ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The city announced a big addition Tuesday to the Albuquerque’s biggest tourist destination, Balloon Fiesta Park. A new pavilion is going in with permanent bathrooms, but the public should not plan on using them during the fiesta.
The city says it’s hoping to start building the Sid Cutter Pilots Pavilion as early as this fall. During the Balloon Fiesta, it and its amenities will just be for pilots, their crews and volunteers.
“The tax payers own this…the tax payers will own this new pavilion but it’s actually a non-profit group of volunteers, for decades have put their time, talent and treasure in making the balloon fiesta what it is,” Mayor R.J. Berry said.
The $2.5 million pavilion will replace the big white pilot’s tent you see during fiesta, the spot where crews hold meetings.
Renderings show the new facility will be 12,000 square feet, with an indoor-outdoor connection and views of the park.
The park will also have some permanent bathrooms, a welcome addition for visitors who are forced to use port-a-potties. But the city says during Balloon Fiesta those bathrooms will be off-limits to the general public.
“For September and October, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta has an agreement with the city of Albuquerque that they have exclusive use of the park – so they manage the park and the event at that time,” Barbara Baca, with the city of Albuquerque said.
The city says the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the group that runs the event, also covers the cost for it so it will decide what to do with the pavilion during that time.
They also said the public will be able to use the facilities and the bathrooms, for other events, like Freedom Fourth or youth sports.
The city said the pavilion was paid for with bond money. They say construction of the new building will go out to bid in a few months.
Officials hope it will be in place by next year’s Balloon Fiesta.