DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The engines are roaring, the food is ready and thousands of bikers are in Daytona Beach for Bike Week 2023.
Mike Allen — from Birmingham, Alabama — said he and his wife have traveled to Daytona for the annual event almost every year since 1983.
“We come every year, it’s something we don’t miss,” Allen said. “Just down here on Main Street shopping.”
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Briana Johnson is a manager at Biker Life Clothing on Main Street and welcomes the business.
“I get to see regular customers who come back every year, so it’s exciting. It’s super exciting,” Johnson said.
It’s also exciting, she said, that she’s expecting about a 30% boost in business.
“It’s much-needed business,” Johnson said.
Daytona Beach city leaders have been discussing setting rules that would not allow for pop-up businesses. The city would rather businesses be year-round, instead of vacant storefronts that open only for big events. It’s all so Main Street can thrive throughout the year, but a vote on that measure has not yet been set.
Police Chief Jakari Young said at least 60 uniformed officers will be working on Main Street each day.
Last year, a couple was riding their bikes home from Bike Week festivities when they were randomly attacked, stabbed and killed, police said. The suspect was caught four days later.
This year, Young said more lighting will be added.
“The big thing is lighting, so the goal is to really light up that neighborhood up there and have additional units on bicycles and just an increase in overall patrol,” Young said.
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