2011 Balloon Classic gives boost to Boise economy

2011 Balloon Classic gives boost to Boise economy

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by Justin Corr

Bio | Email | Follow: @JCorrKTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 3, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 4 at 8:45 PM

BOISE -- Bright colorful balloons took over the sky in the City of Trees this week. But the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic is about more than just an incredible spectacle - it is a big boost to Boise's tourism.

"It's one of many things that define us as a community," said Scott Spencer, founder of the Balloon Classic.

But what does it mean to be defined by the Spirit of Boise?

"Things like this, where you can bring your family down, and come to it for free, and see these beautiful colors, and how majestic they are, it just gives you a sense that you love living here," said Kevin Godwin, Spirit of Boise co-producer.

"It's Boise," said Spencer. "It's something we're very proud of, obviously, and something we want to scream to the rest of the world, 'This is a great place to live.'"

Organizers say  that helps get dollars into the City of Trees for this weekend, and beyond.

"You bring a lot of people into a community," said Godwin. "We have a lot of people from out of town. Hotels fill up, and restaurants fill up. People get done with the launch field in the morning, and they don't just go home, usually. They go out and have breakfast. They go out and have coffee."

"You'll have the detractors who will say, 'Well, it only feeds the hotels and the restaurants'" said Spencer. "But my God! Those hotels employ our citizens. You can't tell me the balloons don't affect the economy. The community and the world watches Boise, Idaho this week."

Which is why organizers and spectators hope that the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic continues to return to Boise, to be a big boost.

"Do I hope it stays? Absolutely I hope it stays," said Spencer. "We'd love to keep doing this."

The final day of this year's Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic is Sunday. The balloons lift off from Ann Morrison Park at 7:15 a.m.

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