ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – More than 800,000 people flock to the Balloon Fiesta each year, but the balloons are just part of the trip. When visitors aren’t at Balloon Fiesta Park, they’re hitting up several tourist hot spots in Albuquerque.
Jam-packed is the way Lisa Salazar describes Kyra’s Arts in Old Town come the first full week of October. “It does bring in a lot of tourists,” Salazar said. “We do get a lot of people from many walks of life.”
The shop filled with hand-painted products sees a 100% increase in sales and 1,000 people a day during the Balloon Fiesta.
Their most popular product is handmade balloon ornaments, selling more than 700 last year alone. “They are a representation of the state of New Mexico,” Salazar said.
Another popular hot spot in the city is the Sandia Peak Tramway. “Balloon Fiesta is like our Christmas at the Tram,” general manager Michael Donovan said. The Sandia Peak Tramway sees 23,000 customers during the fiesta, which is double the usual amount.
This year, they are excited to showcase the new Ten 3 restaurant at the top after two years of construction. “The word has gotten out,” Donovan said. “We are booked for reservations during the entire fiesta right now.”
Whether it’s taking a stroll through Old Town, indulging in New Mexican cuisine or getting an elevated look of the city, there is perhaps no better opportunity to show off New Mexico than during the International Balloon Fiesta.