Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2021: How the Oldest Bar in Wyoming Became a Hotspot for Rallygoers

by Amy Myers

Nothing brings bikers closer together than a small town with a big heart–and maybe some beer. Thankfully for the 2021 attendants of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the area has plenty of both. Even outside of the central city, surrounding towns share the same enthusiasm and welcoming demeanor towards the visiting bikers.

Take, for example, the Aladdin General Store in Aladdin, Wyoming. Home to just 15 residents, Aladdin is just 45 minutes northwest of the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. It’s also just a few miles shy of the South Dakota border. With such close proximity, the store sees plenty of bikers both going to and coming from the rally.

Classified as a historic general store, the structure built in 1896 fulfilled any role that the town needed, including a train depot, barbershop, freight station and gas station. Now, the Aladdin General Store is the 30-acre hamlet’s bar, grocery store and post office. In addition to good food, beer and stamps, the versatile shop also acts as an antique store and sells a variety of clothes, jewelry, souvenirs and gifts.

A living relic of the small-town U.S.A. era, it’s no wonder the store is a mandatory stop for so many bikers heading to the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Owners of General Store Welcome 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Riders

There to greet the riders of the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally at Aladdin’s General Store are the owners, Trent Tope and Jordan Yates. Tope first purchased the shop in 2019 after he retired from ranching. As an Aladdin native, there was no better person in the world to take care of the shop than him. In fact, Tope’s ancestors settled into the town four years before the shop even opened.

“This is home,” Tope shared. “My family has been ranching here since 1892 and I broke my leg and can’t really ranch anymore so, doing this instead.”

Understandably, Tope preferred to contribute to his town in a way that wouldn’t cause him any more injury. Since taking ownership of Aladdin’s primary store, Tope and Yates have remodeled the interior to ensure that the shop will be around for decades to come.

However, with only 15 residents in town, the local revenue is obviously not enough to keep the general store in service. So, much of the shop’s success relies on tourism–namely, the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. In order to help the owners get through the slow winter months, the Aladdin General Store welcomes thousands of bikers each year.

“Rally is always a big time for us,” Tope explained. “People from all over the world are coming through here and it helps to get our name out so people know what the Black Hills has to offer and so when they come back for vacation or for winter sports then they’re back in this area and that really helps us.”

Whether lounging on the quaint front porch or browsing inside, Tope and Yates provide as much as they can to their valued guests.