The 2nd Annual Lake Havasu Hot Air Balloon Festival was a big success. You may be wondering why Jetlev Southwest participated in the festival, so I’ll give you a little background on the event and our involvement.
On March 1st, 2012, a new Jetlev Flight Center will be opening in Lake Havasu, under the name of Water Jetpack Adventure. Andrew Quinn and Garett Schwindell will be the owner operators and, in order to help them get the word out about their new venture, we brought the Jetlev out to Havasu for the weekend (January 19th to 22nd). They had a booth at the event, which was centered around the hot air balloons, but in actuality was more of a traditional fair with rides, food, games, activities and booths from local businesses. The balloons were simply provided an amazing backdrop for the event, where you could see up to 60 balloons floating through the air at any given time.
On Thursday, we met Andrew and Garett for the first time and, after making some tune-ups to the Jetlev, we got the unit in the water for some demonstration flying for the festival attendees (and some lucky Nautical Inn hotel guests). Although the water temperature in the middle of January was far from bath water, our full-suit wetsuits made it pretty tolerable.
After Dean O’Malley and Chris Herman did their demo flying, home base was set up right in front of The Turtle Bar & Grill at the Nautical Inn and Andrew and Garett strapped into the Jetlev for the first time. They both did great with their initial training and they had a lot of fun, but they also gained a new-found respect for the Jetlev R200 Water Jetpack, stating that, even with years of motorsports experience, flying the Jetlev is like nothing they’ve ever done before.
As always, the Jetlev drew a crowd. Even with the guys just working on their low-taxi maneuvers and low-level flying, people from the restaurant, hotel and festival all gathered to see what this water jetpack was all about. I’m sure there are more than a few YouTube clips floating around from the training session by now.
Friday and Saturday were dedicated to working the booth. In order to draw people in, the Jetlev trailer was parked right next to the booth, with the pack and hose set up beside it. People’s curiosity got the best of them and the natural first question we received when they inspected the Jetlev pod unit…”Ummmm, what is it?” Or “How do you drive this thing??” When people learned that the pod is actually “driven” by the jetpack, most of them shook their heads in disbelief. Thankfully, we had the Jetlev promo video set up on our flat screen TV to show people what it was all about.
When people saw the video, it wasn’t a difficult sell to get them to buy a $1 raffle ticket to get an entry to win a free Jetlev Flight Experience from Water Jetpack Adventure when they open on March 1st. In addition to the raffle tickets, there were many people who picked up the new Jetlev Southwest T-Shirt and Baseball Cap.
The event brought in a lot of potential customers for Water Jetpack Adventure, as well as a couple TV shows who want to do pieces on the new venture and a number of possible investors looking to open their own commercial operations.
All in all, a big success!