Colorado Springs business to adopt new balloon festival for Canon City, US

After a devastating fire ravaged its way through 90% of Canon City’s Royal Gorge Bridge and Park during the summer of last year, the area is to receive help in launching a new hot air balloon festival in the spring.

It is thought that hosting such an event will significantly improve the area’s economy and give its tourism industry a much-needed boost. The fire is believed to have caused a decline of around 300,000 visitors, amounting to $9m (£5.4m) lost from the local economy.

The festival is planned to take place during Memorial Day weekend, on the 24th-26th May, and will benefit from the knowledge of the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic Inc., who host the Colorado Balloon Classic every Labour Day weekend.

The executive director of Fremont Economic Development Corp., Rob Brown, said:

“The whole community was dramatically affected by the fire last year. Everybody in the area is trying to use whatever creativity they can to come up with ways that we can help recover, economically speaking.”

A private non-profit organisation, Create Canon City – made up of construction professionals and local business individuals – have been the initiative behind hiring the balloon company.

Attendees will be able to witness the launch of several balloons from farms in the area, with an evening ‘glow’ also being planned. Additionally, it will be funded by advertisers and sponsors, making it free for the general public to attend.

The organisers hope to turn the festival into an annual event.

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