Balloonfest Promoter Has History Making Deals, Not Paying, Tulsa Attorney Says
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa attorney says he has a warning about the promoter of Tulsa's Balloonfest. He says the promoter has a history of making deals, then not paying.
Documents show the promoter of Tulsa's Balloonfest goes by Ricky or Richard Garvie or Lyons and has had LLCs called Tulsa International Balloon Festival and Midflo.
"The reason I got involved was to help my client who got screwed over," attorney Hugh Robert said.
Robert said his client made a promotional video for Garvie and the Tulsa Balloonfest last year but never got paid the $4,800 he's owed.
"After I threatened to expose him, ‘Oh, well, I'll come down on Thursday.’ Thursday comes, ‘I'll come on Friday.’ Friday comes, ‘I'll come on Monday.’ Today's Monday, so he strings people along, of course,” Robert said.
His client still doesn’t have his money.
Records show Kansas City Aerosports sued Garvie last fall, for $10,000 they said they were promised for being the exclusive supplier for Balloonfest. Their attorney said Garvie gave them a $5,000 check but it bounced.
The attorney said they've asked for a judgment in the case.
A judge did order Tulsa Balloonfest to pay InsideOut championship, which sued for $20,000 to be a title sponsor for a tennis event. Documents say they settled for $10,000 and that Garvie paid $1,000.
A judge also ordered Tulsa Balloonfest to pay $20,000 to rent Tulsa Raceway Park for the event.
Garvie said he donates proceeds from each Balloonfest to charity, but Robert could find no record of that.
Lori: "Just a snowball estimate, how much do you think you've donated to charity?”
Garvie: "I'll have to have a look over the last three years."
News On 6 asked Garvie for a list of the charities and amounts. He said he'd send them but he didn’t.
Garvie said there's a legitimate reason for each dispute.
He said Tulsa Raceway didn't complete a road project. He said Kansas City Aerosports owes the event thousands of dollars. He said the video he received wasn't to his specifications.
He said it's hard to know about a lawsuit if you live out of state, therefore hard to respond.
Garvie said at this year's event at Victory Christian, he donated free rides to kids and said Victory collected the $20 parking fees and kept half the money. Victory confirmed the parking money.
"We've had five events this year without any issues," Garvie said.
Garvie agreed to meet with News On 6 Tuesday morning for an interview and to email documentation. He then asked to reschedule the interview and never sent documents.
Garvie did answer questions by email but forbid us from using them.
We did receive a statement from Midflo, LLC saying:
“Following a highly successful community event which raised thousands of dollars and helped so many others in different ways, we are sad that KOTV would want to focus on disputes with suppliers from previous years, given that KOTV largely ignored the event this year.
“Our Event Director Ricky Garvie has a huge heart and has created and subsidized this event for three years with little to no financial support or sponsorship. Those people who have raised disputes were in fact in breach with the previous operator of this event (not Midflo), and while that operator has tried to seek resolution in private those others have chosen to attack the event in public.
“Contracts and legal agreements are fully binding, and we encourage KOTV to ask these suppliers if they met the terms of the agreement with the previous operator of the balloon festival. KOTV attended the event in 2016 and will know that construction work at Tulsa Raceway Park was not completed, and in 2017 KOTV were asked to investigate Kansas City Aerosports regarding tens of thousands of dollars that we suspect is owed to the balloon festival and KOTV said the issue was not news worthy and a civil matter.
“The Tulsa Balloon Festival is possibly the only large event in the area that does not receive public funding or tax payer dollars. As a result, we have very comprehensive agreements in place for everything we do, and will not be bullied by people who have failed to meet the terms of their agreement.
“While KOTV focus on covering our event in a negative light, we would like to thank everyone who supported the event in 2018 and thank everyone for the super positive feedback this year.
“See you next year!”