Atlanticade's future up in air

Mike Carson
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New financial deal needed to bring motorcycle event back to Summerside

Motorcyclists from across Canada and the U.S. line up at Credit Union Place for the closing Parade of Iron Horses for the 2014 Atlanticade event. An estimated 4,000 people took part in this year’s event. 

SUMMERSIDE — The weather was perfect, the numbers were high for Atlanticade 2014 but unless a financial deal can be worked out, the event’s three-year run in Summerside may be over.

Atlanticade organizer Dale Hicks said his committee wants to bring Atlanticade back to Summerside but it will all come down to money.

“It’s the end of the three-year agreement we had with the city and the province,” Hicks said. “Now we’re talking about going forward. There were all kinds of rumours that we weren’t coming back, but we wouldn’t be collecting all this data we’ve collected this past weekend if we weren’t planning on coming back.”

Hicks said the committee has been collecting data for a report to present to the province and the municipality. He said they want to make it clear that Atlanticade is more that a motorcycle event‚ it is a tourism event.

“We’re not Cavendish Beach Music Festival by any means, but there are other events that go on and I hear the funding level they get. I shake my head and wonder how that compares to our event. It’s going to be interesting discussions going forward, but our intentions are to keep it here. Like every other event, it costs lots of money to make it happen. Hopefully, we’re going to have it back here for another three years or maybe longer.”

Hicks said the cost for staging Atlanticade depends on what events the participants want and the turnout.

“People come to me with ideas like you should do this and I say find me a $5,000 sponsor and we’ll do that,” he said.

The event costs between $150,000 to $160,000.

“We always struggle to meet that through sponsors. This year we gained a couple of sponsors and we lost a few sponsors. If you get rain, people don’t show up and don’t buy tickets to events. You’re always running that tight line between ‘are you going to make it or not.’ It’s stressful to run an event like that.”

The final number of registrations haven’t been compiled yet but he estimated about 4,000 registered for Atlanticade 2014.

“The weather is the key to this event at the end of the day because you need that to drag the people here, especially the Maritime crowd,” Hicks said. “We had people here from every province in Canada, including someone from Yellowknife. We had people from Tennessee, Virginia, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, all down through the states.”

Doug Parker from Summerside took part in his first Atlanticade this past weekend.

“I was around last year but I didn’t have a bike, but this year I bought a bike and we’re having a ball.”

Geographic location: Summerside, Maritime, Canada Yellowknife Tennessee Virginia New Hampshire Vermont New York

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Recent comments

  • live to ride
    July 04, 2014 - 01:51

    For what I see for summerside is a ghost town here and the bikers bring some profit here for the restaurants, motels, hotels and gas stations etc. Plus it actually livens up this little city for a weekend. I know I put $300 hundred dollars plus into the city with atlanticade here and if it wasn't here I would have spent it in new bruinswick or nova scotia but instead since I'm from summerside I stuck around for this great event!!!!!!

  • Brenda
    July 03, 2014 - 13:15

    I hope they are able to come back. I do not participate in their activities but I enjoy seeing them. Noise ? There are always those people who complain but I think that makes them happy - if that is possible.

  • Quit
    July 03, 2014 - 12:36

    Quit pretending that this is about tourism. This is about you and your noisy little hobby and your desire to have the PEI tax payer subsidize it. If it is not sustainable then it's time to move on.

    • don
      July 03, 2014 - 14:01

      well you need a shovel. do you golf? if yes why should i as a tax payer help you hit your balls on a field. if it is not good then move on and put up homes on the greens.

  • Jon Delaney
    July 03, 2014 - 10:33

    I really hope the Government lends no support to this cause. The noise of excessively and unnecessarily loud bikes is becoming a serious problem on the Island. This anti-social behaviour should be targeted rather than encouraged.

    • don
      July 03, 2014 - 14:03

      tell us jon how many dollars have you raised to help kids,vets,etc? come on tell us how many thousands.

    • w kennedy
      July 05, 2014 - 01:48

      Apparently someone lifted the restrictions on motorcycle pipes they should be made accountable for one. Seems like a farting contest for meat-heads???

  • townie22
    July 03, 2014 - 09:48

    i thought they just come over, camp or rent a motel room, and tour around, why do they need sponsor money?

  • enough already
    July 03, 2014 - 07:10

    Why do these fools expect taxpayers to pay for them to make money?

    • ??
      July 03, 2014 - 08:45

      Isn't that how our whole Island is run?

    • Quiet Observer
      July 03, 2014 - 11:25

      It is the hotels, motels, restaurants, gas stations, bars, gift shops etc that make the money off this event. The organizers are happy just to break even. 4,000 registrations from across North America. that is a lot of money dropped on PEI, especially in Summerside, in 4 days.

    • don
      July 03, 2014 - 14:05

      then let the motels,etc come up with the money.

    • don
      July 03, 2014 - 16:42

      why are helping to pay ghiz and his gang make money? or why do you allow government to donate money to islanders that has millions so they can make more MONEY. you need help.