Thanks Paul!

Paul Smith is retiring after 26 years at Balloon Fiesta!

Paul has been the Executive Director of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, or AIBF almost as long as we've been flying from our current location. Paul initially connected with Balloon Fiesta as a pilot in 1982 when he when participated in his first Balloon Fiesta. He still flies balloons today, usually placing in the top ten of the AAAA Flying Events competition. It wasn't long before he began providing legal counsel to the organization. In 1997 he was selected as the Executive Director and under his watch, many improvements to the park happened. Among them, the launch field was fully grassed, and VIP guest experiences including the Gondola Club, Chaser’s Club, Glamping, and Concierge services were added. Bike Valet was started, RV parking was expanded and shows such as Music Fiesta, the Chainsaw Carving exhibitions, the fireworks “candle line,” FastTrax skydiving exhibition, and the drone show in 2022 were all added to the entertainment lineup during the past 26 years.

Paul was the recipient of the Heritage Award as well as inducted into the Balloon Fiesta Hall of Fame in 2022.Thanks Paul!

Congratulations and enjoy your retirement!