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The Nitro National Pro Hill-climbs bring economic boost to Montana

Posted at 5:45 PM, Jun 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-28 11:58:26-04

BILLINGS -- The hills are alive with the sound of motorcycles.

And that's music to the ears of a lot of people hoping for some help kick-starting the economy.

The Nitro National Pro Hill-climbs are the first NAHA Pro Hill-climb event of the year, located in Columbus.

"It's the NITRO Hill Climb, 13th Annual, and I don't think we've ever had this many people on a Friday," Nitro National Pro Hill-climb owner Tyler Johnson said.

The event features a 450-series, 700-series, X-climb and open-series racing.

People were also invited to stream the event live from home.

"I've been doing this for 39 years now straight, I should have quit a long time ago, but it's so much fun. Exciting hill, a lot of hills, a lot of jumps, a lot of wrecks, just that being said. It's a great spectator sport. Everybody's been cooped up, it's nice to get out," rider Travis Whitlock said.

The challenge brings in big names, which means more ticket sales, and more of a draw to athletes.

"I'm from Cottonwood, California. I've been coming down for 10 years now. I love the great state of Montana. I love the hill, it's tough, it's technical, it's what we love as pro hill-climbers, we don't want it easy. We want to give the fans a good show and I like being scared sometimes, " rider Joe Schipman said.

Due to cancellations, for many food trucks, this was their first event of the year.

"We're out here having a good time we hope everyone enjoys it with us," Johnson said.

For the first time, the event is extended through Sunday.

Stay tuned to Q2 News throughout the weekend for more updates.