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Planning Stage for 2015 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta

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Planning stage for 2015 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Friends are going with their RV group that are doing day trips to sites around Albuquerque. Have visited Albuquerque at other times and are not really interested in paying money for side trips to places we have visited many times. Interest is the Balloon Fiesta. Tips on where to stay with our big 40' foot motorhome to get the best bang for our time and money. :)

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Dry camp at the Sandia Casino! Awesome. They even put out dumpsters in the parking area for the RVers. Need more luxury? You better start making reservations as soon as the parks will accept them as they go fast and they go for lots of money. You can look on http://www.rvparky.com for the campgrounds in the area.

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We will be in Albuquerque this year for four days prior to Balloon Fiesta. The day after we leave our $32/night space goes to $62. And I understand they still get taken quickly. As Bill said - Sandia Casino.

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I think I could run my generator close to 24 hours a day and not spend $62. I have never had to do this in ABQ in October (usually heat, not A/C) so a couple of hours in the AM and a few hours in the PM and my fuel usage is low enough to make dry camping a very affordable option. If you have any solar it would be even less expensive.

Now, here's the thing. If this is going to be a "once in a lifetime experience" I would try to get reservations at the Presidential campground. Full hookup and most likely somewhere around $100/night but it is ABSOLUTELY worth it ONCE. You just move from your RV to the edge of the hill and watch it all. You can even rent a golf cart (also not cheap) and drive from there onto the field during the day and during the evening glows. The Balloon Fiesta is very close to the #1 event that we enjoy as often as possible and it appears we may be there this year as well after a 3 year absence. We are so looking forward to doing it again (7th or 8th time?).

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We stayed at the dry camping area within the grounds where they had shuttle buses that ran continuously to get you from your motorhome to the balloon field. It was fine and we stayed 3 days with no problem. The price was very reasonable to be within one mile of the launch field.

Don

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Good Afternoon Mr. Newbie:

We're headed out to the Fiesta this Oct. Already made reservations at the fiesta grounds in Premium RV parking. Cost was $162.50 for three nights which included water & elect. NOT TOO High to be right at the grounds. Also understand it's best to purchase to tickets for entrance to the balloon field on line. Those tickets are NOT included in the cost to park your RV

Have a fun and safe trip.

Washtech aka Jackster

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We stayed at American RV Park off of I-40. It was very nice, had continental breakfast everyday, and was a great location. Took about 20 minutes to travel to the Balloon Fiesta with no traffic problems. There were several other campgrounds near there but I never visited any of them so can't offer recommendations.

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This festival is awesome. A bit of information and advice.

When you reserve your site, tickets are included to balloon field.

BUT, after the inflations are over, they close the gates to field, and the concessions are closed.

The best, is to tow a vehicle, so you can leave the site and visit and shop the area.

We have been to this festival 2 times, and had a great time. THERE ARE SHUTTLES THAT ARE AVAILABLE AT THE TIME OF LAUNCHINGS. So, even if you are at any of the sites you can get around easily. Really, if affordable, take the presidential site.

Hope you make the plans. Have yourself a great time.

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Many years ago I stayed at a KOA for the festival. They had a Good Sam package at the office which included a shuttle bus and tickets. They left the campground early and you went to a welcome tent that served coffee and doughnuts. You got there when it was still dark and that's when they light up the balloons. I thought it was a good deal.

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We just attended the balloon fiesta in October and stayed at the VIP lot on the grounds (dry camping.) Reservation made through the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta website and a three-night minimum stay required.

The presidential lot looked like a very good location but it was booked by the time we were able to get a reservation, and it is very expensive. The VIP lot is walking distance close to everything, overlooks the launch field, and one morning the balloons flew right over our motorhome so we didn't even have to leave. The next day the wind blew the balloons the total opposite direction away from us, and the third day the balloons did not launch due to weather. The weather was a bummer this year and there is nothing that can be done about it. We didn't get to see a night glow at all due to rain and wind. While others on here have stated traffic was not bad and the shuttles ran smoothly, we heard horror stories of people being backed up on interstate off-ramps who never even made it to the field in time for the launch.

There are hundreds of thousands of people in campgrounds and hotels not only in Albuquerque but also the surrounding cities trying to make their way in. If we were to go again we would only stay at the fiesta grounds, either VIP or presidential lots. Have fun!

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First time for us for the 2015 launch. Staying at the American RV Resort on the west side. Not sure what is best - bus or drive auto to make sure we make the morning launch and night launch each 4 days we are there. May, before it is over, wished we stayed on the hill and close to the launch but needed full service for big RV. We have been in and around Albuquerque many times so will take friends around the city and sites. Staying in Santa Fe for a week prior to the start of the Balloon Fest.

Shelia

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