Inside the Basket - Keaton Collins, Camp 505 Director
June 23, 2023
Keaton Collins is the Camp Director of Balloon Fiesta’s new Camp 505.
In this month’s Inside the Basket interview, he shares what Camp 505 guests can expect, what his role will be and his top tips.
1. Give a brief overview of your Balloon Fiesta role and how you came to be involved with the organization.
My name is Keaton Collins and I will be the Director of Camp 505! This will be my third year working as part of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, with my first two being spent at the Chaser’s Club and Group Tour tents.
2. You’ve previously worked in the Group Tour tent and Chasers’ Club. This year, you’re taking on a new role as the Camp 505 Director. What is Camp 505 and what will your new position entail?
Camp 505 is an opportunity to engage with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta like never before! Campers will enjoy private access to our viewing and camping areas, as well as to our premium reserved parking lot. Campers will also enjoy provisions such as private bathrooms, exclusive nightly events and giveaways, and access to a robust commissary. At the end of the day, they are also able to opt out of traffic and sleep nearly on-site in their spacious two-person tent.
My role as the Camp 505 Director will be to assist campers with anything they may want or need, to be comfortable during their stay, and to facilitate events and activities throughout the three-day period (or more) in which each camper will be joining us.
3. What do you hope to bring from your previous Balloon Fiesta roles and your camping experience to Camp 505, to help shape the experience for guests?
During my time working with guests from all over the world at The Chaser’s Club and the Group Tours Hospitality Tent, I have developed a deep understanding of how patrons tend to engage with the experiences and opportunities made available to them by the hardworking teams at Balloon Fiesta. Most importantly, I’ve learned how guests and their families operate as they meander and choose their own adventure while navigating through the maze of balloons, people, and retailers present at Balloon Fiesta. This, combined with my years of experience in camping comfortably in backcountry settings, will allow me to deliver top-echelon experiences and memories for the campers joining us for our inaugural season of Camp 505.
4. What makes Camp 505 unique compared to other camping opportunities?
Camp 505 is like nothing you’ve ever seen or experienced before in that it combines the simplicity and ease of outdoor living with the perks and benefits of immediate access to balloon launch sites, local vendors and much much more. Campers will have the option to walk to Balloon Fiesta for close encounters with other patrons as well as the hot air balloons and pilots or they can opt for a less demanding experience in which they’ll be able to view hundreds of airborne and landlocked balloons from the comfort of their own tent plot.
5. What tips do you have for those who book their stay at Camp 505?
My advice for our campers is to plan out their day and space ahead of time to ensure optimal engagement with the event and the Camp 505 community, to rise early every day to beat the lines on Main Street at Balloon Fiesta, and to bring some cozy blankets to use while sitting outside of your tent and watching balloons in the crisp early mornings and late evenings.
Categories: Inside the Basket