While their motto may be ‘growing old disgracefully’ the thousands of motorcyclists set to roll into Mandurah are anything but the stereotypical bikie.
Australia’s largest club – the Ulysses Motor Cycle Club – will be riding into town in 2021, pumping an expected $18.1 million into the local economy.
The Ulysses Motor Cycle Club is an over 40s not-for-profit association that promotes the interests of older motorcyclists with more than 30,000 members nationwide.
“The thing is we're not a load of bikies,” Mandurah-Murray branch secretary Sandra Dix said.
“You've got to remember the youngest member has to be 40 years of age – and they're only classed as junior members.
“I mean one of the members in Mandurah, she's 81 this year.
“We just like to meet up and go on rides.”
While the event may be three years away, Mrs Dix said planning was already well underway.
With so many people set to attend, the week-long event can take years to plan, which is one of the reasons why the annual general meeting is hosted in a different location each time.
“It can be anything from 2000 and in the past up to 5000 people,” Mrs Dix said.
"They’ll stay at what we call tent city – and they have their motorbikes and tents and everything there.
“But then those who don't like camping, they book in hotels, motels, everything.
“And obviously, while they're here they'll be putting money into the city through cafes, restaurants and the shops and everything.”
Mandurah and Peel Tourism Organisation (MAPTO) chief executive Karen Priest congratulated everyone involved in securing the Ulysses Motor Cycle Club AGM for the Peel region.
“This is a great coup for our region and I’m looking forward to the tourism benefits it will bring,” she said.
“To have over 3000 delegates here for a week will provide a boost for accommodation, food and beverage. retail and other tourism-related businesses and it will expose our beautiful region to so many people who maybe have never been before or aren’t aware of the positive growth in Mandurah and the Peel region in recent years.”
City of Mandurah mayor Rhys Williams said this was another example of how Mandurah is generating a national profile as a great place to visit and to host major events.
“In October we will also be hosting 2000 plus police and emergency service workers at the Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games,” he said.
The seven-day Ulysses event will be from March 23 to March 29