About Us

About Us

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 is learning the art of ballooning photography. She and Bud were happy to announce the birth of their daughter, Emma in September of 2018 and their second daughter, Joey in January of 2022.

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 the girls.

Our Crew

Kevin Carty – Crew Chief

Pete Mays

Mike Bush

Lucas Sherman

“What people are saying about us”

  • star rating  Worth every penny! Was a bit nervous but no need as the team is so professional and fun. The Fall with the leaves changing was magical.

    avatar thumb Sdhaas13
    October 17, 2022

    star rating  Bud and the team were awesome, and we had the most peaceful, smooth, and beautiful ride. The views and experience were very special, and a wonderful memory for our family.... read more

    Robin M
    October 16, 2022

    star rating  This is a must while visiting Steamboat Springs. We decided to book a balloon ride during our stay in October and it was amazing. It might be the prettiest time... read more

    camil347
    October 16, 2022
  • star rating  Fantastic experience! Beautiful day, great views - and perfect ride! Bud and his team ensured the experience was flawless through their professionalism and safety consciousness — but also their good... read more

    494marihanni
    October 15, 2022

    star rating  What an amazing experience to check off your bucket list! The whole crew was excellent and very friendly. I was nervous but they put me at ease. They were fun,... read more

    danij258
    October 14, 2022

    star rating  It was truly an amazing morning. Dakota and I enjoyed it immensely. If anyone is worried about going up in a balloon due to being scared of heights......don't be. It... read more

    T5162QYmarkk
    October 13, 2022
  • star rating  Bud is a JAM UP guy and so is his crew! It was one of the greatest experiences and the views are 10/10!

    dillonc578
    October 12, 2022

    star rating  What a beautiful adventure! Bud and Stacia were so friendly, warm and welcoming. Their crew were so helpful and accommodating as well! From watching the hot air balloon go up... read more

    Julie P
    October 11, 2022

    star rating  You don't go far, just float up above the Valley and get great views. 360 degrees. Very professional crew and well organized.

    danah810
    October 11, 2022
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