STURGIS — This Tuesday early morning, September 8, a couple of weeks after the 75º Annual Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally ™ and the giant bike week, flames engulfed a popular Sturgis saloon.
KEVN-TV reports that the Full Throttle Saloon appeared to be a total loss as crews battled the blaze throughout the morning. The bar on South Dakota Highway 34 has been the subject of a reality television series. Its amenities include zip lines, musical stages and rental cabins.
Multiple fire departments were called in to help battle the flames into the early morning. They were unable to control the fire from the inside, as smoke bellowed out of the building. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Luckily, no one was hurt during the fire.
Michael Ballard has released the following statement:
“Over the last two decades, The Full Throttle Saloon has been the epicenter of my life. Walking the grounds following this tragedy is simply devastating. We created a destination that resonated with working class America, and became over time a landmark for this great town which is Sturgis. Over the last several years, I’ve taken the success of the Full Throttle and made a significant investment in rebuilding my hometown of Trimble, Tennessee (where the Full Throttle S’loonshine distillery is based). Because of that large financial investment I am not in a position to just start rebuilding today. Right now I have to process what has happened and then figure out the future. As our plans come together, they will be shared but as for today Angie and I are devastated. To everyone who made the Full Throttle become the special destination we all came to love, simply thank you. The support from the local community and those across the globe has been humbling. To everyone who made the Full Throttle become the special destination we all came to love, simply thank you. The support from the local community and those across the globe has been humbling.” – Michael Ballard
Michael Ballard’s best friend and business partner Jesse James Dupree also released this statement:
“Michael created not just a bar but a destination point. People come to see Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, The Badlands, and the Full Throttle Saloon when visiting South Dakota. I hope everyone can stop for a moment, and appreciate not only the investment but also the heart and soul that Michael put into the Full Throttle Saloon. My brothers in Jackyl and I along with the hundreds of thousands of others that we call our Full Throttle family are starting the movement TODAY to bring the Throttle Back!” – Jesse James Dupree