“I write this in the hopes of shedding more light on the intentions of the City of Sturgis and many others who care to produce a viable plan to shift the current path of downtown Sturgis. For decades discussions have occurred and task forces have been assembled on this highly contentious subject. It is not that previous attempts have simply failed, nor is it guaranteed that this present attempt will be successful, but it is my opinion that something needs to change in order to foster a more viable future for our downtown.
The giant economic engine that roars every August certainly brings an influx of capital to Sturgis, but where we also need success is the other months of the year and specifically the entire tourism season. Visitors come to our town during all months of the year, but we are only set up to capitalize on their visits during the peak season. It is not the intention to inhibit any business’s success, but to help make a more equitable situation to help ensure that there is a viable model for success during the Motorcycle Rally and also year round.
Time will continue to deteriorate our historic buildings on Main Street. It is our duty to embrace the history of our great area but yet still identify the factors that have brought us to this point of lack of development. Then the factors that have made the Rally so successful must be intertwined with new approaches looking toward the future with year around success in mind.
Change is always difficult and trust has not always had an abundant presence. Some will be angered that regulations and ordinances will require adjustments on current business models. The citizens and businesses of Sturgis have shouldered the burden of many costs while others have profited for years. I do not believe profit is a dirty word, and truly would like to see all those with a viable plan succeed, but this cannot be at the expense of our downtown.
We have one of the world’s most famous Main Streets here in Sturgis, and with some hometown pride and proper planning we can be proud of what so many people come to see!” Mark C. Carstensen Mayor, City of Sturgis