Motorcyclists have applied to move the Too Broke for Sturgis rally to Fort Tuthill County Park late this July, where they propose to have bands, vendors and camping for about 2,000 people over three days.
This is a rally and fundraiser held for more than 20 years in Arizona, and was the setting of a murder-suicide in 2011, when the event was held at Mormon Lake. Several attendees who were detained and questioned sued the county sheriff's office, alleging violations of their constitutional rights.
Photos from last year's event show women baring their breasts to crowds; organizers say they plan more education this year for the 21-and-over event.
People in their 20s to 50s are the main audience for this public rally, largely from Phoenix, northern Arizona and Flagstaff.
The event's name refers to a famous bike rally held each year in Sturgis, S.D., that attracts several hundred thousand participants.
The group seeking permission to rent out some of Fort Tuthill's fairgrounds and all of its camping sites is called ABATE -- formerly an organization that fought helmet laws and restrictions on customized choppers, under the name A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments.
The group later changed its name to American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education.
It will focus on licensing for motorcyclists at this event, said Paul Pendergast, one of the event organizers.
He declined to answer specific questions, but said the event plans tighter security and not to provide alcohol. Bikers would be allowed to bring their own.
Coconino County's Attorney's Office, Sheriff's Office and Parks and Recreation Department are all reviewing the group's application to rent out portions of Fort Tuthill.
The Coconino County Parks & Recreation Department has general guidelines that state the county's top priority is to provide events that are community-oriented, educational, and environmentally friendly.
"As with any event held at our many public parks, the safety and security of those in attendance and all users of the park is our greatest concern. The County and Sheriff's Office will work with the applicant to assure all safety and security issues and concerns are addressed.
"The review of applications also consider such points as park capacity for the event, impacts to other events or venues already approved, levels of support staff needed and the availability of the facilities requested.
"Only once all issues and concerns are resolved -- either with security or event details -- will this application be considered for approval. Please note that the County or its staff cannot discriminate against any one organization seeking to utilize a public park for an organized event," wrote Nathan Gonzalez, a spokesman for Coconino County.
SONS OF HELL
The 2011 rally included a murder-suicide in Mormon Lake.
Deputies responded when Christian Tejada got into an argument with his wife, Desiree Tejada, over having guests over for dinner in the campground in July, 2011.
He shot and injured his wife and then turned the gun on their two guests, Edgar and Trina Atzin, killing the couple. Desiree Tejada survived being shot six times.
Some of those involved in a 2011 rally are also suing one of the county agencies that is supposed to decide whether the county park should host bikers this year.
Motorcyclists from the Sons of Hell motorcycle club filed suit last year against the Coconino County Sheriff's office for deputies' response to the 2011 murder-suicide.
The plaintiffs said club members, their spouses and families -- some of whom were in their underwear -- were forced from their tents and motor homes at gunpoint.
The bikers asserted they were held and interrogated for three hours on false information provided by a reportedly drunk rally-goer before being released.
The group also asserted that law enforcement was acting prejudicially on the belief that the group was an "outlaw motorcycle gang" with ties to the Hells Angels, and that this ultimately violated their constitutional rights to due process, free association and against unlawful detention.
Sun staff reporter Eric Betz contributed to this report. Cyndy Cole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 913-8607.