Bike Week kicks off in Daytona Beach



DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Once again, it’s time for bikers to take over Daytona Beach for the nation’s biggest motorcycle rally.

Bike Week is the 10-day event that brings millions of dollars to Volusia County along with tens of thousands of bikers.

LINK: Daytona Bike Week Events

For businesses in Daytona Beach the rumble of motorcycles might as well be the same sound as a cash register.

"If I don't get the money coming in on these two events, I'm taking money from elsewhere to pay the taxes on this property," said business owner Pete Scianablo.

The 500,000 people expected to show up are also expected to pump $75 million into the Daytona Beach economy.

This year, a brutal winter to the north could mean even bigger crowds who are trying to escape the weather.

But bigger can mean more trouble. Last year, even the police chief was battered by Michael D'Angelo in a fight as he tried to arrest the out of control partier.

"I had my hand on his head, this hand up by his head, and I went to pull his arm behind his back, and he latched on to my finger and wouldn't let go and the fight was on," said Daytona Beach Police Chief Michael Chitwood.

Last week, a group of Christian bikers gathered in Daytona to call for an end to signs and policies at bars that restrict them from wearing of biker gang colors, patches or vests.

The opponents of the signs said the times of biker gang fights are in the distant past now.

"I shouldn't have to take off my coat, my vest, you know, to go into an establishment. I'm the same person with or without that vest," said Bobby Colella of Bikers for Christ.

This year businesses are signing up more bands and offering more free events, which is expected to draw even more people downtown.