Bike Week 2017, Custer Cruisin vendor row around 1:00pm on the fifth day. With no one in sight, a religious group vending christianity appears to be praying for customers in the empty vending are. Photo: Herb Ryan Photography.

By Herb Ryan

Maybe it’s time to admit that vendor row is a dud and has been for the last three years. The constant bickering and micromanaging by the city and the Custer Cruisin committee and objections from local businesses has led to a loss of vendors, local musicians on vendor row and a general feeling that this is not a good place for a vendor to do business.

We were in the antique and auction business and traveled all over the country setting up booths at antique shows. There is a simple formula in the trade, actual promotion of the event, event management people who know what they are doing and finally customers. It really does not take long to figure out a particular show or event is not making you any money, so you change venues.

It’s not simply about how many people can be brought to a show, it’s about how many people desire what you are selling and have the money to buy it.

By the time bikers arrive in Custer from Sturgis and other areas they have seen the vendors setup along the road everywhere. The same stuff, all over the state. Tee shirts, jewelry, leathers, biker clothing…What’s different in Custer on vendor row ?

Nobody cares about vendor row, except the people it adversely affects. Do us all a favor and admit the vendors on South 6th Street have seen their day and it’s time to move on.

  • This issue does not require the services of a paid consultant. Consulting fees in Custer have ranged anywhere from $10,000 – $60,000.

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