Hollister City Council members Tuesday agreed to start negotiations with a promoter for 2020 motorcycle rally.
The council was unanimous in giving direction to City Manager Bill Avera to start those negotiations with Randy Burke and his Nevada-based company Roadshows, Inc.
Avera explained to the council that Burke was looking for a three-year commitment, although it wouldn’t bind the city to Roadshows from a legal perspective, city officials clarified.
Starting talks doesn’t mean there will be an event, but it’s a start, and a much earlier start than any previous years when it comes to negotiations.
“This doesn’t necessarily mean there’s going to be an event in 2020,” Avera said, noting how a contract still needs to be negotiated.
The extra time gives Burke a chance to talk with sponsors at upcoming events and well in advance of a prospective rally in July 2020.
City Council members then picked up talks and asked questions before giving an OK on talks.
Councilman Marty Richman noted that the city’s two main issues are finding a nonprofit to act as a buffer between the city and promoter, and to figure out the issue with the city taking on workers’ compensation for outside officers.
As long as the city’s issues are in order and Hollister is committed, Mayor Ignacio Velazquez expressed a positive tone about the promoter’s prospects of doing it.
“This guy is ready to go,” Velazquez said. “He’s a professional act. He just needs to know there’s a commitment to him.”
The Hollister Motorcycle Rally has been considered the city’s signature event. The official version of the rally started in 1997 for the 50th anniversary of the “invasion” of Hollister by bikers that launched the long-tradition of motorcyclists visiting the town. The city has been on-again, off-again when it comes to sanctioning the July rallies due to financial concerns.