Publisher: Steamboat Pilot & Today Hot Air Balloon Rodeo won’t happen this year |

Publisher: Steamboat Pilot & Today Hot Air Balloon Rodeo won’t happen this year

Bonnie Stewart
Steamboat Pilot & Today

It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that I inform the community we are canceling the Steamboat Pilot & Today Hot Air Balloon Rodeo.

This event has a long history in Steamboat Springs dating back to 1981. We understand this will be an enormous disappointment for many locals, visitors, businesses and the participating balloon pilots that have enjoyed the festival over the years.

We took over producing the Balloon Rodeo from the Steamboat Chamber in 2019; the move came after the Steamboat Chamber reorganized to better align itself with the priorities of the community and its stakeholders and to fine tune its focus on the business and economic health of Steamboat Springs and Routt County.

We, as a newspaper have to make the same tough decision to not produce this event, so that we can focus on producing a strong, relevant community newspaper. Please be assured this decision did not come lightly, and we explored many avenues to continue the event.

The Balloon Rodeo is costly to produce, and while we had several great sponsors that helped support it, the event was still too costly for us. We also do not have the staffing that it takes to continue to produce this event on our own.

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.

Bonnie Stewart

Bonnie Stewart is the publisher of the Steamboat Pilot & Today.

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