As a leader in the hot air balloon industry for more than 40 years, Rainbow Ryders, is spearheading the “Save AZ Ballooning” campaign to engage the community and create change for the hot air balloon community in Arizona which is in danger due to Arizona state land issues that are prohibiting all hot air balloon companies from launching and landing on state land.

Hot air balloons have been enjoying state land permits for decades and recent legislation prohibits this common practice, which puts the entire industry in danger of failure, eliminating millions of tourism dollars for the state and hundreds of jobs and priceless bucket list adventures for locals and tourists.

“We are fighting for renewals of land use permits by the Arizona State Trust Land Department and a positive solution to protect hot air balloon businesses and the balloon industry altogether from diminishing,” said Scott Appelman, CEO and President of Rainbow Ryders.

The “Save AZ Ballooning” online petition is bringing together locally-owned hot air balloon businesses such as Rainbow Ryders to garner support for hot air balloons to utilize Arizona State Trust Land for their outdoor experiences. Rainbow Ryders has safely served over 750,000 passengers, drawn both Arizona residents and visitors alike, and employs over 100 pilots, crew, and operations members. Altogether, hot air balloon operators have made an economic impact on Arizona tourism by generating millions of dollars as a tourist attraction. 

For the safety of the community, passengers and hot air balloon crew and staff, hot air balloons launch in specialized locations and can land within miles of these destinations depending on weather, wind and other outdoor conditions. Rainbow Ryders has taken the extra safety measures to renew and keep Special Land Use State Land permits active for nearly a decade to commercially operate and provide scenic hot air balloon flights in the North Phoenix area offering panoramic views of the mountains in North Scottsdale and Cave Creek, the saguaros sprinkled in the Sonoran Desert, and majestic Lake Pleasant.

The Valley’s hot air balloon companies need the community’s support and action taken to grant permits for safe launch and land zones to continue illuminating the Arizona skies. To sign the online petition or for more information, visit and follow #saveazballooning on social media.