As the Community 1st Bank was one of the Day 1 supporters of the Rough Rider Motorcycle Rally, which continues to this day, I feel obligated to thank and defend the 2013 organizers and their many helpers, workers, vendors and other supporters for the job they do for Las Vegas and the surrounding area in pulling off yet another successful rally. Most people don’t know that these are unpaid volunteers who spend the 50 weeks prior to each rally planning it out. I also thank the United Blood Service workers for getting us in and out so quickly this year, and for the many familiar faces I saw there donating for all of us (they told me that Las Vegas is one of the top five events for them in the entire state of New Mexico each year.) I also commend the Las Vegas Police Department, the sheriff, the New Mexico State Police, the fire departments, Alta Vista, and all city, county, and state employees that made this such a smooth event again this year. I believe that the Rough Rider Motorcycle Rally rivals the Fiestas as the biggest annual boost in the local economy of Las Vegas, and I know several other mayors in northern New Mexico that wish they had an event like this to support the restaurants, hotels, gas stations, retail stores, etc., in their own communities.
I also know that some of us are sensitive to the noise that the rally produces, but like the smell of poop to the rancher, it all smells and sounds like money to me.
I also know that what I like or think is likely different from the next guy or gal, so some people may not like the rally and that is fine too. Diversity is a good thing. However, it was estimated that over 10,000 bikers visited us for the three-day rally, so while we may never have an accurate count on how much money was spent in town and the surrounding communities by these visitors, I am guessing it was significant.
The money spent by the participants is money that turns over many times and supports our families by paying salaries and buying local goods. It also raises revenues for the city and county, and provides us all with a fun event in the dog days of summer. And while the bank also support the knitters, horticulturists and other low-noise producers in town, we cannot argue with the long-term benefit the Rough Rider Motorcycle Rally brings to town in economic support in exchange for entertaining a bunch of mostly middle-aged bikers for a weekend.
I realize that there will always be a few bikers that race their bikes, rev the bike a little too loud, or even go cruising down a residential street at 3 a.m., (didn’t we all do something like that when we were a little less than mature?), but for the size of the event (10,000 bikes), and all the revenue produced, I think we can all stand some noise and inconvenience (not that a lot was reported). But for those people that just can’t stand the noise, next year the bank will be offering free foam ear plugs for those with sensitive ears the weeks leading up to the event — which is promised to be even bigger and better. And I am sure that the people that like to make noise about the noise could help volunteer to educate or inform the bikers and others about our sound codes, after all, we would all like to help at an event that helps our community and not just complain, right?
And I am sure your participation would be greatly appreciated by the old guys and much younger gals who put this on.
Community 1st Bank President