Effects of Biker Rally not Felt, yet
COLUMBIA - Columbia has not seen any effects from the rally so far, but some business owners say they expect business is going to pick up.
"It was slower than I expected today, but this evening I really look for it to pick up," said Lone Star General Manager Bert Howland.
Howland said he hasn't noticed a difference in traffic on his way to work or on Highway 63 outside his restaurant. He said the traffic will increase along with his business. But with more business coming from bikers, he says he expects business from locals to drop off.
"I just don't see them coming out," said Howland. "I heard a lot of them last week saying when they [were] here that they might not come out."
Several Columbians downtown said they noticed a difference. They said there are fewer people walking around, fewer cars, and some empty parking lots.
The Columbia Police Department said many Columbians are trying to avoid packed areas near the fairgrounds and downtown. The department said it did not see any more traffic buildup on 1-70 or Highway 63 than normal.
More bikers are expected to come Tuesday night and throughout the week. The police still say there will eventually be some traffic congestion.