Poker run to return despite weekend washout

Dan Norby was hoping for the kind of event he had had in Washington, California for most of 29 years Ð more than 1,000 motorcycles, fun races, hot-body contests and lots of drinking, music and fun for the Dapper Memorial Day Weekend Poker Run.

Those events had been profitable and fun, but he moved his 30th anniversary event to Virginia City this Memorial Day weekend, where the rain gods had their say.

The unpredictable Nevada weather caused Norby to lose more than $47,000, he said, but he remains undaunted.

"I sold my house to put this on, but I'll be back," he said. "All things considered, we had a really good time, but I lost my (rear)."

Norby has learned from his experience and said he plans to do a lot of things different next time.

"You make mistakes in a new venue," he said. "I can put up with bad weather once in a while. I have to fine-tune what I'm doing."

He noted that motorcycle events in Winnemucca and elsewhere also faced bad weather, and that he got rained out a few times in Washington, California, a tiny hamlet of about 400 people deep in a canyon along the banks of the South Yuba River in Nevada County.

He paid for professional security guards, rented venues, provided trolley service to C Street, advertisements and promotions, and gave Storey County a $7,000 deposit for overtime for sheriff's deputies, some of which he might get back.

He said Sheriff Jim Miller spoke with him and was happy with the 100 to 200 hardy motorcyclists that came for the event.

"You know, the weather shut him totally down," Miller said. "There were 10 people arrested (over the weekend) but none of them were related to this event."

Miller said there were more than 100 traffic stops, but only 10 citations, and none for motorcycles.

Norby was required to post $7,000 for law enforcement overtime, but Miller said he sent a lot of people home when he saw the weather.

"We still had people working overtime, until we determined that there wasn't going to be anyone coming in," Miller said. "You have to plan for it, though, and put people on standby."

Norby said followers of his events in California had contacted him saying they couldn't attend the event, with chain requirements and snow forecast over Donner Pass, so he knew it would be a wash.

"I'm not mad, I'm not upset, but I'm a little disappointed," he said. "But I'm not disappointed in Virginia City. Virginia City was great and I mean that with all respect. I got more support from the businesses up there than I could ever have hoped for. Even some of the citizens came up and enjoyed themselves.

He said businesses and county officials liked the way he operated and made clear he would be welcome in the future.

"I have a large group of quality friends, it's just amazing," he said. "I feel so fortunate to have the quality of friends that I have and support what I do. I'm not giving up by any means. I'll do this 'til the day I die."

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or call 881-7351.


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