Full Throttle Saloon is no more after this blazing inferno!
An early morning fire has destroyed the very popular Sturgis biker saloon that had been known as the “world’s largest biker bar” and showcased on its very own TV reality series for 5 seasons.
Crews from the Sturgis Volunteer Fire Department responded to the Full Throttle Saloon on South Dakota Highway 34 about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday and found heavy smoke coming from the building. Many people are starting to assume that this is an insurance fraud because the entire structure of the bar burnt to the ground. They should keep in mind the firefighters were there well before the building went up into uncontrollable flames. How the fire started on the other hand, the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Sturgis Assistant Fire Chief Sean Barrows says crews tried to get inside but heat and smoke forced firefighters to battle the blaze from the outside in heavy winds. The building was completely on the ground by 3 a.m.
Each and every year, during the first full week of August, begins the sights and sounds of choppers as they migrate to the great Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. During the festive annual event, the Full Throttle Saloon can average 20,000 rowdy guests each night. Full Throttle Saloon, which is located in Sturgis, South Dakota, is set on 30 massive acres of land, which Michael Ballard purchased in 1999.
The indoor/outdoor bar includes several large stages, a burn-out pit, and a tattoo parlor. On the night of September 7th, 2015, an enormous fire engulfed the legendary full throttle saloon leaving it down to nothing but ashes.
Images of Damages to Full Throttle Saloon:
The Full Throttle series aired its fifth season with TruTV on December 2, 2013. After five successful seasons with the network, TruTV confirmed via Twitter that they did not shoot a sixth season in 2014.
Full Throttle Saloon TV show was an American reality television series that premiered on November 10, 2009, and originally aired on TruTV. The series, which takes its name from the bar, chronicles the hectic and often crazy daily operations of the world’s largest biker bar, Full Throttle
Full Throttle Saloon official statements:
Michael Ballard has released the following statement:
“Over the last two decades, The Full Throttle Saloon has been the epicenter of my life. Walking the grounds following this tragedy is simply devastating. We created a destination that resonated with working class America, and became over time a landmark for this great town which is Sturgis. Over the last several years, I’ve taken the success of the Full Throttle and made a significant investment in rebuilding my hometown of Trimble, Tennessee (where the Full Throttle S’loonshine distillery is based). Because of that large financial investment I am not in a position to just start rebuilding today. Right now I have to process what has happened and then figure out the future. As our plans come together, they will be shared but as for today Angie and I are devastated. To everyone who made the Full Throttle become the special destination we all came to love, simply thank you. The support from the local community and those across the globe has been humbling. To everyone who made the Full Throttle become the special destination we all came to love, simply thank you. The support from the local community and those across the globe has been humbling.” – Michael Ballard
Michael Ballard’s best friend and business partner Jesse James Dupree also released this statement:
“Michael created not just a bar but a destination point. People come to see Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, The Badlands, and the Full Throttle Saloon when visiting South Dakota. I hope everyone can stop for a moment, and appreciate not only the investment but also the heart and soul that Michael put into the Full Throttle Saloon. My brothers in Jackyl and I along with the hundreds of thousands of others that we call our Full Throttle family are starting the movement TODAY to bring the Throttle Back!” – Jesse James Dupree
Michael Ballard, Owner
Angie (Carlson) Ballard, (wife of Michael), Marketing director
Jesse James Dupree, Business Partner
Gregg “The Goat” Cook, Emcee
Eric “Senior” Soluri, Security
Pat James, Security
Chris Donahue, Security
John Caprefoli, Narrator; AKA Johnny Dare or some know him as Johnny Blaze