It was more than a week before Biketoberfest and a few of the event’s biggest fans were already looking forward to the influx of thousands of leather-clad motorcycle enthusiasts expected on Main Street and other hot spots.
“It’s cool,” said Bill Simpkins, 67, sipping a beer on the deck of the Boot Hill Saloon. “We sit out on Main Street to watch the parade of bikes and the people. The Boot Hill is the place to be on Main Street.”
Simpkins is a retiree who divides his time between a home in rural Pleasantville, Pa., and Daytona Beach, but he and his friends always manage to be in town for Bike Week in the spring and autumn’s 4-day Biketoberfest that officially begins Thursday.
“We have a good time down here,” Simpkins said. “We do a lot of riding — north, south, east and west, down the coast.”
Simpkins and his retired buddies will have plenty of young riders to keep them company this year, if a marketing push by area tourism leaders hits its mark. Online social media sites such as Facebook have been the focus of the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau’s effort to reach a new generation of motorcycle enthusiasts.
The CVB has invested $10,000 of its $90,000 Biketoberfest promotion budget in online Facebook ads, said Shawn Abbatessa, the CVB’s director of marketing development. The number of “likes” on the official Biketoberfest Facebook page jumped from 87,000 in 2014 to more than 123,000 this past week.