Native Sun News: Bar seeks to build closer to sacred Bear Butte

Bikers and campers at the Broken Spoke Saloon Campground are pictured less than two miles from the Bear Butte State Park boundary, where Full Throttle Saloon would rebuild. Photo courtesy Broken Spoke Saloon Campground

World’s biggest biker bar looks to rebuild
Bar would be located closer to sacred site of Bear Butte
By Talli Nauman
Native Sun News Health & Environment Editor

STURGIS –– After the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Biker Bar” burned down in September, co-owner Michael Ballard is looking to rebuild and expand his Full Throttle Saloon business closer to Bear Butte National Historic Landmark, a protected area that is the center of prayer for more than 60 tribes.

Promising to rebuild his saloon, campground and performance venue in time for the August 2016 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Ballard submitted maps to the Meade County Planning Board, which scheduled April 18 consideration of his request for preliminary plat approval on a 50-acre tract “to be known as Lot 1 of Full Throttle Subdivision.”

Comparison of the maps, including some by Baseline Surveying Inc. of Sturgis, suggests the subdivision would expand the controversial former venue south toward Bear Butte. The spot is on the east side of Highway 79 less than two miles north of the Bear Butte State Park boundary.

An alcohol license transfer request related to the plat approval is set for hearing at the Meade County Commission on April 27, 2016 at 1 p.m. Native American organizations have repeatedly fended off development in the vicinity, noting that the mountain serves as a temple and its role is threatened by the noise and pollution of land-use changes in the surrounding area.

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