Council OKs search for new biker rally promoter

Mary and Clark Williford, from Woodside, ride away on their Boss Hoss Trike during the Hollister Motorcycle Rally in 2014.

Despite concerns over a prior promoter’s $90,000 deficit owed from the 2015 Hollister Freedom Rally, council members Monday agreed to prepare a request for proposal to solicit a new organizer of the city’s signature event.
Council members in a 4-1 decision, with Councilwoman Mickie Luna dissenting, OK’d the city manager requesting proposals from potential promoters to run the event. The 2016 event would be the fourth year in the most recent revival for the traditional event, and a new promoter would amount to the third one during that same time frame.
Before the report, council members and the Free Lance—which requested the information through an open records request—reviewed finances that showed the city is actually running in the black for each of the prior three motorcycle rallies despite the concerns on the promoter deficit. Those figures, though, do include a rough ballpark estimate on sales-tax revenue gained, $70,000, over that special weekend.
With concerns expressed about merchandise-sales competition from private land or business owners by that former promoter, Chuck Schwartz of Las Vegas-based ConvExx promotions, city and business leaders had been initially discussing any potential prospects for a special charge levied against such locals. Some downtown businesses, meanwhile, close down during the event drawing tens of thousand of bikers to town.
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