs property just outside of Muskegon and owned by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.
Under this new ruling by the City of Muskegon, which allows for “others to hold events and supply the vendors,” it seems the City wants to define programming for Bike Time. The new ruling creates an untenable liability risk, where Muskegon Bike Time would be responsible for creating the space for other events and vendors to operate, but we could be held liable for safety issues that remain beyond our control.
Under these circumstances we cannot, in good conscience as a nonprofit, responsibly accept this liability. Therefore, unfortunately Muskegon Bike Time will not be creating Steel Horse Alley on Western Avenue in 2015.
In the interest of complete transparency please see our letter to the City of Muskegon in the link below.
Muskegon Bike Time will still, as it has for the past 8 years for nearly 1 million people, create an exciting, family friendly and safe event at the former Great Lakes Downs race track minutes from downtown Muskegon. Affectionately called “Bike Time at the Rez” by our tribal partners, we will be addressing our visitor’s requests to provide more motorcycle parts and accessories vendors, more merchandise and shopping options, more attractions, more food options and more entertainment.
This new site will have plenty of space for the expansion of vendors and will allow us to feature new attractions like a motocross race, motorcycle stunt shows, and other events for the whole family. In addition, adult beverages will be available over the entire site. Future growth plans include the sorely needed availability of camping.
Stay tuned for more exciting attraction and entertainment announcements in the very near future.