For the first time in a while, the Hollister Rally will finish in the black financially.
That was one of the major stories from the revival to the city’s signature event in downtown Hollister on Friday and Saturday, according to the rally's manager.
Organizers haven’t crunched all of the numbers yet to provide details, but rally Manager Mark Cresswell from North Carolina-based Worldwide Dynamics said the event will end with a positive financial result.
The rally over the weekend was the first one since 2008, after which the city canceled the event due to a $200,000-plus loss for the local government.
“It’s possibly the first time in a long time that the rally is in the positive,” said Cresswell on Monday after not sleeping in five days and finishing overnight trash pickup. “There’s no red ink here. It’s going to be a big deal.”
A large reason for the projected success was that Cresswell secured a lot of the revenue commitments before the event took place over the July 4 weekend. He also had handed over a $230,000 check to the city so Hollister could cover its expenses without worrying about the money end.
In summarizing the event Monday, Cresswell pointed to finances as the “major story” out of the rally. He was particularly pleased with beer and liquor sales, he said, while all of the involved nonprofit groups and rally organizers got together Monday morning and went to Wells Fargo for a money count.
While there is no official attendance figure – and Cresswell acknowledged there’s “no way” of getting an accurate count – he said he would guess there were between 40,000 and 50,000 visitors.
“I think the general attitude of the public was awesome,” said Cresswell, pointing out that many people particularly enjoyed having the motorcycles parked back on San Benito Street.
He has high expectations for the event moving forward.
“I’ve got big plans for Hollister,” he said. “California better be ready.”