Full Throttle Saloon on truTV
The name “Sturgis” conjures up different images for different people. Harleys as far as the eye can see, crazy concerts, camping, a week-long escape from reality. Everybody imagines the Sturgis motorcycle rally differently – it’s something that has to be seen to be believed.
Recently, Michael Ballard, owner of the Full Throttle Saloon, just east of Sturgis, has been giving television viewers a behind the scenes look at the real Sturgis rally. His bar, the self-proclaimed largest biker bar in the world, has been starring on TruTV’s latest reality show of the same name – Full Throttle Saloon.
TruTV’s camera crews and production teams spent two weeks in Sturgis during the 2009 rally. TruTV filmed Ballard and his staff as they dealt with unruly patrons, severe weather and even dishonest employees.
One of the more dramatic episodes of the season is scheduled to air tonight. It will show one of the worst hail storms in South Dakota history and how bikers and staff at the Full Throttle endured the pummeling.
Ballard and rock-star friend Jesse James Dupree worked together for several years trying to sell their idea of the reality TV show to countless cable stations before TruTV finally picked up the show.
Full Throttle Saloon, which airs on Tuesday nights, premiered back on November 10th and has just two episodes left this season: tonight’s hail-storm episode and then next Tuesday’s season finale.
An article in the Rapid City Journal last week quoted Ballard as saying that cabin rentals are already on the rise for 2010 and the show has opened up a new market to Sturgis.
Even with the slumping economy, the 2009 motorcycle rally was surprisingly strong for many Sturgis businesses. With TruTV’s availability in more than 90 million homes across the U.S and the Full Throttle’s reality show exposure of the event – I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if 2010 brings in another solid rally. We’ll have to wait and see.
For now, congrats to Ballard and the crew at the Full Throttle Saloon! Your exposure on TruTV is a real accomplishment and is sure to draw interest to both Sturgis and the surrounding Black Hills.