Despite the city of Daytona Beach trying to curtail Bike Week by revoking permits because of coronavirus concerns, thousands of bikers thundered onto Main Street on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Florida Deparment of Health announced Saturday morning two more Volusia County residents tested positive for coronavirus, a 29-year-old male and a 70-year-old male. The county now has five coronavirus cases.
And according to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, an additional 20 people are being monitored for coronavirus in the county: one in Daytona Beach, four in Ormond Beach, three in Port Orange, two in New Smyrna Beach, three in Deltona, five in DeLand and two in DeBary.
Friday night, Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry announced the city had revoked permits for any gathering of 100 people or more. That decision went into effect at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Those revoked permits affected large-crowd Bike Week events on Main Street, Beach Street and Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard. Those events had to shut down starting Saturday morning.
“By taking away that permit, it discourages that kind of congregation,” Henry said Friday. “This is an extraordinary time. This is probably the most pronounced way to make that statement.”
But none of that stopped bikers from hoping on their motorcycles in the 80-degree weather and heading out under the clear blue skies to Bike Week hot spots.
Main Street was still closed off to cars, officials in orange caution vests were still directing traffic and the street was just as full of bikes, bikers and visitors as any typical last weekend of Bike Week.
The only notable difference was the lack of white-topped tents with vendors selling T-shirts, food and other wares. And outside bars were closed down, limiting visitors to inside establishments.
Phaedra Lee, operator at Main Street Station, said the revoked permits prevented them from opening outside bars which attract significant business during Bike Week. And with streets “slammed” with people, she said it’s hurting her business.
“We are losing money,” she said.“We can open up our inside bars but it’s too high volume.”
Lee said the permits were supposed to be pulled 9 a.m. Sunday.
“I think it was implemented too soon,” she said. “It’s slammed right now and we can’t open anything up.”
An employee at Dirty Harry’s Pub and Package who would not disclose his name said revoking the permits forced them to shut down 22 outside bar stands and 10 beer tubs they set up around Main Street.
He said that was hurting business, especially since there were so many people out on Main Street.
But Travis Honeycutt, manager of Froggy’s Saloon, said the permits issue wasn’t hurting their sales.
“We have a great crowd and it seems to be the same amount of clientele just with less bartenders who are making a lot of money,” he said. “Sales are doing really well.”
Honeycutt said he was worried about business dying down when local police showed up to inform them of the changes Friday night. But after the crowds they’ve experienced so far, he’s no longer worried.
Meanwhile, events along U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach went on as normal.
By noon bikes were lined up along the road at Destination Daytona trying to get a parking spot as lots filled up.