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Hot air balloon festival deflates, files for Chapter 7

Future generations may not have the opportunity to watch the silhouette of hot air balloons drifting across the South Carolina horizon. Aloft, Inc., the company that runs the hot air balloon festival, recently announced that it plans to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The announcement may not come as a surprise to some South Carolina workers, who fear that they may not be paid.

The Aloft hot air balloon festival was held for over 30 years, but attendance had reportedly waned. According to a musician who played at the festival, there had even been rumors that Aloft failed to make any money the previous year. The band that the same musician performs with recalled not being paid until weeks later in 2013, and the members are fearful that they won’t be paid at all this year. Other festival workers echoed the sentiment of the band members.

In addition to potentially failing to pay workers for this year’s festival, Aloft is also seriously behind on rent payments. The company also appears to have defaulted on the payment plan set up with the city and missed an additional payment on May 31, 2014. It is also scheduled to pay the city $30,000 in August in order to pay for this year’s festival.

Although many in South Carolina might not be pleased to see the end of Aloft’s hot air balloon festival. However, when debt becomes increasingly overwhelming without an adequate source of income, declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy can prove to be a smart and competent move. Typically, this will result in the liquidation of the company’s assets and the discharge of unsecured debt.

Source: wyff4.com, "Aloft declares bankruptcy, says event 'will be no more'", Liz Lohuis, June 12, 2014

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