Biketoberfest begins with new set of rules due to pandemic

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Biketoberfest kicks off Thursday with a new set of rules because of the pandemic.

The new rules are directly impacting local businesses that ultimately rely on the bigger crowds.

“This is the event we need to keep us going for the fall,” said Bob Davis, with Lodging and Hospitality Association.

READ: Biketoberfest to draw thousands into Volusia County as COVID-19 restrictions reduced

Like many businesses and hotels, they rely on visitors to fill up the area for Biketoberfest. But the coronavirus has cut down those changes significantly.

Davis said the hotels are about 75% full. In any other year they would be 100% full.

Most of the people showing up to the festival are Florida residents.

“We hope to have a better event that we thought we would have with the virus but not as good as last year,” Davis said.

READ: Daytona Beach says no to outdoor vendors at Biketoberfest

The city of Daytona Beach decided not to issue permits to outdoor vendors this year.

Normally, their tents would line Main Street, selling food and drinks to draw a crowd to local businesses.

New Smyrna Beach also decided against outside vendors, but bars and restaurants will still be allowed to open.

Ormond Beach voted to allow some vendors and concerts this year.

READ: Florida officials find 2 pounds of explosives inside pumpkin

Just two weeks ago, Volusia County leaders announced they would not restrict outside vendors.

Biketoberfest usually brings $16 million to the local economy.

The festival starts Thursday and runs until Saturday.

See another report on Biketoberfest below:

Katlyn Brieskorn,

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.