WAIMEA, Hawaii -- A new balloon ride attraction is opening for
business in this Big Island town on Dec. 1.
Paradise Balloons will offer balloon rides over the Parker Ranch
at a price of $240 each for adults and $190 for children under age
12, said co-owner Frank Reed.
The company will pay travel agents 10% commission on the
Paradise Balloons will pay its agent partners their commissions
twice a month after receiving pay from the customer, or the agent
can book the tour and collect the ride fee from the client, then
send a check to the company minus the commission, said Reed.
ride, called the Paniolo Paluna over Parker Ranch, will operate
daily in the early-morning hours starting about one hour after
sunrise, weather permitting.
The company will use three hot-air balloons, which accommodate
12 to 16 people each. Each ride will last approximately one
Included in the ride price is a champagne brunch following the
ride. Total time of the tour including the brunch will be
three-and-a-half hours, said Reed.
"We intend to have a first class operation, and we've already
sold out one week in January to a meeting planner," said Reed.
"The Parker Ranch is the only spot to my knowledge in the whole
state where you can consistently fly a balloon because it's in the
wind shadow of Mauna Kea. "And we are the only company offering a
balloon tour in the state."
Reed said the 44,000 acres of the Parker Ranch are ideal for
flying a balloon not only because there is little wind, but because
it is all ranch land with very few obstacles for landing.
"I have known about this spot for about 12 years, but it took us
12 years to convince the Parker Ranch that they should help us
develop new business besides ranching."
Reed said guests will meet at mile marker 1 on Highway 190 30
minutes before sunrise to start the tour. The meeting spot is near
the town of Waimea.
There is a limit of 36 passengers each day.
For more information, contact Paradise Balloons at (866)
887-6455 or 808-887-6455; fax: (808) 887-9487; e-mail: [email protected]; Web: www.paradiseballoons.com.