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Businesses, bikers looking forward to busy weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:02 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:19 PM CDT
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LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. (KY3) - It is one of the biggest annual events at Lake of the Ozarks. Bikefest is a multi-day event drawing bikers from all over the country to showcase their motorcycles.

Kathy and Darin Bushong came from Florida for the event. They had never been to Lake of the Ozarks.

”Living in Florida, it’s always flat so we are excited to ride through mountains and stuff like that,” said Kathy Bushong.

Businesses are also excited for the business the event brings. Stewart’s Restaurant is located on the Lake Ozark strip.

“We are expecting to be busy with all the people here and needing to eat breakfast and people just going up and down the strip,” said Richard Cramins, manager of Stewart’s, ”It’s just a lot of people that come and have a good time mostly.”

Bikefest started in 2006. It was a small crowd back then, but it has grown to thousands of bikers, which also means more money for the Lake of the Ozarks economy .

Years ago, Bikefest accounted for more than $1 million. It now brings in more than $19 million.

”Now it is estimated that the economic impact is $19 million, so you can see that the economic impact has grown exponentially,” said Heather Brown, Executive Director for the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For Kathy and Darin, they are excited to be down here and meet new people.

”The camaraderie and the brothers and riding the bikes, there can be a lot of crazy people, but it’s a lot of crazy fun,” said the Bushongs.

The center lane of the Lake Ozark Strip will be closed from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. for the duration of Bikefest.

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