'X Marks the Spot' program appears to be a hit with balloonists, locals | KOB 4

'X Marks the Spot' program appears to be a hit with balloonists, locals

Megan Abundis
October 08, 2018 05:18 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Balloon Fiesta pilots appear to be enjoying the new program, "X Marks the Spot."


It encourages people to invite pilots to land on their property.

Organizers hoped it would be a way to get Albuquerque residents involved, even if they didn't want to go to the Balloon Fiesta field.

"We knew the balloons were going to land everywhere, neighborhoods, parks," said Jim Garcia, Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce.

Garcia says that's why they teamed up with Balloon Fiesta officials in rolling out the X.

Homeowners have been spotted laying them out, signaling that it's okay to land on their property.

It's clear balloon pilots are noticing.

"What we are hearing is, that as they are flying over, they are seeing a variety of Xs as they go across Albuquerque. The pilots are all in on the deal, the pilots have cards that they will give to the people have the corresponding Xs," Garcia said. 

Those cards are providing proof the program is working. Garcia says so far they've already received more than one hundred cards from homeowners who have had visits from pilots.

"But what we found out now is that they are waving the balloons and encouraging them to come down," Garcia told KOB. "Please land here!"

In addition to offering balloonists a safe place to land and pack up, there's another incentive to participate in the program. After each day of the Balloon Fiesta, a drawing will be held to award one of the homeowners a gift basket worth $1,500.

People can still pick up an X from the Hispano Chamber of Commerce.


Megan Abundis

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