Autumn Aloft: where will it land next year? |

Autumn Aloft: where will it land next year?

Park City officials this week released a brief report offering details about the recent Autumn Aloft hot air balloon festival, which returned to the community in 2014 after a 20-year absence.

City Hall staffers drafted the report in anticipation of a Park City Council meeting on Thursday. Mayor Jack Thomas and the City Council are scheduled to hold a broad discussion about special events. The discussion is not expected to focus on Autumn Aloft itself but rather Park City’s overall efforts to ensure special events are managed properly.

The Autumn Aloft section of the report acknowledges the Park City Police Department received four complaints about hot air balloons landing in places that were not approved as a landing zone. It also says one hot air balloon reportedly landed in the Swaner Nature Preserve in the Snyderville Basin.

"The Department is coming up with a more detailed landing zone plan for future years," the report says.

The predetermined landing zone was along Old Ranch Road in the Snyderville Basin. Event organizers said there was not enough wind for all of the balloons to reach the location.

The report to the elected officials jibes with police logs during the event. The Police Department received the four complaints on the Saturday of the September festival. The reports were made in quick succession during the 9 a.m. hour. They were logged on Silver Cloud Court, Lucky John Drive, Lakeview Drive and Morning Sky Court.

In the Morning Sky Court case, the police were told a hot air balloon nearly hit a home and landed in the caller’s backyard. Another of the reports, the one on Lakeview Drive, involved a hot air balloon landing in a cul-de-sac.

Other notes about Autumn Aloft included in the report to the elected officials include:

  • that the event drew 2,500 people, with the crowd on the festival’s Saturday being the largest
  • parking was full by 8:15 a.m. Spectators were directed to the China Bridge garage
  • the efforts to keep spectators from parking in the neighborhood went well, with the report indicating " . . . cars parked where the barricades stopped and next year we will place additional barricades."
  • an event known as the Main Street Glow did not happen as intended on the Saturday evening of the festival. The report says a storm was approaching with strong winds. A hot air balloon on the north side of the Marsac Building was on display for approximately 15 minutes while a hot air balloon on the south side of the building was not put on display based on the wind, the report says.

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