Biketoberfest's Birthmother, Janet Kersey, a Daytona Beach native, was hired as director of tourism events and promotions by the DBACVB to create special events that would attract visitors during off-season periods. Her first assignment was to create a special biker event, similar to the ever-popular Bike Week, centered around the American Motorcycle Association's annual fall races held each October at Daytona International Speedway. The event, named "The Daytona Fall Tour," was held on October 16-18, 1992.
The Daytona Fall Tour featured a 125-mile scenic touring ride through Volusia County, bike shows, races at Daytona International Speedway and Bikefest -- a series of activities offered by Main Street merchants. The motorcycling festival attracted 5,000 new visitors, mostly from the Florida market, to the Daytona Beach area.
The name Biketoberfest®
The success of the Convention and Visitors Bureau's Daytona Fall Tour attracted increased interest from local merchants and the surrounding community. In 1993, local companies -- such as The News-Journal Corporation, The Adam's Mark Daytona Beach Resort, and Daytona Harley-Davidson -- sponsored concerts, trade shows, and other activities. Under the CVB's direction, the Biketoberfest® Development Committee was established and as a result, the number of activities increased to 40 in a three-day timespan.
That year, the event's name also changed from The Daytona Fall Tour to Biketoberfest®. The new name became popular domestically and internationally, especially among motorcycle enthusiasts in Germany where the Oktoberfest celebration is held nationwide. The CVB's London office began a marketing campaign aimed at drawing European bikers who wanted to escape Europe's winter weather and enjoy a fun-filled Florida holiday.
Biketoberfest® 1993 drew 15,000 new visitors and generated more than $4.6 million dollars for the Daytona Beach area.
Visitors per year - some milestones
Biketoberfest® 1994: 25,000
Biketoberfest® 1995: 43,000
Biketoberfest® 1997: 60,000
Biketoberfest® 1999: 75,000
Biketoberfest® 2004: 100,000
(All numbers estimates)