Maryville snags H.O.G. motorcycle rally for 2013

Maryville has beat out a number of applicants and has been chosen to host the Tennessee Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) rally in May of 2013.

Thousands of Harley-Davidson owners will come to Blount County for the week-long rally.

“The City of Maryville is thrilled to learn that we have been selected to host the 2013 Tennessee State H.O.G. Rally,” said Maryville Mayor Tom Taylor. “Because 2013 will be the 110th anniversary of Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, this rally will attract thousands of visitors to our community to enjoy our natural attractions and support local businesses. In addition to the 2103 Tennessee State HOG Rally introducing a whole new group of guests to our city, these rallies typically generate $2.5 - 3.5 million in economic impact within the community. Maryville loves special events, and we look forward to hosting the 2013 Tennessee State HOG Rally for our community.”

Bryan Daniels, president and CEO of the Blount Partnership, said an agreement was recently reached with the Tennessee State H.O.G. Rally, and he also predicted a beneficial economic impact for the entire Blount County community. He said that the event is scheduled for May 27 through June 2 and is expected to bring up to 6,000 bikers to the area.

“This is wonderful for our commercial businesses - the hotels, motels, restaurants and shops that will see an increase in revenues,” Daniels said. “That leads to an increase in our sales tax revenue, and in these tough economic times, that’s good news for all of us.”

Daniels notes that the Blount Partnership is setting its sights on other events like this, which bring in dollars to the community without long-term demands on the community’s infrastructure.

The Tennessee State H.O.G. Rally last visited Blount County in 2008 with event headquarters in Townsend. Scott Maddux, principal of Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson, said that the event is a great way to introduce motorcyclists to the area. “This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Blount County and all the tourist opportunities we have in this market. We still see people coming back after visiting during the last rally that was held here,” Maddux said.

Maddux and the team at Smoky Mountain Harley were instrumental in assisting with the proposal. He worked with a team of government and Blount Partnership officials to try to convince the H.O.G. leaders to return to Blount County.

“There are so many excellent rides in this area,” Maddux said as he described the primary appeal that Blount County has to offer Harley Davidson owners, mentioning the Foothills Parkway, the Dragon (Hwy 129) and many other locales in the Smoky Mountains as prime examples.

Maddux said that other rides, such as the Cherohala Skyway and Blue Ridge Parkway, are within an hour’s ride.

“Our vision is to create a memorable experience for our guests with our beautiful surroundings, unique skyways and highways, and Southern hospitality,” Maddux added.

The weeklong event will feature bike shows, concerts, contests, special rides, vendor fairs and many other activities. Maddux says that details and locales will be planned over the next year to create a memorable experience for the H.O.G. members. This year’s event was held in Jackson, and the 2012 event will visit Cookeville.

Ed Mitchell, Blount County mayor, commended the team that worked with the H.O.G. State Rally planners, which included the Blount Partnership, the county, and the cities of Maryville, and Alcoa.

“It’s pretty amazing the number of people who come to these events and the amount of money they spend,” Mitchell said. “Anytime we can bring an event to Blount County that draws 6,000 to 7,000 people, that’s tremendous revenue. With tourism as one of our top industries, we look forward to their arrival and hope they fall in love with the area and come back like so many have in the past. I especially want to thank the Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson crew, Scott Maddux and his whole team, for being such a great asset to Blount County and for all that he has given back to this community. I’ve been very impressed and appreciative of everything Scott has done.”

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