ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Dozens of food vendors say the cost of doing business at Balloon Fiesta is about to skyrocket.
If vendors agree to the new conditions, about a third of what gross profits the vendors make will go to a new management company from out-of-state.
"We fought the rain, we fought the wind, and this is probably our biggest battle right now," said Matty Romero, the president of Perico's restaurant. He says even in rough weather, Perico's made about $58,000 during Balloon Fiesta last year.
About 25% of their yearly income is from those nine days. Now that profit is in jeopardy.
A new company, just hired to manage Balloon Fiesta vendors, wants to collect 30% of every food vendor's gross profits.
It's something food vendors like Perico's might not be able to afford.
"Sixty workers, 3% profit, at the end of the day is a tough one," said Romero.
Romero is among a large group of vendors now getting the help of attorney Pete Dinelli. At a meeting Friday, he told vendors he'll work to get an extension on a Monday deadline to sign the contract that caught vendors off-guard about a month ago.
"The real question is that if we are not given, if you are not given a two week extension, those contracts will have to be signed by 5-o'clock on Monday," Dinelli said to the vendors.
Dinelli is scheduled to meet with Balloon Fiesta officials Monday to try and find some middle ground.
"If you sign this contract now, you're probably looking at a situation where it's not going to get any better," added Dinelli.
If the meeting doesn't go well for the vendors, Romero says Perico's rent could double to more than $20,000 and the burritos that have been rolled there for the past 20 years might come to a halt. The way he understands it, the contract also allows the Balloon Fiesta to micro-manage vendors.
The owner of another long-time Fiesta vendor says he will close up shop at Balloon Fiesta if conditions don't change.
According to Ovations Food Service, the Florida company now overseeing Fiesta vendors, a large part of the money collected from food vendors will help with Fiesta improvements.
Ovations also manages food service at Isotopes Park.
Police responded to a northeast Albuquerque neighborhood where a man believed to be armed was involved in a tense standoff with police.
There was some good news Wednesday. Bernalillo County Sheriff's Deputy Robin Hopkins has started walking again.
Schemers behind fake sweepstakes are accessing personal information and using the legitimacy of well-known names like the Better Business Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service to swindle unsuspecting players out of thousands of dollars.
John Smith with your forecast and Kim Vallez with your afternoon headlines.
Bernalillo County Sheriff Dan Houston is accused of using his work office as his campaign office and tonight the Code of Conduct Review Board will hold a hearing Wednesday night on the issue.
APD is looking for a hit-and-run driver who killed a pedestrian.