“It gets pretty busy, you know, it’s good for us. We usually see about a 20% increase in sales during that time,” John Haas, the Vice President of M’tucci’s said.
It’s the big boost they have been waiting for all year as thousands of hungry visitors scatter into the city looking for a bite to eat after watching the balloons take flight. “This week is kind of similar to probably holiday season, or maybe like Mother’s Day week or around New Year’s Eve, graduation time, where there is a lot of activity going on,” Haas said.
But it’s not just the restaurants that feed off of the boom Balloon Fiesta brings. For local businesses in Old Town, this is also their time to shine. “It is kind of like Christmas and it kicks off our holiday season. We go right from Balloon Fiesta into the holiday season, so it’s wonderful,” Carol Sinor, the owner of Blue Moon Marketplace said.
The shop, tucked along San Felipe, is stocked full of New Mexico goods. Everything from clothes to ornaments, and their specialty, home decor. “Our tea towels do really well because they are balloon themes,” Sinor said.
Last year they saw their profits double during Balloon Fiesta and this year is shaping up to be no different. “I can say, I have been in Old Town now at this location for about four years and I would say that each year that I have, or gone through Balloon Fiesta, we see our profits get better and better,” Sinor said.
It cost the city more than a million dollars to pull off the Balloon Fiesta last year. But according to an audit, the event generated almost 190 million for the Albuquerque area in 2021.