Up, up and away!
A hot air balloon business in the heart of California’s popular Napa Valley has hit the market for a cool $12 million.
But it’s not just brick and mortar. Known as “Balloons Above the Valley,” the listing comes with eight hot air balloons that accommodate 20 passengers at a time, nine vans used to meet the balloons once they land and three separate properties that total more than 3 acres, the Napa Valley Register reported.
Those three properties include 603 California Boulevard, and parcels at 5350 and 5360 Washington St., between Napa and Yountville, California.
Bob Barbarick, who has operated the business for 45 years, currently has four pilots, 32 ground staffers, hospitality team members and reservation specialists, the outlet added.
Barbarick, 75, who recently got married, revealed that he struggles letting go of his longtime business, but knows it is time and wants to do some traveling.
“I have a heavy heart,” Barbarick said. “It’s time to take the next adventure.”
Initially, when his hot air ballon business took off in 1976, Barbarick was only legally allowed to operate his business just 50 days a year, with each ride costing $45 per person, or about $241 in today’s figures.
Now, he’s allowed to have balloon rides 225 days a year with a starting cost of $269 for a one-hour ride, which currently flies about 60 people a day. It’s a pricey business to be in.
“The last balloon I bought was $149,000,” Barbarick told the Register. His first balloon only cost $6,500, he recalled.
Michael C. Holcomb, of Strong & Hayden Commercial Real Estate, is the listing agent.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.