Napa Valley hot-air-balloon business lists for $12M

Comes with three parcels composed of than 3 acres and nearly 40 employees



For $12 million, you can buy more than just a lot of hot air.

Bob Barbarick is selling his business, Balloons Above the Valley, as well as the three properties it operates from, for $12 million, according to the Napa Valley Register.

At the heart of the sale is Balloons Above the Valley, which comes with eight hot air balloons, most of which have capacities for up to 20 passengers, as well as vehicles and equipment needed to run the business. That includes nine vans that are used to meet the balloons once they land, the outlet reported.

The three properties – one at 603 California Boulevard in Napa and parcels at 5350 and 5360 Washington Street, between Napa and Yountville – total more than 3 acres, the outlet reported.

Michael C. Holcomb of Strong & Hayden commercial real estate is the listing agent.

Barbarick has operated the business – which currently has four pilots and 32 ground staffers, hospitality team members and reservation specialists – for 45 years.

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When he first started the business in 1976, Barbarick was allowed to operate his business just 50 days a year in Napa Valley and rides cost $45 per person.

Now the starting cost is $269 for a 1-hour ride and the business, which flies about 60 people a day, is also permitted to have balloon rides 225 days a year in Napa Valley, with additional days in Solano County.

Barbarick, who is 75 and just got married, said he had a heavy heart selling his business, but the time is right.

“It’s time to take the next adventure,” Barbarick said.

Balloons Above the Valley isn’t the only hot-air balloon company on the market.

An unidentified balloon tour company in Teton County, Idaho, is on the market for $95,000.

The listing says the company was founded in 2002 and that the owner is retiring.

— Ted Glanzer

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