A Bit About Us

History

Wild West Balloon Adventures was started in 1998 by Ian Cox, a longtime Steamboat local.  Ian began flying balloons in the Yampa Valley in 1982.  Originally from England, he moved to Steamboat in 1979.  With his passion for the outdoors and an entrepreneur’s mindset, ballooning was the perfect fit for him.  Shortly after starting Wild West, Ian bought Pegasus Balloon Tours, and successfully operated both businesses with his wife Shelley for two decades.  After a few years on the crew, Bud Whitehead began flying balloons with Ian in 2011.  He and his wife Stacia bought the business on January 1st, 2018. To this day, you will still see both the “Wild West” and “Pegasus” balloons flying over the Steamboat valley.

Meet The Team

Bud Whitehead - Owner at Wild West Balloon Adventures

BUD WHITEHEAD

Owner | Head Pilot

Bud Whitehead moved to Steamboat in the summer of 1999.  At the time, he was studying recreation management and tourism at Arizona State University. He decided to spend the summer in Steamboat to beat the Phoenix desert heat and get some work experience at a hotel.  He loved the Steamboat lifestyle, came for a second summer, and then moved to Steamboat full-time after graduation.

After spending about 10 years in the local hotel industry, Bud decided it was time for a change.  Seeing the balloon in the sky from time to time inspired his curiosity and he called Ian, the owner of the balloon company to see if there were any open positions.  The next day Bud was an official member of the balloon ground crew.

After a couple exciting years of part time balloon chasing, Bud and Ian decided it was time for Bud to take his ballooning to the next level and start flying.  Bud logged his first flying hours in 2011, and now has over 1,000 hours of flight experience above Steamboat.

He and his wife Stacia bought the business from Ian and Shelley on Jan. 1st, 2018.  When Bud is not flying the balloon, he loves to play sand volleyball, mountain bike, camp, ski, and spend as much time as he can with his wife and daughter.

Stacia Whitehead - Owner at Wild West Balloon Adventures

STACIA WHITEHEAD

Owner | Marketing Director

Stacia grew up in Steamboat, getting to build snow sculptures for winter carnival and watching the balloon festival launch from the meadows during the 90s.  After graduating from Colorado Christian University in Denver, she spent a few years in Seattle.  But needing a good dose of sunshine and missing the allure of Steamboat, she moved back in 2005 and is happy to call this her forever home.

After working with the Orthopedic team in the operating room at Yampa Valley Medical Center as an Orthopedic Sales Consultant for 11 years, she made the decision to join the ballooning world once she and her husband, Bud bought the balloon business.

Stacia is the marketing guru for the business, and makes her world famous muffins for each flight. She and Bud were happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Emma in September of 2018.

Like Bud, she loves to play sand volleyball, mountain bike and camp, but prefers snowboarding over skiing.  She also loves yoga and spends as much time as she can with Bud and Emma.

Our Crew

Kevin Carty – Crew Chief

Pete Mays

Mike Bush

Jeremiah Bush

“What people are saying about us”

  •   What an amazing experience from beginning to end. Bud, Sacia, and their crew were professional, knowledgeable, funny, and made us feel comfortable, all while floating through the skies with phenomenal views! Would highly recommend for anyone visiting SteamBoat! #bucketlistchecked

    thumb Dee_9112015
    7/17/2019

      This ride is a once in the life time must do. Staff is fantastic friendly and go out of their way to make your experience grand. You will climb to over a thousand feet above steamboat springs and see some beautiful sights. All the time...More

    thumb Frtonys
    7/17/2019

      I would highly recommend. Best views and a really spectacular smooth ride. I was really afraid of heights and the crew and owner never missed a beat. I felt so secure and safe. Would count this as one of the best things I have done...More

    thumb Foodie1083
    6/09/2019
  •   We had a great experience years ago taking a flight with Wild West Balloon Adventures. So, when we vacationed with our grand children in Steamboat Springs this spring, we booked a flight for all of us. Bud was great calming the nervousness of our oldest...More

    thumb sdl21957
    6/03/2019

      Had a fabulous time ballooning over snowy roads of Steamboat Springs. It was nice and warm in the basket looking at the ski slopes. Good company, good coffee and Champagne with friends. We even got to watch a fox run below hunting for it's breakfast....More

    thumb Lynn T
    2/11/2019

      On January 10, 2019 I went on a Wild West Adventures balloon ride along with a Steamboat Springs resident who recommended that we do so. Bud and his crew were extremely professional and knowledgeable. The views were incredible and Bud made sure that the balloon...More

    thumb Rhody2553
    1/14/2019
  •   What an experience! Amazing views and fun experience with Bud and his incredible crew. Excellent commentary and relaxed atmosphere letting you soak up the awesome scenery in the Yampa Valley. Do not skip this adventure folks!!!

    thumb patcN7887QO
    12/08/2018

      When looking for things to do in Steamboat Springs The ad talked about crossing this adventure off my bucket list. I have always wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride and I thought there would be no more beautiful place in the Rocky...More

    thumb Meander251623
    9/25/2018

      I was surprised by my family for a ride on my 60th birthday. Incredible ride with an incredible crew. I cannot speak enough about the professionalism of the Wild West crew. Their attention to detail and safety was comforting since your hanging from a ballon!...More

    thumb David R
    8/09/2018
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