Rivertown Bike Week moves from Grand Rapids to Belding

6:56 PM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
Harley-Davidson will be among the 120 to 150 vendors featured during the Rivertown Bike Week Expo.
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BELDING, Mich. (WZZM) -- A week-long event that's expected to attract tens of thousands of bikers from across the region is coming to Belding.

During their May 21 meeting, Belding City Manager Meg Mullendore says the city council unanimously approved plans for Rivertown Bike Week Expo. Organizers tell Mullendore the event will take place July 22 - July 27, 2014.

During those five days, the expo will lure an estimated 35,000 people to Belding, which is normally home to approximately 5,700 people. Mullendore says based on market research, Rivertown Bike Week Expo is expected to be the eighth largest bike event in the country and the city's largest event of the year, generating $1.5 million to $3 million for local businesses.

Mullendore says organizers of Rivertown Bike Week Expo are part of the same group that began organizing Rivertown Bike Week in Grand Rapids in 2010, but had to repeatedly delay the event because of regulations and a lack of sponsors.

Rivertown Bike Week Expo will feature 120 to 150 vendors, including Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, BMW, and Indian. The event will be spread over three venues, including Grattan Raceway and Double R Ranch in Smyrna. The expo will run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. each day.

Mullendore says the event will come at no cost to the city; organizers of Rivertown Bike Week Expo plan to set aside money to pay for city services. Organizers tell Mullendore they already have a sponsor who will put up $100,000 for the event, and they hope to make the event an annual tradition.

Proceeds from Rivertown Bike Week Expo will go to the Wounded Warrior Project. Organizers tell Mullendore they'll donate at least $25,000 to the national non-profit organization, which supports injured service members. They also plan to donate to local charities.

The committee behind Rivertown Bike Week Expo plans to hold monthly meetings to sort out details of next year's event. They will brief Belding's City manager after each meeting.

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