Balloon Fiesta vendors struggle to make contract change
Posted at: 07/30/2012 5:50 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
A dispute between Balloon Fiesta and food vendors may mean higher food prices for fiesta patrons.
Balloon Fiesta recently changed the formula of how it will charge concessionaires. Food vendors say the new formula, which charges them 30 percent of their total revenues in some cases, said they will have to pass the extra expense on to customers.
"There are vendors out there who are seriously thinking about pulling out all together," said Pete Dinelli, who is representing the food vendors in negotiations with the organization.
In a closed-door meeting Wednesday, Dinelli met with representatives from Balloon Fiesta to try to reach a compromise. Tom Garrity, spokesman for Balloon Fiesta, argued that the organization must also make money. With rising costs in goods and services, Garrity said it was time for new formula on how to assess fees.
"Since 2006, which is the last time the concession agreement were even addressed, we've seen a 50-percent increase in trash pickup, 50-percent increase in propane costs, and a 400-percent increase in helium costs," Garrity said.
Both sides maintain they are working on an agreement that they can both live with. Negotiations plan to resume Tuesday afternoon with a resolution by the end of the week.