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8/10/2003

Supply and demand at work in Sturgis

The Associated Press

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Motel rooms are at a premium during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, and guests are willing to pay double and triple the regular rates.

“A person could camp. But after 600 or 700 miles on the road, I don’t feel like camping,” said Jerry Diessner, who arrived in Sturgis on Thursday from Heber City, Utah, and shelled out $185 a night for a motel room.

“Nobody’s holding a gun to my head and telling me to pay,” he said.

The regular summer rate at the Budget Host Inn in Rapid City, for example, is $69.95. The rate during the rally: $169.

The higher rates result from basic economics, said Bill Honerkamp, president of the Black Hills, Badlands and Lakes Association.

“It’s supply and demand, plain and simple,” he said.

People without room reservations usually are out of luck during the rally. Rapid City’s 4,000-plus motel rooms were full three of four nights last week, said Nancy Brady of the Rapid City Hospitality Association.