The 2022 Colorado Motorcycle Expo dates have been changed to Feb 19 & 20.
You heard that right! The Colorado Motorcycle Expo will be held February 19 and 20, 2022!
- It’s a swap meet. The largest indoor motorcycle swap meet in the country. Bikers and shops come from all over the world!
- It’s a motorcycle show. The largest custom and antique motorcycle show in the Rocky Mountain Region!
- It’s a vendor bonanza. Leather, parts, apparel, clubs, patches, tattoos, jewelry, custom paint… you name it, it’s here!
- It’s a party! Live bands, VIP lounge, tattoo competitions, wet T-shirt contest, used bike corral, and more!
- It’s a place to gather with old friends and make new ones.
If you like motorcycles, you do not want to miss this. Especially since we had to skip 2021 due to the pandemic – talk about pent-up demand! This is going to be a rager!
The Colorado Motorcycle Expo: A History of Supporting Bikers, Bike Shops, and Motorcycle related Vendors
The story of this swap began way back in 1978 when a gentleman by the name of Jack Portice and his wife Vicki wanted to put on a motorcycle festival in Denver.
“There was nothing strictly for bikers back then. No bike shows. We had to meet up at car shows. Local shops would just hold their own one-day swaps. We needed an event just for bikers,” recalls Jack. “So, in 1978, I rented out the Adams County Fairgrounds with my own money and we had a motorcycle show, a swap meet, entertainment, the whole nine yards.”
The event went off without a hitch despite some unfair bad press, so Jack and Vicki decided to do it again. The next year, however, the Expo got the attention of local police and the county commissioners. Even though 2,000 people attended and nothing bad happened at the event, the county commissioners said they didn’t want the Expo back the next year.
“So, I rented out the Colorado National Speedway!” says Jack. And he lined up an incredible party.
Danny “Berzerko” Perko was going to jump a bunch of cars. They planned several half-mile flat-track races, motocross races, the swap meet, hundreds of vendors, the motorcycle show and a motorcycle rodeo.
And then it started raining.
And it didn’t stop for a week!
“There was mud everywhere!” Jack says. Jack lost everything on that show and had to sell his house to pay off all the bills. But Jack and Vicki were undaunted.
In addition to the annual event, Jack and Vicki had opened Colorado Custom Cycle, a motorcycle shop, and they took on two partners, Jimmy Arnett, and Gene Casey. Without missing a beat, the four of them kept the Expo going. They decided to stop holding the annual event in the unpredictable Colorado spring and moved it indoors during January and February. The whole idea behind this move was to support bike shops in the winter, when sales were slow, and it was hard to pay the bills.
“Shops are very slow in January and February. They needed something to help them get through the winter slump,” Jack says. “Our show became the thing that got them through the winter, helped them pay their bills.”
Since no one – Jack included – could afford for the weather to kill future events, the Expo moved to the Regency Inn, near Mile High Stadium. The change to indoors proved to be the magic ingredient.
“People could rent rooms and never had to leave! We had a band; swap meet and motorcycle show. It was a huge, huge party!”
For the next 10 years, the Colorado Motorcycle Show and Swap, as it was known then, was held at the Regency until owners of the hotel feared the event might break their building.
“That’s a cement building, but I swear the floor was moving,” laughs Jack. So, Jack, Vicki, and Jimmy (Gene decided to move on after 10 years) moved the event to the National Western Stock Show Complex, where it is still held today.
“The best year we had was 2004,” says Jack. “That year, Harley had record sales, aftermarket companies were starting up, the industry was going insane. We became one of the biggest swap meets in the nation. Our attendance that year hit 21,000!”
While the attendance may not hit 21,000 every year, we get close, and it is a far cry from the muddy old days when attendance hovered around 2,000.
Colorado Motorcycle Expo Today: New Vision, Same Tradition
Today, the event, which is now simply called the Colorado Motorcycle Expo, is owned by Scott Schulz. Scott is a life-long motorcycle enthusiast and accomplished businessman. When not preparing for upcoming Expo events, Scott is either out riding, in his garage restoring his classic Mustang and F100 or spending time with family and friends.
Or on speed-dial with Jack!
“I want this event to maintain the traditions and values that it’s always had since Jack first envisioned it,” says Scott, whose mantra is “New Vision, Same Tradition.”
Jack said he is glad that Scott has taken over the event. “I wish him all the best! If anybody can do it, Scott can do it. We’ve talked a number of times. I know that Scott is having to do things I didn’t have to do because us Harley riders are getting older and fewer and you have to get younger people to the show, which means the show has to change some. If we still had it, we would be doing the same things. Scott is keeping it new and exciting.”
In order to ensure the Expo exceeds all expectations, Scott spends as much time as possible in the motorcycle community, building relationships, and gathering and implementing feedback from sponsors, vendors, and attendees alike. That’s how he met Scott O’Sullivan with Rider Justice.
“Scott approached me at the 2020 Expo saying he’d love to be part of what we were doing,” says Schulz.
“Rider Justice wanted to help motorcycle shops and vendors get through the pandemic, so we held small swaps at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse,” says Schulz. “They were a huge success! It was exciting to watch the line of cars coming down the street to attend the swaps at Dirty Dogs.”
Now, Schulz considers Rider Justice “part of our Expo family.”
“The whole team at Rider Justice is constantly looking for ways to help bikers,” says Schulz. “They have the same goals as us: Support the biker community. It’s an amazing partnership. I’m excited about working with them into the future.”
Rider Justice is a presenting sponsor of the 2022 Colorado Motorcycle Expo, and the two Scotts are collaborating on other efforts to benefit the motorcycle community, as well.
O’Sullivan says, “It is exciting to see Scott Schulz honoring the event’s past but growing it to encompass even more motorcycle enthusiasts. This is going to be a showcase for motorcycle manufacturers and products from around the world. It is an honor to be part of it!”
Jack sums it up best, “I am thrilled to death that somebody is carrying it on. I would love to see it go on forever. The greatest people in the world come to this show.”
- Vendor registration is open, with early registration discounts available.
- Tickets to attend the event are already on sale, with early bird pricing through the end of December.
Visit ColoradoMotorcycleExpo.com to learn more.