ìWe have a wonderful resource here that we can utilize,î said Pitt.
Rotarians heard about booming businesses in Davis County, a number that has now reached more than 6,000. But Pitt said the island is a natural recreation area that many in Davis County havenít even been to. When he asked if anyone from Rotary had been to the west side, very few raised their hands.
The west side is where the balloons launch during the stampede. ìIt is absolutely beautiful out there,î said Pitt.
He also said talking with the pilots themselves was one of the most fascinating things heís done. ìSome of these pilots have flown all over the world,î said Pitt. ìThey know about Antelope Island.î
Pitt told Rotarians to spread the word about the stampede. During the event, $10 will get you in to see all the launches, which happen at dawn and dusk each day. Last year, the county hosted a kind of fair while the balloons went up, but Pitt said this year will be different.
ìPeople come to see those balloons take off,î he said. ìThey love to watch the balloons, and they come for the balloons.î
There are also tethered rides at about 400 feet people can pay to enjoy. Pitt said most balloons will fit two or three people, plus the pilot.
The event itself is hosted by the Davis Chamber of Commerce and the Davis Convention and Visitors Bureau each year, with this being the second annual stampede. Pitt told Rotarians the first was more of a test stampede, and Pitt said it was successful. He said that the chamber and Barbara Riddle from the Visitors Bureau both agreed that the stampede would be one of the big events for Davis County.
Pitt told Rotarians that last year saw about 1,200 vehicles, averaging four people per vehicle. ìIt is growing, and we want to encourage families to come out,î he said.
He said aside from the balloons, there is plenty to do on Antelope Island. He talked about the wildlife that people canít see anywhere else. There are also bike trails, tours and other activities available.