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Colorado motorcycle rally plans to go on despite concerns

Posted at 4:11 PM, Sep 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-02 18:11:47-04

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado motorcycle rally plans to continue with its events scheduled for Labor Day weekend despite the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 1,946 people in the state.

Organizers for the Four Corners Motorcycle Rally say the three-day event will be scaled down due to coronavirus restrictions.

Events have limited their capacity or been canceled altogether. The Hill Climb at Purgatory Resort and concerts at Sky Ute Casino Resort have been canceled. The Hooligan Dirt Dash, which typically draws about 1,500 people, will have a capacity of 100 people.

John Oakes, an organizer, said the events will encourage social distancing and face coverings.

“Typically, it was like a street party,” Oakes said. “But now, it will be like a seated restaurant.”

The rally had not received a permit from the city of Durango to hold the event as of Tuesday, the Durango Herald reported.

Rally organizers submitted a self-certification plan on Tuesday to San Juan Basin Public Health to prove that all planned events met public health orders. The health department is currently reviewing the plans.

Alex Wilkinson, the community events administrator for Durango, said the event should receive the green light in time for Friday.

Organizers believe safety measures will be adequate.

“We’re doing the best we can,” said Trevor Bird, owner of the event. “We take the safety of the community and our team really serious.”

Kim Baxter, acting mayor for the city of Durango, said council-members have received letters with concerns from residents about the safety of the rally.

“People are concerned that drivers from Sturgis might bring COVID here,” Baxter said.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally drew an estimated 500,000 people in August to South Dakota. Health experts say they have tracked confirmed cases of the coronavirus throughout the country that stemmed from the event.