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Old 12-23-2016, 06:02 AM   #1
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Seeking Recommendations: Balloon Fiesta

We're interested in attending the 2017 Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque NM (Oct 07-15, 2017) which would be our 1st time to do so. Reading a recent article in the NKK Konnection magazine together with visiting the Balloon Fiesta website has really tweaked our interest.

Our question is about the RV - Class A facilities offered at the Fiesta, i.e.. is 30-amp service all thats available, and what are the best places to try to get a parking spot in (for a 45 ft DP), i.e. President's compound, RV Park East, etc? Also, are golf carts permitted to get around on the grounds?

Will appreciate all feedback.

Note; We've already seen that most spaces and dates are pre-booked but also understand their is a cancellation wait list which we're going to sign up for.
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Old 12-23-2016, 07:12 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewillia View Post
Our question is about the RV - Class A facilities offered at the Fiesta, i.e.. is 30-amp service all thats available, and what are the best places to try to get a parking spot in (for a 45 ft DP), i.e. President's compound, RV Park East, etc? Also, are golf carts permitted to get around on the grounds?
Each area has different utilities available. I don't think any are more than 30amp. Some have water. I don't think any have sewer but pumpout trucks come through daily. You need to check the website to find out which areas offer utilities.

The President's Compound is a small but very nice paved parking lot above the field. It usually sells out in 3 or 4 days. Chance of getting in would be very slim I think. It does offer a great view and easy walking down onto the field
There is a second area above the field near the Presidents Compound. This area is gravel. Access to the field is easy walking down the hill.
Another area is at the end of the field next to the museum. I think this is where the NKK and other groups stay. Access to the field is easy level walking.
And then there is an enormous area across the street. This is boondock only but does have fresh water delivery and pumpout service available. Access to the field is by complementary School Bus transportation. The buses have their own lane to the event so they are not slowed by traffic. The bus will drop you right at the entrance gate. You can walk from the campground to the field but it is a long way. It is a nice healthy and enjoyable walk.

No golf carts inside the gates (on the field). We stayed in the boondock area across the street and took our golf cart to the field one day and determined it was much easier to put the golf cart back in the trailer and just take the bus.
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Old 12-23-2016, 08:02 AM   #3
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We signed up with Escapees last year and boondocked in the field. We spent five days but easily could have gone the eleven days with no problem. The big rigs they put along the fence which was great because we didn't need to put up the GenTuri for the generator. When we go agai well go with a group and boondock.
You might also look into Adventure Caravans tour. There group had a big generator that provided 30 am to their group.
Also check out the many owners groups like Tiffin or Newmar. They often have groups that attend the Fiesta.
If you have never go e before, going with a group makes it easy as everything is organized for you. All you have to do is show up.
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Old 12-23-2016, 08:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewillia View Post
We're interested in attending the 2017 Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque NM (Oct 07-15, 2017) which would be our 1st time to do so. Reading a recent article in the NKK Konnection magazine together with visiting the Balloon Fiesta website has really tweaked our interest.

Our question is about the RV - Class A facilities offered at the Fiesta, i.e.. is 30-amp service all thats available, and what are the best places to try to get a parking spot in (for a 45 ft DP), i.e. President's compound, RV Park East, etc? Also, are golf carts permitted to get around on the grounds?

Will appreciate all feedback.

Note; We've already seen that most spaces and dates are pre-booked but also understand their is a cancellation wait list which we're going to sign up for.
We have been there three times. Once with Newmar KK which was fun. One time in the VIP East dry camping on the hill East of the field and this year we were in the President's compound. We got reservations within a few minutes of when they were offered and we got a 50 amp site. When we go again we will only stay in the President's compound or VIP east. In our opinion it is worth the extra money. Weekends sell out first, but you have a better chance of getting a group of days during the week.

The Balloon Fiesta is a fantastic event. So much fun! Good luck in getting in to the prime areas.
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Old 12-23-2016, 08:34 AM   #5
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A little more info. Private golf carts are not allowed on the grounds, however there are many courtesy shuttle golf carts running around. Mobility Chaisr are allowed and are also for rent.

One of the best way to enjoy the fiesta, is as a volunteer chase crew. Many of the Balloons travel great distances to the event and are not able to bring crew with them. The Chase Crew Committee recruits and sign up volunteers at the Fiesta to give them a hand.

