GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) – The National Bikers Roundup is the largest camping motorcycle rally in the United States. It draws in about 30,000 people and spectators.
It’s an event that tourism officials are thankful for.
After the summer tourism slump caused by the blue-green algae and then Hurricane Barry, visitors could not come at a better time, according to Coastal Mississippi and the tourism board.
“We have them for the weekend, so we are expecting an economic impact anywhere from $1.1-2 million” said Erin Rosetti, Coastal Mississppi’s Director of Communications and Engagement.
That was part of the reason the event’s chairs chose to stay in Gulfport, despite many other Mississippi cities trying to get them to reconsider.
“We tried to bring the proceeds to help Gulfport out,” said David Hull, a chairman for the motorcycle rally.
Community service is a part of the roundup’s mission. Riders are encouraged to think about ways they can give back to the host city.
“Every club brings proceeds, most of the time it’s canned goods,” Hull said.
They’ve chosen to donate food items to Feed My Sheep in Gulfport. Just ahead of Cruisin’ the Coast, which is always a big draw, this roundup of motorcycles brings in diversity.
“It will inspire growth in different ways and encourage others to visit us as well,” Rosetti said.
The roundup could be the light shining through the clouds of a gloomy summer.