DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Bikers and their bikes were seen crowding Main Street on Thursday for Biketoberfest 2016.
"I'm pretty excited for it," Brandy Goertz said.
The event provided a nice distraction following last week’s Hurricane Matthew.
"I didn't anticipate this many people here coming in already," said Billy Rutland, of St. Augustine.
Added Ken Lundquist, of Ormond Beach, “We just had a major hurricane — a Category 3 that destroyed everything. Still, if you look at Main Street, there are thousands of bikes.”
But it's still not the crowd the area is used to seeing. Officials said 125,000 people were in town for Biketoberfest 2015, and this year, they're expecting 35,000 to 40,000, if that.
"People who come to this event are from Georgia, South Carolina (and) North Carolina and they've been whacked,” said Bob Davis, president and CEO of the Hotel & Lodging Association of Volusia County. “I don't expect that crowd, which is probably half, or maybe more, to be here for Biketoberfest. They got their own problems, as we have our own problems.”
But event-goers said those problems aren't going to get in the way of having fun.
"I think we're going to have a great year down here," Rutland said.
Davis said dozens of hotels are closed due to storm damage, but that number most likely will change this weekend.
Here is the list of hotels currently closed:
- Baymont Inn & Suites Ormond
- Club Sea Oats
- Coral Sands Beachside
- Cove Ormond Beach
- Daytona Beach Regency
- Daytona Beach Resort
- El Caribe
- Georgian Inn
- Grand Seas Resort
- Hawaiian Inn
- Hilton Ocean Walk
- Holiday Garden Inn
- Holiday Inn Express
- Hyatt Place Shores
- La Playa
- Ocean Jewels Cub
- Ocean Shore Daytona
- Residence Inn by Marriott Shores
- Sand and Surf
- Silver Beach Club
- Studio 1
- Tomoka State Park
- Zoom Air
Check with the Convention and Visitors Bureau for the latest.
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