We will be signing up crew Wen, Thur, and Fri before the Fiesta in the Sid Cutter Pavilion. Also we will be recruit and sign Crew before and during each event. As of now the location has TBD. Come see us and and ask questions and sign up for a GREAT Experience.

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Old 12-23-2016, 08:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm Mac View Post
Each area has different utilities available. I don't think any are more than 30amp. Some have water. I don't think any have sewer but pumpout trucks come through daily. You need to check the website to find out which areas offer utilities.

The President's Compound is a small but very nice paved parking lot above the field. It usually sells out in 3 or 4 days. Chance of getting in would be very slim I think. It does offer a great view and easy walking down onto the field
There is a second area above the field near the Presidents Compound. This area is gravel. Access to the field is easy walking down the hill.
Another area is at the end of the field next to the museum. I think this is where the NKK and other groups stay. Access to the field is easy level walking.
And then there is an enormous area across the street. This is boondock only but does have fresh water delivery and pumpout service available. Access to the field is by complementary School Bus transportation. The buses have their own lane to the event so they are not slowed by traffic. The bus will drop you right at the entrance gate. You can walk from the campground to the field but it is a long way. It is a nice healthy and enjoyable walk.

No golf carts inside the gates (on the field). We stayed in the boondock area across the street and took our golf cart to the field one day and determined it was much easier to put the golf cart back in the trailer and just take the bus.
All good points made. We were on the waiting list for water & elect two years ago with no luck , it was our first time there. We had such a good
time that the utilities are not a must. Our reservations are made for 2017.
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selah View Post
If you have never go e before, going with a group makes it easy as everything is organized for you. All you have to do is show up.
Is there a NKK group that's organized ?
Who is the planner?
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:09 AM   #8
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You can do quite well on just 30 amp service.
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Old 12-23-2016, 11:01 AM   #9
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I can't give you much info on the sites, but will add this......Make sure you plan to be there for at least 4 days. The first time we went, the weather was bad and we were only there for 3 days. They didn't launch until the third day, just a few hours before we were leaving.

Second, I think they miss a huge opportunity to have an RV show somewhere near there, since thousands of RV's show up. The reason for saying this......once they launch in the morning, that's it. You're then left to find something to do. People then do day trips to places like Santa Fe. Plan on having something to do after they launch.
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Old 12-23-2016, 02:22 PM   #10
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We spent 10 nights in the dry camping area across the street from the grounds. Although they have water fill and pumping services we lasted without their use. Balloons landed right in front of us and passed over us. It was great.

As stated, the shuttle buses come by every 10 minutes or so all day long so it's fast and easy to get to the grounds and yes, it's possible to walk, also.

There's a massive launch in the morning and ground activities at night. At those times they close off many of the roads. If you go out to sitesee during the day make sure you're back before the road closures.

Also, if you think staying off-site at a RV park would be better; re-think it. You have to contend with a lot of traffic getting into the area. Also, the parks up their rates during the Fiesta - even all the way up to Santa Fe. It's a lot easier to stay on the grounds.

We signed up to volunteer to crew and that was an awesome experience. We had to get on the field early but to be involved with the whole launch process was exciting. We also got a free very long ride as a thank-you.

If you have a chance to go - do it. It's very special.
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Old 12-23-2016, 02:51 PM   #11
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We have our reservations for 6 nights in the Standard RV area. Guess that means no hookups, and boon docking only. ( which is fine) Looks like you can pay for fresh water and pump out. And with a full tank of fuel, genny for power a few hours a day will work.

We went 20 years ago. Thought We had hook ups at a KOA, got there to learn we were in a dirt lot across the highway. In our first ragged old coach, our first boondocking experience. The weather was terrible, cold, rain, clouds...the balloons didn't fly due to the weather. It was a 5-6 mile drive to the festival area, traffic was terrible. We didn't have a very good time. Now with a nice 40' DP, expect it will be a much nicer experience. Hope so!
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Old 12-23-2016, 05:05 PM   #12
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If some of yo are unaware, there is an Elks Lodge a few miles away. It has one of the biggest campgrounds of all the Elks Lodges. They fill the campground and allow camping in parts of the parking lot. Just an option for the Elks members.
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