Businesses offer unique perspectives to watch Balloon Fiesta

Posted at: 10/02/2013 6:30 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

As most people in Albuquerque know, there are plenty of good places to watch the balloons during Balloon Fiesta. Today, KOB Eyewitness News 4 spoke to a couple of businesses that offer unique perspectives. One of those is a vantage point you may never have thought of.

Kelly Gossett owns New Mexico Kayak and offers something unique.  

"We don't have to deal with the crowds and the traffic. Sure, we get up early and we spend a little bit of time getting ready for our trip- we've got the whole place to ourself it seems like," Gossett said.

When those balloons do their infamous splash and dashes into the Rio Grande, New Mexico Kayak is right there. Gossett says you are literally close enough to reach out and touch them.

"Close enough to high-five one of the pilots. And often times we're close enough to have a conversation. People wonder about the safety-- we see these balloons coming in and we're pretty maneuverable on the water," Gossett said.

If kayaking to watch the balloons seems a bit too physical or too extreme, a  flight with Rainbow Ryders might be more your speed.

So far, Scott Appleman, who owns the "Official Balloon Fiesta" balloon company, says they've booked about 300 balloon rides per morning during Balloon Fiesta. That's the most they've seen since the recession hit.

"This is the best year we've seen since 2007 by far. People are coming. We've been booked up early. We're sold out on I think six of the nine mornings," Appleman said.

They've even had to add some flights on the big days to accommodate all the interest this year. That's not just good news for Rainbow Ryders, it's good news for Albuquerque.