Sid Cutter Pilots’ Pavilion and Statue Unveiling
Albuquerque- Construction for the Sid Cutter Pilots’ Pavilion is complete and ready for the whole world to see during this year’s Balloon Fiesta.
The $2.3 million building, named after The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Founder, Sid Cutter, is designed to be a multi-purpose building that will serve as headquarters for Balloon Pilots during the Fiesta and a venue for a multitude of events year-round. Lee Gamelsky Architects designed the 12,000-square-foot pavilion that includes a festive color scheme, collapsible room partition and restrooms.
The pavilion replaced the traditional large white pilots’ pavilion tent historically used during the Balloon Fiesta. AIBF is delighted to have a permanent residence for the pilots during Balloon Fiesta.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the park that is maintained and operated by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. It now hosts more than 65 major events on the field each year.
“The pavilion is an excellent addition to the first-rate facilities and services that the Balloon Fiesta Park has to offer.” said Mayor Richard Berry. “Balloon Fiesta Park is our city’s largest park and the location of the leading tourism draw in the State of New Mexico.”
Well-known New Mexican sculptor Reynaldo “Sonny” Rivera created a 27-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Sid Cutter in one of Cutter’s favorite places- sitting in the gondola of his hot air balloon with his pet dogs.
Donations through AIBF, Inc. along with contributions from Jewel Cutter, the wife of the late pioneer, paid for the sculpture.
Voter-approved general obligation bonds from 2011 and 2013 funded the Sid Cutter Pilots’ Pavilion.