The Great American Balloon Company sold at least $350,000 worth of tickets that were never used to consumers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida.
The company that had been named as its assignee/trustee on behalf of its creditors, Moglia Advisors, reported the figure in a notice to consumers looking to get money back from the now-defunct hot-air balloon company.
"The books and records of the company are incomplete, with financial statements not having been prepared on a timely basis," the notice from Moglia reads. "A preliminary review of the records available to the assignee indicates that approximately $350,000 of unused flight ticket liability may exist, dating back through at least 2010. Other liabilities may exist."
Tickets routinely sold for $175-$225. Since News 3 first reported the company's demise last month, numerous people around southern Wisconsin have contacted us about holding tickets and having flights cancelled as many as 20 times. Some consumers say they paid up to $1,000 for multiple tickets through the company more than two years ago and never had the chance to redeem their purchases.
The notice states that "the only assets of significance are believed to be six hot air balloons and related equipment," which will be sold in an auction on Sept. 12 at 9 a.m. The Great American Balloon Company served as the parent company for Sunbird Balloons, LLC, Token Creek Hot Air Balloon Company, LLC, Windy City Balloon Port, LLC, Sky Rides, LLC and Cloud 9 Balloon Port, LLC.
Consumers should begin receiving the notice by mail or email this week. Enclosed is a form they will need to fill out and they are being encouraged to provide proof of their ticket purchase while retaining copies for themselves.
"It is uncertain at this time what the Assignee's sale will generate in terms of proceeds or whether adequate funds will be generated in order to make any distribution to creditors, whether on a pro rata basis or otherwise," the notice reads. "However, creditors are encouraged to submit their claims for any unused ticket refunds or any other amounts believe to be owed by the company to the assignee for review."
Consumers holding unused tickets should send an email to: email@example.com in order to get the claim form necessary for any possible reimbursement.