Bikers, downtown businesses fight to bring back Bike Nights

Reporter: Taylor Petras
Published: Updated:
FILE photo of past bike night in downtown Fort Myers. Credit: WINK News.

This weekend, Chuck Debono is keeping his motorcycle parked at home.

“Let’s wait and see what happens and what they decide to do because they got 60 days to fix it,” he said.

Fix, or in Debono’s opinion, reverse the River District Alliance’s controversial decision to move Bike Night out of Downtown Fort Myers.

“That’s what we live off of is big event nights like that and Bike Night is a big deal for us,” said Sara Luft with United Ale House.

The Alliance cited safety concerns for its decision.

Now, some downtown businesses are taking their concerns to city leaders.

“This is money out of our pockets,” said Kynse Leigh Agles with ReMax Realty.

“Why were we not involved in this decision,” asked Shanna Miller with Downtown Jewelry & Watch Company.

She wants to start a committee to figure out how to bring Bike Night back to downtown by January.

“This is too popular of an event,” someone said at the City Council meeting

City Council Member Fred Burnson said he’d like to see Bike Night stay downtown.

Though the event was kicked out this weekend, the schedule can change, he says.

“So I’d just like to sit down and listen to what their concerns are and see if they can be resolved instead of just saying ‘No,'” he said. And so would bikers like Debono.

“It got bikers together, it got the community together, they got bands, as long as the weather was good, it was a fantastic night,” he said.

And businesses say a profitable one too.

Downtown business owners say they will meet with the city manager this week in hopes of saving next year’s bike night.

The Bike Night set for Saturday will be held at Rock Star Harley Davidson along Thunder Road in Fort Myers.

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