The Popular Steamboat Springs Hot Air Balloon Rodeo Not Happening in 2022
In Steamboat Springs you'll find a wide range of people, including cowboys (and cowgirls), rich people, and ski bums. You have to imagine most of them are indeed bummed at this hot air balloon rally news.
While putting together a list of hot air balloon festivals in Colorado for 2022, I found out that one of the best in the state will not be happening.
The Steamboat Hot Air Balloon Rodeo dates back over 40 years, to 1981. I'll bet hot air balloon technology hasn't changed dramatically since then, but I'm sure there have been many improvements to make it safer. Either way, we won't be seeing any in Steamboat this year.
RELATED: Erie Town Fair & Hot Air Balloon Festival 2022
The Steamboat Pilot & Today announced earlier in the year that the event, generally held the weekend after the 4th of July, has been entirely canceled for 2022. It turns out that the newspaper took over the production of the event in 2019 after the chamber of commerce let go of it to focus on the priorities of the local communities.
The sad truth is that the newspaper doesn't have the money nor the staff to pull off the rodeo this year. We've all seen how the pandemic has affected budgets and jobs all over; this is just another one of those cases.
From the publisher of the Steamboat Pilot & Today:
I realize that this decision will impact our community financially, specifically the tourism dollars that are spent at the local businesses and the tax revenue for the city. Additionally, I know that our community will miss this long-standing tradition.
For all of those reasons, I am truly sad and sorry to make this announcement. I would like to take this opportunity to say “thank you” to all of you that support us daily in our efforts to produce a great local, community-driven newspaper.
Hopefully, the event will return in 2023. I can see some of the more affluent people of the area stepping up to make those balloons rise.
Locally, the Bohemian Nights at New West Fest ceased operation, and the Downtown Business Association in Fort Collins recently closed its doors, as well.