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.