Local News

Balloon Classic to leave Colorado Springs

Popular event has been held in the Springs for more than three decades

COLORADO SPRINGS - The Colorado Balloon Classic is leaving Colorado Springs after more than three decades.

Organizers made the announcement Friday that 2014 will be the 38th and final year for the popular event in the Springs.

In a press release, organizers cite politics within the city, including "increasingly rigid" special events procedures and an "onerous" city sponsorship application, for the departure.

The parent company, Colorado Springs Balloon Classic, Inc., and the local company, Colorado Balloon Classic, are debt-free and will continue organizing events outside of Colorado Springs, according to the release.

KRDO NewsChannel 13 is sponsoring this year's event, which takes place Labor Day weekend, Aug. 30 - Sept. 1.

The City of Colorado Springs posted the following response to the news on its Facebook page Friday evening:

The City of Colorado Springs has always been a proud and enthusiastic supporter of this spectacular annual event. The City has not heard from the Balloon Classic regarding their plans for 2015 and was surprised to see their August 15 statement saying they will not hold their 2015 event in Colorado Springs.

Here are the facts:

  • The Balloon Classic, a for-profit enterprise, is one of many "heritage" events for which the City pays expenses. The event receives nearly $50,000 from the City in LART (Lodgers and Auto Rental Tax) money:
  • $32,000 in-kind Police and Fire services
  • $12,989 cash for barricades for road closures
  • The City additionally waives $2,740 in City Parks fees for this event.
  • The City helps to market this event every year.
  • Application requirements for this event have not changed from previous years - in fact, the process has become more streamlined. Every effort is made to assist applicants, with all departments working in tandem and with efficiency.
  • All event organizers go through the application process. Safety for our citizens is important and the application process is designed to protect event attendees, its organizers and the City of Colorado Springs.
  • City sponsorship of the Balloon Classic is still covered by the City Resolution. We hope event organizers will choose to stay and complete the simple application process.

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