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Full Throttle Saloon.. The Fire, The Rebuild

Posted on January 01 2016

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.” Ballard’s best friend, and business partner Jesse James Dupree shares, “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!”

Michael Ballard also expresses significant gratitude to the fire departments from Piedmont, Vale, Whitewood, Sturgis and Fort Meade who collaborated to gain control of the blaze that engulfed the entire facility. Additionally, The ATF and the State Fire Marshall. The Destination America channel will broadcast the upcoming season of the Full Throttle Saloon television show the last week of November. Ballard was honored this past July in being cited as one of the seven most influential players in the Sturgis Rally’s history. He shared inclusion on the pantheon of motorcycle enthusiasts alongside J.C. “Pappy” Hoel and the Jackpine Gypsies, Pearl Hoel, the American Motorcyclist Association, Bill Gikling and Harley-Davidson, Michael Lichter and Easyriders Magazine, and Rod Woodruff and the Buffalo Chip Campground.

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13 comments

  • Amy Slobodzian: March 31, 2016

    I worked as VIP bartender 75th year anniversary. I had the pleasure of meeting Michael and Angie as well as Jesse. The staff is of the best men and women I have worked for in a very long time and I look forward to working with them all the 76 year…

  • Mark: March 27, 2016

    Just curious if you are going to post any pictures of the rebuilding process. You know, inquiry minds like to know.

  • Choctaw Maiden: March 26, 2016

    So glad that no one from the FTS family was hurt as a result of the fire.

  • Tracy - Bakersfield: March 19, 2016

    So proud of all of you!
    It will be honor be spending the 2016 Rally in your cabin. Can’t wait! :)

  • MIKE 'THE VIKING' PEASLEY: March 10, 2016

    BEEN RIGHT AT A DECADE SINCE I LAST VISITED STURGIS. GOTTA SAY, THE CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS AND ELBOW RUBBINGS WERE FUN AND MEMORABLE……BUT FULL THROTTLE ON JACKYL NIGHT OVERSHADOWS THE REST OF THE WEEK AT THE RALLY. FULL THROTTLE IS WHAT KEEPS STURGIS FROM BEING JUST ANOTHER ‘VENDOR-EXPO’. GOOD LUCK WITH THE REBUILD….AND GOD BLESS!

  • Jerri Beeter: March 09, 2016

    Love you Ballard’s so much. Congratulations is due to all of you for having aspirations to rebuild after going through this aweful tragedy.
    I have never missed an episode and as matter of fact, I actually met both you, Michael and Angie when you brought FTS to Chicago. I am hoping to make it to FTS this year. If not I will be right in front of my television watching your show.
    Best Wishes and much love,
    Loyal viewer,
    Jerri
    Northern Illinois

  • Johnni Longhair AKA Hot Diggity Dog: March 08, 2016

    Family well I’m so happy for Angie Emily and Micheal Ballard as your friend be thankful that your relentless pursuit of showing Angie True Love and having Gods blessing you both with a baby girl as I know how much you both wanted that Prayer to be Reality a Dream come True never losing Hope always have Faith Believe in Miracles Believe in ALL of the Bikers that made the first FTS a huge success to Make The New FTS better than you could ever have dreamed of You both are my friends I miss All of y’all and I would hope that we could See each other soon as I keep your Entire FTS family in my Prayers and would Love to Rebuild your trust and friendship Johnni Cat I got more names than Jesse James YOU just keep the FAITH Love y’all Damien and his Daddy

  • Susan Shaw: March 06, 2016

    We are coming out the week before the rally and I wondered if Full Throttle would be open then? We would love to have a beer there!! I was so heartbroken to hear of your fire and so happy you decided to rebuild. I watch your show all the time! Susan Shaw

  • Schoolboy: March 06, 2016

    From North to South, East to West Full Throttle Saloon is Simply the Best!
    God Bless America and the FTS Family

  • Schoolboy: March 06, 2016

    From North to South, East to West no other Saloon like FTS. Simply the Best!

    Schoolboy Free Riders USA
  • Mike: February 24, 2016

    All the best in rebuilding if that is what you plan to do, love the show! We were never able to get out to FTS, my health won’t allow for that kind of a trip, but we never missed an episode on television. Hope to see new episodes in the not too distant future, all our best from Nova Scotia, Canada.

  • Paul La Fata: February 19, 2016

    Angela and Michael, I have purchased two tee shirts from your store and due to a delay in shipping they did arrive. Outstanding quality and I am proud to be part of the “FTS” family. I just placed an order for three more in pink. I have three daughters and I know they will be glad to wear them also.

    Thank you from a loyal TV fan.

    Paul from Old Bridge NJ.

    BTW, Michael, daughters are the best and congratulations on Emily Grace.

  • Kyle: February 14, 2016

    My name is Kyle and I am a very big fan so I wish I could help you out and build full throttle saloon back but I’m only 10 years old, I wish I could be their in South dekota and help you but I don’t know how to drive a car or truck or
    motorcycle. I hope you make the full throttle saloon the best biker bar in South dekota.

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