Noise, camping concern commissioners

For a long time, Dan Norby has wanted to bring his motorcycle event to Virginia City.

He felt he got his best chance for the 30th anniversary of the Dapper Memorial Day Run, when officials from the Ramada Inn agreed to provide a place for his activities and use of their liquor license for the bar.

He proposed his event, set for May 23-25, before the Storey County Commissioners earlier this week, for the first public hearing on the event. It was met with some hesitation.

The event he envisions will include a large party tent that can hold 650 people opposite the hotel on E Street in Virginia City. It would include a bar, a vendor's area with RV camping for the vendors, a variety of games and contests, and music by the Frye Brothers band, who performed in Virginia City more than 15 years ago.

There also would be a beer-only bar near the camel race arena where the games and contests would take place.

Activities would include Hot Body Contest, including Best Legs, Best Buns and Hottest Body Swimsuit competition with cash prizes. There will also be a moped toss for men and a vacuum cleaner toss for women, ring pick-up, jousting, slow race, weenie bite and fast barrel race.

Norby estimated 1,000 bikers to come to the event, but said he was preparing for 2,000, just in case.

"It's an old event, but it's new to Virginia City," he said.

It was the camping and the music until midnight in the tent that caused a problem for the commissioners.

Commissioner Greg "Bum" Hess said he had received calls from residents who were concerned about traffic and noise.

"That's a pretty big weekend for us, people coming up to go to the cemetery," he said. "We like to attract people to come up. But we want to work with you to make sure you have a successful event."

Hess also said midnight was late to have music.

"This could be a great event, but we've had a lot of trouble with anything past 10 p.m.," he said. Norby indicated he would be willing to stop the music at 10 p.m.

Commissioner John Flanagan said the camping area was too close to residents.

"I don't see how this could become accomplished," he said. "People are very upset about camping in residential areas."

The commission will hold a special meeting at 2 p.m. Thursday for the second hearing on the event and to give residents a chance to offer input.

According to Norby's Web site, the $100 fee gives bikers participation in all events, two dinners, a run pin, T-shirt and "all the free beer you can drink."

Commissioner Bob Kershaw said some people would be more than happy to take advantage of the beer, and he was concerned about how they would behave so close to residences.

Norby said he had the first 29 events in Washington, Calif., just northeast of Grass Valley, all of which were trouble free. He said he puts on seven or eight a year in various places.

"This is not a motorcycle club function," he said. "This is my function."

Though Virginia City has several motorcycle events a year, Sheriff Jim Miller indicated that during those, motorcyclists came up for the day and were mostly gone by nightfall. At this event bikers would be in town for three days.

He added that he contacted authorities in Washington, Calif., and was told there had been no problems with Norby's events there.

Shara Bouvier, general manager of the sponsoring Ramada Inn, said she had the support of the Virginia City Chamber of Commerce, some of whose members would be at the meeting to support the event.

"I think it's going to be really good," she said. "It's a very mellow crowd. I think it's going to bring a lot to town.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 881-7351.

If You Go

WHAT: Storey County Commission meeting

WHEN: 2 p.m. Thursday

WHERE: Storey County Courthouse, B Street, Virginia City

CALL: 847-0968

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