U-Ken-Do Ballooning

Northern Vermont Balloon Rides

Lake Champlain Views!

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Best Part:

Stunning views of Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains of Vermont from the air. Don't forget your camera!

Tether Rides

Tethering means, the balloon is securely anchored to the ground via a series of high-tensile strength ropes and carabiners. Then the hot air balloon ascends to a pre-determined height above the ground and crowd to a height of 50' or less. During a tether ride, passengers climb aboard the aircraft for a short ride. Rides generally last about 5 minutes, including the embarkation, ascent, decent and disembarkation. A general rule of thumb to follow when looking for a suitable site for tether rides is a minimum of 300' by 300' square feet of completely open area. When selecting an area, look for trees, towers, antennas, power lines and anything else that may damage the balloon or pose a safety risk. Also we need to have permission to drive vehicles on to the tether site. These vehicles will be used as a balloon anchor point. A minimum of three anchor points is required.

The total package includes up to two hours of tethering plus set up, pack up and travel time.* Tether time starts when the cold inflation starts. That's when the fan is turned on and the balloon begins to inflate. Our tether/promotion package starts at $2500 (plus tax) for the first two hours while the additional hourly rate drops to a low $395 per 1/2 hour. Billing for additional hours occur in 30-minute intervals after the first two hours.

*(Travel includes areas within a 25-mile radius from Swanton Vt. Additional miles are billed at $0.45 per mile.)

Site Inspection

To help clear up any questions about your location, we recommend a site inspection for tether rides and special location launches.

Deposits & Cancellations

We require a $275.00 deposit in order to book a date. This fee applies to the overall total amount due. Balance due at the completion of the tether. A $125.00 non-refundable fee applies for cancellations on your part, up to within 72-hours of the scheduled event. A $275.00 non-refundable fee applies to cancellations with less than a 72-hours notice. Other options include rescheduling, where your deposit carries over.

Cancellations due to Mother Nature

We monitor the weather very closely and require contact names and phone numbers for your event on the day of your event. Weather considerations may require cancellation, rescheduling or alternate balloon activities for your event. A $125.00 of the deposit is retained if the balloon team has not left their home base or a $275.00 known as show up fee, is retained as an appearance fee, if the activity is cancelled on location and the balloon remains un-inflated.

Early Deflation

If the weather deteriorates to the point that the balloon must be deflated, within the 1st of 30 minutes, half of the total fare of $1000 is required. Your pilot reserves the right to cancel or shorten any flight due to weather, flight conditions, or for any safety issue in the pilots professional judgment

Conditions required for a successful tether:

1. Very good weather conditions (winds less than 5 mph, with no moisture in the air). Generally speaking the best conditions for flying or tethering balloons are early mornings or late evenings. For day time tether rides during the summer the success rate drops to about 20%.

2. A area of size like a football or baseball field or any area clear of any obstacles. Mowed grassy field are ideal. Remember we need the ability to drive in 3 vehicles to anchor the tethered balloon to. A minimum of three anchor points is required.

3. Good crowd control for safety and organization of rides.


1. The balloon pilot is the final authority on whether the tether can be completed safely with the weather conditions at the time. Remember your pilot reserves the right to cancel or shorten any flight due to weather, flight conditions, or for any safety issue in the pilots professional judgment

2. Prior to coming out to the tether, the pilot will talk with the organizations contacts to see if weather conditions will permit a tether ride attempt.

3. If both the pilot and contacts decide that the weather is reasonable, then the balloon and crew will show up and show up fee will apply.

4. If the pilot attempts an inflation and a minimum of 30 minutes has past, then the rate for the first hour will applied.

5. If weather does not permit the safe operation for a balloon tether, the tethering will be stopped immediately.

6. Our equipment and procedures are designed to make the tether ride as safe and enjoyable as possible, but there are risks associated with balloon flight. Ballooning, like most outdoor activities, involves a certain amount of risk.

7. Passenger, stand during the flight, so some agility to get in and out of the balloon basket on thier own is required. If a passage requires special needs, it is up to the organization to supply the help and any equipment required to meet those needs.

8. After the balloon is inflated and safely anchored, we will provide rides to the designated guests or to the public upon your request. Rides sell normally for about $15. We can take between three and four adults per ride determined by ambient temperature and weight of passengers.

9. We also have the ability to display a basket or envelope banners during the event. If display a banner is of interest, please ask for detail, there's a separate agreement required

U-Ken-Do Ballooning
399 Country Club Rd.
Swanton, VT. 05488

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