ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Don’t expect blaring music or vendors filling up Main Street in Daytona Beach for this year’s Biketoberfest after city commissioners ruled against issuing permits, hoping to avoid crowded corridors during a pandemic.
“People are going to come into town, you know they’re going to come to town. Why are you forcing them off the streets and into the bars where they’re going to be closer together than they would be out here spread out,” said Robert Honeycutt, owner of Froggy’s Saloon.
Robert Honeycutt owns Froggy’s Saloon on Main Street and he’s now working on another plan that doesn’t include his 12 outside bars, dancers or DJ booth. He said at this point, he’s not even sure if it’s worth opening his doors for the event.
“What is the income going to be because we can’t sell as much or even 1/3 as much. Will it be better to shut the doors for Biketoberfest and come back on Monday?”
But, drive up the road to U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach and it’s a different story.
“We’ll try to keep the crowds limited and keep everybody separated but, very thankful the Commission of Ormond Beach for taking care of us like this,” said Steve Fritze, General Manager of Iron Horse Saloon.
Steve Fritze runs the Iron Horse Saloon and received their permit on Wednesday night. He said staff is eager to bring in much needed business.
“It’s a lot of money in take for local people that work for us, the vendors, for us and believe me, after what’s been going on, we can all use a little bump,” he said.
Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington said the city issued permits because it has acres of land along U.S. 1 and big spaces like Destination Daytona for bikers to roam, if establishments submit a COVID-19 safety plan.
“Ormond Beach is situated differently than Daytona and we have more room to spread out. They stop at different spots throughout the day. But, rather than having them jammed into certain locations all in one location, they’re able to spread out, be socially distanced. We’re hoping to get through this the safest way possible while still protecting business interests and the folks that rely on these events to make their living,” he said.