Beautification project along US 1 keeping bikers away?

South Daytona business owners say Bike Week has died down

Local 6 News at 6:00p
Local 6 News at 6:00p

SOUTH DAYTONA, Fla. – Hundreds of thousands of bikers are in town for Bike Week, bringing a lot of money into the area, but some business owners in South Daytona believe they're not seeing much of it.

"This place used to be crazy," said Shelly Mosley, a bartender at Diamondbacks.

Mosley said she remembers what Bike Week used to be for folks in South Daytona after working it for the last 17 years.

"We used to have vendors up and down, bikes galore, parked everywhere, you could barely get through," she said.

But businesses along U.S. 1 said Bike Week has died down.

"Ten years ago, I used to make quite good amount of money. Last year, I made nothing, zero," said Amnon Amsalem, owner of T-Shirt Madness.

Many shops along U.S. 1 believe the Streetscape Project could be to blame.

"We got rid of some on-street parking, we did decorative sidewalks, we did plantings. It was a major investment to try and make the area more attractive for businesses, but I do think one of the side things is that it kind of decreased Bike Week a little bit," said John Dillard, community development director/city engineer.

Dillard said Bike Week in South Daytona peaked in 2006 and has dropped ever since. South Daytona once made close to $29,000 in vendor sales alone, now only bringing $800. Between the lack of parking, vendors and activities, shops believe they'll continue to lose money until something changes.

"If we don't create something in South Daytona, like all the other locations, they won't stop," said Amsalem.

"We wish we could get it back to the way it was and bring business back to South Daytona," said Mosley.

The city said it would like to hear from business owners on how to make Bike Week more successful in the future.

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