The most profitable week for Daytona, Florida is actually Bike Week, and not the Daytona 500, so what is the science behind this big 10 day event and the millions of dollars that ride into town? Whereas the Daytona 500 demographic is generally an older crowd, bikers flood the beaches in all ages and genders, and that is just the beginning of the differences as to why one rakes in millions more than the other.
Floridian’s gear up for this event every March, excited for the week long party that floods their town with out of state dollars and hundreds of thousands bikers each year. This year is no exception, as predictions are that this was the biggest biker event for Daytona to date, with over 500,000 bikers in attendance. So where does all the revenue end up? Hotels, campgrounds and restaurants will take the lion’s share of the profits, and as the crowds get larger, so will the distribution of the dollars. The more the merrier is the right quote for this event, because as the hotels book to capacity, the wealth spreads farther and farther from the beach. These party-goers know that the fun will follow them throughout the city, unlike the centralized crowds for the popular races, where all the action is strictly at the track.
It’s not rocket science that behind the scenes of Florida’s Daytona Bike Week lies every business owners dreams of profitability. Home to hundreds of year-round bikers due to the warm climate, many in the hospitality industry cater to bikers 24/7 and not just for this one event. This makes them hot spots during the event, as the locals will always point out the restaurants and bars that are biker friendly. Hotels overbook, campgrounds are at capacity, and every party store, grocery chain, and souvenir shop welcomes these road warriors with open arms. Even the street vendors get in on the action by lining the streets to treat the party-goers to everything from food to Bike Week souvenirs. Unlike the Daytona 500 where everything is centralized around a single event, and in a small area of the city, effectively keeping the money logistically around that specific event, Bike Week is spread throughout the city, reaching more vendors and store owners and hotel chains.
Bike Week in Daytona, Florida brings in a more diversified crowd every year, and learning to cater to visitors of all ages isn’t just a science, it’s something that every business owner gets behind. This event caters to bikers in general and families and women in particular, and everyone is excited to see if they beat last years $74.8 million that the city estimated was spent. Treasure hunts, action photography, and the presence of the Budweiser Clydesdales help bring people out in the thousands. Add to all of this the fact that this one week in March is the official beginning of riding for many of those that don’t live in warm climates, and the science of it all becomes simple. Sun, beaches, and thousands of bike enthusiasts mean a genuinely large influx of money into Florida’s economy.
Opinion By Kristi Cereska
Offical Bike Week
Daytona Bike Week