Hells Angels And The Cody Economy - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Hells Angels And The Cody Economy

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CODY, Wyo. -

Hundreds more Hells Angels drove into Cody Wednesday night and Thursday. Police say the bikers will continue to come in through the weekend. Hells Angels is holding its national run, or meeting, in the northwest Wyoming town. Does their presence help or hurt the economy in Cody?

Is a Hells Angels motorcycle engine running the sound of money or mayhem for Cody? In a press briefing Thursday, Cody police revealed that in two days, they haven’t arrested or given tickets to a single Hells Angel biker.

Cody Police spokesman John Harris said there were six traffic stops in Cody Wednesday, but, “Only one of those traffic stops was the Hells Angels and that just resulted in a warning.”

The Wyoming Highway Patrol told us Wednesday they had stopped a few Hells Angels and issued some citations, but they did not return our Thursday call to update the count.

When 1300 Hells Angels came to town for the world run in 2006, some people were concerned their presence would keep other tourists from coming to town.

So we checked with the City of Cody to find out. They reported that in July of 2006 their bed tax income was up about a thousand dollars, and their sales tax income down about three thousand dollars. But since some of that sales tax comes from Yellowstone, we asked them about their numbers, and they said their attendance was down a little bit in 2006.”

The owner of Zapatas Mexican Restaurant in downtown Cody, Connie Mowatt said of her Hells Angels customers, “The ones that have been in have been very courteous. No problems at all.”

Mowatt remembers when the bikers came to town eight years ago.

We asked her, “Have you ever had customers get up and leave because they were scared of the bikers who sat down next to them?”

She answered, “Not at all.”

The Executive Director Cody Chamber of Commerce, Scott Balyo explained the feelings of the business community, “The comments I got from our members, or even people on the street, is its more of a local curiosity that they’re here. Hopefully they’ll spend some money, they’ll have a good time.”

We tried once again to interview club representatives. They declined, but one biker said, “We love Cody.”

While our investigation was not scientific, it appears some businesses like the bikers too.

Mowatt explained, “I’m excited, and I’m hoping to have a lot of them in here. They’re polite, and I have to say they like to spend money. They spend money.”

The Cody police say they expect up to 600 Hells Angels in town through the weekend.

 

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