ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – They call it their Super Bowl. Balloon Fiesta brings in thousands of tourists and for some local businesses, it helps them stay open the rest of the year.
“It’s our busiest time of the year, by far,” Mike Silva said. He owns tour company, Albuquerque Tourism and Sightseeing.
These nine days of Balloon Fiesta are his business’ most important.
There are hundreds of thousands of people visiting and looking to experience everything Albuquerque has to offer.
“It’s a very important time for our company and probably most of the businesses here in Albuquerque,” Silva said.
After the balloons come down and the crowds exit Balloon Fiesta Park, “We’re going to go eat and sit down and figure out what it is that we want to do while we’re here,” said a tourist visiting from Washington state.
Visitors are looking to get out and explore and that is good news for the local economy.
In Old Town, Celtic Shop owner, Lisa Kinlen says, “It brings in so much revenue as local businesses specially during slower seasons. We’re hurting, the local businesses, but this time of year its great, it’s just a big boom for the economy.”
And to accommodate the boost in business, “Traditionally we do two trolley tours a day during Balloon Fiesta, there are times when the trolley is out from morning to well into the evening.”
Silva has even added new tours just during Balloon Fiesta, like the trolley glow, which takes visitors to Balloon Fiesta park at night.
They say they sell out of space in their tours before the day even starts.
“It’s across the board hospitality and tourism really looks forward to these nine days,” Silva said.