Three or four bidders are expected to take part in the auction of balloons and equipment from the Great American Balloon Company Thursday morning, according to the trustee handling the auction. The company went out of business earlier this summer leaving several hundred consumers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida with unused tickets.
Prospective bidders were required to submit a 10 percent security deposit by 5 p.m. on Tuesday if they were interested in buying the six hot air balloons and their related materials.
The money raised from the auction could be used to reimburse consumers or creditors who paid the company between $175-$225 per ticket. The trustee handling the auction said the company sold at least $350,000 worth of tickets that were never used over the last couple of years.
There remain questions as to whether it's possible to raise enough funds during the auction to give consumers any kind of a refund.
"I never try to anticipate the outcome of an auction," wrote Alex Moglia, who runs Moglia Advisors, the company handling the auction, in an email to News 3. "We let the market speak as to what is the value of an asset. I would expect that if we are going to make a distribution to creditors, we will review claims for the next 30 days and possibly make a distribution 30 days after that."
Claims are required to be submitted to Moglia Advisors by 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 23. Consumers holding unused tickets should send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get the claim form necessary for any possible reimbursement.
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.