ALBUQUERQUE, NM – It’s time to start talking about the Balloon Fiesta. The long-awaited 50th anniversary event is about a month away and this year there’s a new way to watch all the balloons soar without having to face the crowds – but it’s going to cost you.
“You know, Balloon Fiesta is always looking for ways to improve the customer experience at Balloon Fiesta Park,” said Tom Garrity, a spokesperson for Balloon Fiesta.
This year, that includes all-new sky boxes made from old shipping containers, with a viewing platform on top, a seating area below, and a front-row seat for some of the best action. by Balloon Fiesta.
“We’re really in the same part, the end of the park where we have the special shapes of where Darth Vader and Yoda traditionally are, we also have the Dawn Patrol set up right behind me,” Garrity said.
They aren’t cheap though. It costs $5,000 to hire one for a morning or evening session, but it comes with plenty of benefits.
“It’s a turnkey operation, so you can get a boxed meal for all the guests, drinks, seven parking passes, you have your own restrooms, you have your own access, you have your own space “, Garrity said.
Organizers say the sky boxes were designed for corporate clients, but they say anyone can hire one for a unique experience.
“What this customer experience provides is the chance to stand out from the crowds, you really kind of know to get a unique perspective of what Balloon Fiesta is like,” Garrity said.
But before you try to book one, be aware that sky boxes are non-refundable, even if the balloons don’t fly.
Garrity says the only exception is when the field is completely closed. In this case, people will receive general admission tickets and parking passes for another session.
“The 50th event is easy to get into a rut, but this year with the 50th we actually got out of the rut and we’re celebrating quite a bit,” he said.
And those celebrations include a potentially record number of balloons.
Garrity says there are already 640 registrants, including balloons from 22 different countries.
The big event will start on Saturday October 1st.