Citing "politics with the city," the Colorado Springs Balloon Classic is leaving Colorado Springs after 38 years. This year will be the last year the annual event will be held.
"It is with mixed emotions we announce that 2014 is the last year this balloon festival will be held in Colorado Springs," Colorado Springs Balloon Classic Inc. said in a statement released on their website Friday.
"It has been our privilege to have hosted Colorado’s largest hot air balloon festival and the state’s largest airshow for 38 years in Colorado Springs."
Read the entire statement here.
The Balloon Classic gets a lot of its money through the city's sponsorship. Those funds come from the taxes the city collects from tourists when they spend money on things like hotels and car rentals. City leaders told 11 News that so many events are applying to get these funds that their application process changed and they need more details.
They say the Balloon Classic did not submit an application this year.
"We will miss them terribly, but as I mentioned we had doubled the application this year of new events that are interested in coming to Colorado Springs; nothing can replace the Balloon Classic but i do think other events will come forward," Councilwoman Jan Martin said.
Last year, the city gave the Balloon Classic $32,000 for police and fire services for the event; nearly $13,000 for barricades and street closures; and waived the nearly $3,000 park fee.
The city says they still haven't heard from the Balloon Classic organizers about their decision, and told 11 News they hope something can still be worked out.