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Doesn’t want Harley event here

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

To the editor:

I urge the Shallotte mayor and alderman to reject the request by Rick Noyes, owner of the new Coastal Harley-Davidson dealership, for a permit to conduct a weeklong grand opening event.

Mr. Noyes’ proposal to the Carolinas Harley-Davidson Dealers Association to conduct a weeklong rally in May was rejected in favor of New Bern. This makes sense because New Bern, unlike Shallotte, has a more extensive infrastructure to support the large number of anticipated motorcyclists.

Now Noyes seeks to conduct a rival event under the name of a “grand opening,” even though his business has been open for a couple of months. This event would also be in competition with his own business association (Carolinas Harley-Davidson Dealers Association) and whatever type of motorcycle rally develops in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

While the request for a permit for this motorcycle rally masquerading as a “grand opening” is before the Shallotte town government, it presents a countywide public safety problem.

Shallotte simply does not have the necessary infrastructure to support a Myrtle Beach-style bike rally. Its police force is small, thus the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office would be called upon to provide law enforcement services.

A rally on the vacant land next to the dealership on U.S. 17 would cause long lines of traffic—jamming normal traffic on the county’s major thoroughfare. It would be worse should it rains during this rally. Imagine a festival in a mud field with traffic backed up for miles!

A bike rally brings in adults seeking adult entertainment with potentially excessive consumption of adult beverages that leads to all sorts of incidents and accidents. Our local hospital and EMS would be strained to handle the victims of the accidents.

A bike rally is quite different from a Saturday afternoon bike fun run to raise money for a charity. It does not fit in with the family-friendly resort area that Brunswick County and its beaches promote themselves to be. It will not bring in the kind of business Brunswick County seeks (in fact, it will scare that business away).

The effects of a weeklong event would be felt in our beach communities. It will put additional strain on public safety organizations in those towns and scare away families looking to spend a peaceful and quiet week at the beach.

I call upon the town of Shallotte to reject a permit request for a bike rally-grand opening event, regardless of the length of time.

I urge the county commissioners and sheriff and the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce to similarly urge the town of Shallotte to reject this request.

Helen Pannullo

Ocean Isle Beach