Party Industry Hardest Hit by Helium Shortage - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Party Industry Hardest Hit by Helium Shortage

Leslie Theiss, Field Office Manager for the Bureau of Land Management in Amarillo Leslie Theiss, Field Office Manager for the Bureau of Land Management in Amarillo
Terry Bogey, of Party America, Terry Bogey, of Party America,

The party industry is feeling the effects of a global helium shortage, and it's only expected to get worse. 

"It's been a big surprise to all of us because no one expected this to happen," said Leslie Theiss, Field Office Manager for the Bureau of Land Management in Amarillo. 

 Theiss says global demand for helium continues to suck out the supply of helium from the United States. 

In the Panhandle, the only helium plant still in operation by the federal government is the Exell Plant near Dumas.  

The federal government decided to get out of the helium business in 1996 with the Helium Privatization Act, according to Theiss.  By 2015, the hope was that the private industry would step up to the plate and take over many of the plants already managed by the government. 

"That's not happening, they've not been able to bring new sources and supply online fast enough, the demand is rapidly outpacing everything else," said Theiss.  

 And that increasing demand is making it hard for party businesses to get the helium they need to fill balloon orders. 

At Party America, Terry Bogey says she was told she better stock up before prices go up. 

"You just don't want to run out, so I'm paying a rental thing for my helium tank," said Bogey. 

Prices haven't gone up yet, says Bogey, but she expects them to in the very near future.  When that happens, she'll raise the price of balloon by about 9 to 10 cents.

"When I feel it enough, then they'll feel it.  Cause it's not a non-profit organization," said Bogey. 

But party stores are not the only ones who use helium.  Everyone from the computer industry, hospitals, and NASA use the gas. Unless other countries start producing their own helium, Theiss doesn't see the situation getting any better. 

"People are upset by the balloons, but you can live without them if you have to. But when it hits the medical industry, or in your computers that you use all the time, then folks will care," said Theiss. 

"We may have to go up, and if people really want the balloons they'll pay, just like if you want to drive your car, you're going to have to pay more," said Bogey. 

  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • Going for the gold: Four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the national games

    Going for the gold: Four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the national games

    Thursday, June 21 2018 11:40 PM EDT2018-06-22 03:40:09 GMT
    Dozens gather to celebrate the four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the USA Games / Source: Advo CompaniesDozens gather to celebrate the four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the USA Games / Source: Advo Companies
    Dozens gather to celebrate the four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the USA Games / Source: Advo CompaniesDozens gather to celebrate the four Special Olympics athletes chosen for the USA Games / Source: Advo Companies

    Four athletes will represent the Panhandle in this year's Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle for the first time in nearly two decades. To commemorate this honor, the community gathered today to give the athletes a special send-off. Law enforcement led the way as dozens lined 45th Avenue to send our champions off in style.  The send-off party continued with a pep rally packed with fans who wanted to shower three powerlifters and one bocce player with love and support. ...

    Four athletes will represent the Panhandle in this year's Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle for the first time in nearly two decades. To commemorate this honor, the community gathered today to give the athletes a special send-off. Law enforcement led the way as dozens lined 45th Avenue to send our champions off in style.  The send-off party continued with a pep rally packed with fans who wanted to shower three powerlifters and one bocce player with love and support. ...

  • Protecting your dogs in the summer heat

    Protecting your dogs in the summer heat

    Thursday, June 21 2018 10:19 PM EDT2018-06-22 02:19:35 GMT
    Breeds with flat faces like French Bulldogs are at a higher risk but any breed can easily heat up to the point of danger. (Source: KFDA)Breeds with flat faces like French Bulldogs are at a higher risk but any breed can easily heat up to the point of danger. (Source: KFDA)

    It's the first day of summer and veterinarians are asking you to be mindful of your pets in the summer heat.

    It's the first day of summer and veterinarians are asking you to be mindful of your pets in the summer heat.

  • Amarillo police searching for suspects in break in, shots fired

    Amarillo police searching for suspects in break in, shots fired

    Thursday, June 21 2018 11:44 AM EDT2018-06-21 15:44:56 GMT
    Source: KFDASource: KFDA

    Amarillo police are searching for suspects who fired shots at a homeowner in the 4400 block of Evelyn Street on Wednesday. 

    Amarillo police are searching for suspects who fired shots at a homeowner in the 4400 block of Evelyn Street on Wednesday. 

Powered by Frankly