For many Galveston residents, it's becoming impossible to believe that Galveston "needs" events like the Lone Star Biker Rally.

Who profits? The promoters and out of town vendors profit. Many shops close for the weekend because they know it will not be profitable. Attractions near The Strand, like Bishop's Palace and several museums, close because they know it won’t be profitable.

If the city profits "after" factoring in extra expense for police and fire, plus all additional spending required by the event, then how will that money be used to benefit residents who have to clean up trash from their yards, deal with noise exceeding the noise ordinance, and come home to find no parking places close to their home because of concert attendees and biker groupies who use residential streets instead of paying to park?

I invite elected officials and anyone who will be running for office to propose ways to prove that you really care about the people who live and pay taxes here. Please focus on events that will improve the quality of life for everyone. Promote architectural tours, history tours, the various museums, garden tours, nature tourism and art gallery tours.

Cynthia Wills

Galveston

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(10) comments

Jarvis Buckley

✔️Well said.

Don Schlessinger

Who really profits from events such as Lone Star Rally? Yaga, and very few others.

James Lippert

The hotels and restaurants were packed with paying customers. The grocery stores and convenience stores were mobbed with customers. Lots of sales tax was generated. How can you even imagine that 500,000 people visiting Galveston Island over a 4 day weekend never spent any money?

Paul Hyatt

While what you said is true, what about the downtown shops and business's that have to shut down for that weekend. What about their profits and their employees paychecks that are cut because of this????

Allen Flores

If the success of an event is measured by decreased taxpayer losses and how few fatalities there are, it’s time to rethink it altogether. No event should hijack city streets for cruising, vending and disorder as Kappa Beach Party did. That's what the rally has become if you are there to see it in person. The promoters and city leaders sugar-coat the mayhem and distort the reality of benefits every year. They dismiss the predominant cash-only business model that has never shown any evidence of sales tax receipts or audits. The so-called financial benefits are inflated to perpetuate the questionable contracts. The attendees are mostly day-trippers who don't stay in hotels. At a minimum, the promoters of paid Mardi Gras concerts and motorcycle cruising events should be relocated away from the historic district, downsized and limited to daytime hours only.

Miceal O'Laochdha

Kinda looks like the story in today's paper about the drug dealers which their host called the police on would be another answer to the question of who profits from this event...

Wayne Holt

Ms Wills asks questions which deserve thoughtful, honest answers. Did a half-million people really come to Galveston and stay in our accommodations, eat in our restaurants, and contribute massive amounts of revenue AFTER all cost associated with are counted? Pardon my incredulity about that assertion as to the numbers and the net benefits. I would really like to see whatever is available that has that data for inspection.

She asks the basic question, as far as I am concerned. LSR may have been a positive for Galveston at one time but is it still? Without a doubt, it is the most chaotic, noisy, trash generating event downtown has. We know it can be lucrative for SOME businesses but what about the ones--more than few--that close, see no revenue spike, or even lose money while remaining open while the tented tenants from outside our community set up shop on public streets and make their money? We all know residents who leave the island each year during this event. Could that be a clue this is not the type of events taxpaying residents welcome? I've never heard anyone say they were staying off-island because of Dickens on the Strand and even Mardi Gras seems well-behaved by comparison.

Galveston is a gem that is in the process of being polished up and noticed by a much wider audience. Our cruises, our beaches, our dining, architecture, history and art, recreational opportunities, ecological treasures...all of these are wholesome activities that deserve support and generate goodwill along with dollars.

Let's step back from Lone Star Rally, take a long look at who really benefits from this mechanized madhouse of an event and make the decision to represent Galveston in a way that isn't reminiscent of 1953's The Wild One.

Bailey Jones

Just based on observations driving around town, it looked like every vacation rental in town was occupied with bikers. That accounts for some $millions. Whether that balances the trouble and noise I can't say. It would be interesting if the city would do a survey of Galveston businesses to see who wins and loses.

Wayne Holt

At four persons to a room, 500,000 bikers would require 125,000 available rooms in Galveston if we're talking about benefiting local resources. Have I lost my mind or does this sound like the product of a random number generator?

Bailey Jones

Hmmm.... you make a good point. Galveston.com claims 5000 hotel rooms on the island. Add a few hundred bnbs. Probably wasn't 100 bikers to a room. Now I'm curious about Mardi Gras.

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