Mayor upbeat about Hollister biker rally

Mayor Ignacio Velazquez

Motorcycle riders visiting Hollister during the Independence Day weekend are here for an experience and are willing to pay for it, said Ignacio Velazquez, the city’s mayor.
“These guys are all about experiences, so the more things you can bring to the visitors the happier they’re going to be,” he said.
With the rally under the new leadership of Las-Vegas-based promoter ConvExx, organizers will bring back popular activities such as the photo tower and late-night headliner entertainment in exchange for fees.
Concert tickets are $50 for The Guess Who—a band with hit songs in the 1960s and 1970s—and $25 for the Fabulous Thunderbirds. A chance to take pictures of the rally from a photo tower will cost $5.
“In the past, they definitely charged for the tower—for that experience,” the mayor said.  “These are big-name bands, and I really think, for some of these things, there is a cost. There needs to be.”
ConvExx is also offering a VIP package—a first for the rally—which includes concert tickets, rally memorabilia, a lunch coupon and front-of-the-line access to the meet and greet with stars from the Sons of Anarchy television series for a $100 price tag.
“They’ve never done it the way this person is doing it,” Velazquez said. “Again, I think he’s coming up with a lot of creative, new ideas.”
The mayor became “very involved” in the city rallies starting the third year the event was held. The rally started in 1997 and Velazquez opened his restaurant, The Vault, after the second rally in 1998.
“I just want to see people out there having a good time and talking positively about their experiences here, which I’m sure is what’s going to happen,” he said. “I’m looking forward to a good rally.”

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