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City of Albuquerque to name new $2.5 million Balloon Fiesta Ball Pilot Pavilion after Sid Cutter


Cutter Aviation is honored to learn that the new pavilion to be constructed at the Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque will be named after Sid Cutter.

Sid is best known as the founder of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Sid discovered ballooning in 1971. His first balloon was used as a centerpiece for a party at Cutter Flying Service. After an amazing flight with many unexpected spectators the morning after the party, Sid tapped into the “magic” of ballooning. Sid devoted the next 25 years to ballooning. Sid organized the Balloon Fiesta and the first and second Hot Air Ballooning World Championships before ceding the task to the City of Albuquerque.

Sid was the United States National Hot Air Balloon Champion in 1978 and again in 1986. Sid has been inducted into the Albuquerque Sports Hall of Fame, the New Mexico Tourism Hall of Fame, the Balloon Federation of America Hall of Fame, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Hall of Fame and most recently the FAI International Hall of Fame. In 2002 Sid was one of the Olympic Torchbearers representing Albuquerque and ballooning. Sid considered one of his greatest accomplishments to be designing and building two of the world’s largest thermal airships for Anheuser Busch. Each airship was 229,000 cu ft of pressurized hot air, larger than Goodyear’s gas airships at that time.

“The new pavilion, designed by Lee Gamelsky Architects, is intended to have a multi-purpose design so it can be used year-round for myriad events. It will feature a sloping roof system, restrooms and large garage-like doors that can be retracted, creating an “indoor-outdoor connection,” Berry said.

There is hope that the pavilion will be completed in time for the Balloon Fiesta 2015 and construction will start after this year’s Balloon Fiesta in October. The construction of the pilot’s pavilion will have a cost of $2.5 million to build.

“The addition of the building raises the profile of the balloon park, making it a more enticing locale for such things as soccer tournaments, car shows, X-Game competitions and any number of corporate events,” Berry said.

Albuquerque Ballon Fiesta - Cutter Aviation

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