Ulysses bikers on the way here
By CRAIG McTEAR
WITH only a month to go, Coffs Harbour is preparing for a close encounter of the friendly kind.
As many as 6000 Ulysses Club bikers will converge on the city for their annual general meeting from May 21 to 27, and they'll pump an estimated $12 million into the local economy.
Coffs Harbour is hosting the event for the first time, and it's expected to be the biggest Ulysses AGM ever held in Australia, not to mention the largest event staged on the Coffs Coast.
Ground Zero will be Coffs Harbour Showground, where camping, the AGM, entertainment, good food and drinks, trade displays, two dinners and three weddings will be the focus. Much of the activity will centre around the main pavilion on the oval.
Club members will also set up camp on Fitzroy Oval, and they've just been given approval to use Brelsford Park if needed.
They've agreed to leave the grounds as they've found them, and they'll fence off cricket wickets to ensure they're not damaged.
Resorts, caravan parks, hotels and motels throughout the city and surrounding areas are also going to be packed.
The mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, told Thursday night's council meeting more than 3000 motorbikes and 200 trikes were expected to be in the main parade on May 26.
He implored the business community to 'change your thinking about your working hours' during the week-long gathering.
"If you keep your business open, they'll support you all hours of the day," Cr Rhoades said.
"If you open, they'll come and look and they will buy. Work with them and be nice to them, and they'll spend money."