A traditional motorcycle rally run to Key West will not happen in 2017, Peterson’s Harley-Davidson confirmed Thursday.
The 45th Phil Peterson Annual Key West Poker Run will have to wait until 2018.
“Sorry for all the confusion [but] we have not been able to get the support of the local charities and volunteers this year,” Peterson’s Harley-Davidson South owner Drew Peterson said in an email.
The 2017 poker run, which typically sends about 10,000 motorcycles down U.S. 1 with stops along the way through the Florida Keys, was scheduled for Sept. 15-17.
Event organizers missed this year’s deadline to apply for Monroe County Tourist Development Council promotional funding of about $100,000, and logistical planning for permits was behind schedule. A Key West non-profit group that provided local volunteers advised Peterson’s after the 2016 rally that it would not participate in future events due to the time involved.
“We will start the process much earlier next year so that the Poker Run can continue,” Drew Peterson said.
TDC Executive Director Harold Wheeler said the Poker Run provides a welcome economic boost since it brings thousands of visitors during the slowest tourism month of the year.
Although no events associated with the popular rally are planned, motorcyclists who booked rooms for 2017 may still make the scenic run to Key West.