Albuquerque businesses relish Balloon Fiesta boom
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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Business owners are certainly still seeing the benefits of Balloon Fiesta.
It was a chilly last day of Balloon Fiesta but that didn’t stop the tourists from coming out to Old Town. Plus, businesses are more than excited to have all of these folks come in and stop at their shops and their restaurants for at least one more day, if not more.
“We have been here for 5 days we came originally from Cincinnati Ohio,” said Mike and Cindy McMahon.
Walking around the plaza—getting a glass of wine—and checking out the specialty shops, some business owners even say a cloudy day is good for business.
“We heard from the other merchants here in Old Town that if the balloons don’t go up people come here earlier and they did so they were waiting outside my door today to come in and we have already topped what we did last Sunday as far as sales go, so they keep coming,” said Edward Candelaria, owner of The Breaking Bad Store.
And they aren’t alone—around the corner at Noisy Water Winery— tourists are still coming in by the bus load.
“We were definitely way busier every day of the week pretty much, normally mid-week we slow down a little bit but everyday felt like our typical Saturday and our Saturday felt like double our typical Saturday,” said Robert Eyster, employee at Noisy Water Winery.
Even though the balloons are gone – the tourists are sticking around a little longer.
“We see people coming in seeing if they can get a bottle of wine to check in their suitcase or something like that, they are starting to leave,” Eyster said.
Some of the new shops on the square said they have set sales records nearly every day—and even on the last day of Balloon Fiesta they are gearing up for next year.
“This has been a learning experience for us, that way we know for next year especially for the 50th anniversary of Balloon Fiesta,” said Eyster.