Devastated owner unsure of future after famous Sturgis biker bar burns down


The devastated owner of the "world's biggest biker bar" in Sturgis, South Dakota, has said it faces an unsure future after it was destroyed in a fire.

The Full Throttle Saloon, which can host up to 15,000 bikers on one night during the hugely popular annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, burned to the ground Tuesday morning, CNN reports.

Proprietor Michael Ballard took to the bar's Facebook page to express his sadness over the blaze, and while he hopes to get it back up and running eventually, he's not planning on rebuilding straight away due to recent investments he'd made in his hometown of Trimble, Tennessee, where the bar's Sloonshine Distillery is based.

In the meantime, he has made a request for people to stop contributing to several GoFundMe pages set up in the wake of the fire, saying none of them are endorsed by the bar and that while they are appreciated, they are not needed at this stage until the bar can get "its ducks in a row."

"Because of that large financial investment [in Trimble] I am not in a position to just start rebuilding today," he said. "Right now I have to process what has happened and then figure out the future."

Ballard described the bar as "the epicenter of my life," describing the fire as a "tragedy" and "simply devastating."

"We created a destination that resonated with working class America, and became over time a landmark for this great town which is Sturgis," he said.

Last month, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally celebrated its 75th birthday with more than 1 million people attending over the week-long event.

The saloon also had its own TV show, which was broadcast on TruTV between 2009 and 2014.

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