RAINBOW RYDERS PILOTS
Scott Appelman is the founder and president of Rainbow Ryders, Inc.- the largest balloon ride business in the United States. Rainbow Ryders operates 26 balloons year round doing over 2200 flights per year. Flying over 22,000 passengers annually. Rainbow Ryders’ pilots have flown in 45 states and managed events in Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Chihuahua and Guadalajara, Mexico.
After graduating from University of New Mexico’s Anderson School of Management, Scott wanted to make his hobby of hot air ballooning into a career…. In September of 1984, Scott received his Commercial Pilot’s License, Lighter than Air rating.
In 1983, Scott established Rainbow Ryders, Inc. a commercial hot air balloon company offering rides, tethers, promotions, instruction and all sales aspects of hot air ballooning. Rainbow Ryders, Inc. has operated the Official Hot Air Balloon Ride Concession for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta since 1999. Scott has logged more than 5100+ pilot in command flight hours, 700 tether hours, and is also a special shape balloon pilot.
Scott flies ride balloons and operates corporate and promotional balloons for Rainbow Ryders’ commercial clients, which include Dos Equis Beer, Intel, Phillips 66 Fidelity Investments, NM Pinon Coffee, KOB TV-4 to name a few
Scott has held positions on the Board of Directors of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta ® (AIBF) 1986-1991, Chairman of the Board for the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau 2001-2002, Board of Directors of the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau 1993 to current. He was the originator and organizer of AIBF’s “BALLOON GLOW” 1987 through 1992, co-originator of AIBF’s “SPECIAL SHAPE RODEO” 1989 and 1990, and AIBF’s “ALBUQUERQUE ALOFT” 1991. Scott was honored with the Heritage Award from the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in 2013, and he currently serves as the President the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum Foundation board of directors.