Q:

Who is Michael Ballard?

A:

Michael Ballard is the owner of one of the most successful and lucrative bars in the United States, the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis, S.D. His net worth is estimated at about $5 million, earned from bar proceeds, sales of Full-Throttle Saloon paraphernalia and a television show that airs on TruTV.

Owned by Michael Ballard, his wife Angie Carlson, guitarist and singer Jesse James Durpree and chef Greg Cook, the Full Throttle Saloon is open for just 10 days a year during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, one of the largest biker rallies in the world. According to Ballard, the bar serves over 300,000 customers during the event, which attracts hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the United States.

Angie Carlson, the marketing director for the saloon, runs a separate establishment in the back of the club, called Angieland, which is noted for its waist-high bar. Famous for her shapely derri?re, Angie is known for posing for rear-view photographs with visitors to the club, sometimes while sitting on their heads. Ballard and Carlson were married at a motorcycle rally, Throttlefest Kansas City, on Aug. 26, 2012.

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is both a blessing and a curse for the city of Sturgis. With a year-round population of just over 6,500, the town is packed with visitors, and its roads reportedly resemble a parking lot during the week-long event. Over 400 people were jailed during the rally in 2004, and local law enforcement officers routinely are diverted from their normal duties while the rally is in progress each year. Nevertheless, the city estimates that rally-goers bring about $800 million to the state of South Dakota every year, and in 2011 the city netted about $270,000 through the sales of event guides and sponsorships alone.

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