It’s been quiet in Johnstown over the past year as event after event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. This week however you won’t be able to go anywhere without hearing the roar of motorcycles.
Thunder in the Valley is back for its 23rd year and hundreds of bikers are expected to ride into the city to celebrate throughout the weekend. A much-needed economic boost after months of shutdowns and limited capacity at bars and restaurants. Lisa Rager, the Executive Director of Visit Johnstown, says in the past the event has brought in an estimated $20 million to the region.
Last year Thunder was canceled because of COVID and when Visit Johnstown announced they would bring the event back, Melissa Radovanic says phones were ringing off the hooks at her hotels. Radovanic says all 159 rooms at the Holiday Inn in Downtown Johnstown and the nearly 100 rooms at the Holiday Inn Express in Richland are fully booked.
“Just to be able to have this influx of people coming again it makes us so happy the staff is excited to have people back again. Many of our long-time customers are just so happy to be back in Johnstown again for the rally,” said Melissa Radovanic the director of marketing and community relations for Crown American Associates.
Bars and Restaurants have special menus set for the event and say they’re ready for the crowd, despite many facing staffing shortages. Downtown, Balance Restaurant plans to have live music all weekend including an acoustic performance by Jasmine Cain.
“We do have the same staff putting in definitely some extra work over the next few days. They’re so committed to what we do we’re so proud of them and they’re on board and we’re ready to make this an awesome weekend,” said Amanda Artim the co-owner of Balance Restaurant.
Thunder in the Valley gets underway Thursday June 24th with events planned through Sunday.