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

Lucas Sherman

“What people are saying about us”

  • star rating  We had an amazing time doing this. Owner was super friendly and hospitable. Definitely worth the time and money to do it once in your life!

    Seay-Threepio
    May 16, 2022

    star rating  Bud and Stacia made our "bucket list" balloon flight the memory of a lifetime! Bud expertly piloted the balloon and kept us laughing the whole time. The views were out... read more

    We-Love-Adventures-2
    April 13, 2022

    star rating  Bud did an amazing job in piloting the balloon. He's got quite a few stories and even for locals was really entertaining. This was something on my bucket... read more

    886deannac
    April 10, 2022
  • star rating  I would highly recommend taking a balloon ride with Wild West. Bud was our pilot and amazing tour guide showing us sights around Steamboat Springs. The crew were fantastic and... read more

    panchalp149
    April 1, 2022

    star rating  Bud did an amazing job in piloting the balloon. He's got quite a few stories and even for locals was really entertaining. This was something on my bucket... read more

    Deanna C
    April 1, 2022

    star rating  Bud and Stacia made our "bucket list" balloon flight the memory of a lifetime! Bud expertly piloted the balloon and kept us laughing the whole time. The views were out... read more

    TryingNewThings
    April 1, 2022
  • star rating  Love Bud and his crew he was funny and the crew was friendly. I always wanted to ride a hot air balloon and the experience during the winter was... read more

    soniapT9973BP
    March 24, 2022

    star rating  Floating in a balloon above Ski Town USA... INCREDIBLE! The views, the mountain air, the roar of the burner blasting you up into the air. I could go on about... read more

    B7369EBamandar
    March 13, 2022

    star rating  This was my first time visiting Colorado and going on a hot air balloon ride..and it was incredible! Bud and the crew were great and truly made us feel safe... read more

    abeeky
    March 10, 2022
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