Las Vegas Embraces Cosmic Tourism with $310 million Spaceport Project Approval


The tides of progress have been shifting the sand of the Nevada desert, paving the way for a fantastical project that might just rocket the city of Las Vegas into the age of cosmic tourism. The Las Vegas Spaceport, an ambitious and pioneering venture, has just witnessed the successful approval of its construction permits by the Clark County Commission. A $30 million runway, destined to be the launching point for thrill-seekers and adventurers daring to tread where few have gone, is now set to be built.

An expansive landscape spanning over 240 acres sets the stage for this innovative project. Just 32 miles west of Las Vegas, at the city’s perimeter with Pahrump, Nevada, the radiant vision of an airport for recreational space travel begins to take shape. The Las Vegas Spaceport, a $310 million brainchild of its CEO Rob Lauer, was first unveiled to the public during the height of summer last year.

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With an unwavering belief in the imminent reality of spacefaring technology, commercial real-estate developer Lauer passionately spoke to the forward-thinking capabilities of our time. “I am 100% convinced that the technology is on the cusp of existing to build a space plane you can fly into space in, go to a space hotel, the Moon, or Mars, and then come back in and land like an airplane,” he announced last year.

However, beyond the initial runway, the spaceport still requires a host of vital infrastructure. The grand blueprint woven by Lauer encompasses a rooftop observation deck, a passenger terminal, taxiway, a control tower, and a private jet terminal. The audacious project also includes a 20,000 square feet casino, leased to a yet-to-be-determined gaming company, along with a 200-room hotel, complete with a restaurant. Lauer aims to fund these components through equity financing.

The Las Vegas Spaceport will join an exclusive club of 14 spaceports currently licensed by the FAA, of which only two can claim private ownership. Among the private lot, the likes of SpaceX and Amazon’s Blue Origin stand out.

Interestingly, Lauer posits that, unlike the steep costs associated with traveling aboard the SpaceX and Blue Origin spacecrafts ($200,000-$300,000), the price for a seat on this star-trekking journey will be drastically reduced. Thanks to the promising advancements in technology, the cost per passenger seat could boil down to a mere $30,000-$50,000 by the time his vision fully materializes.

When it comes to the Spaceport’s location, Lauer had an unlikely response: Why not Vegas? Known for its 40 million yearly visitors and high-rolling patrons, Las Vegas is the ideal setting to amalgamate fantastical experiences with an affluent crowd. “They’re all only a 15-minute helicopter ride away,” he said. “Casinos in Las Vegas could offer our rides as a bonus to their highest-paying customers.”

The company plans to collaborate with one of the 37 companies currently pursuing FAA approval to build space-worthy airplanes. This venture is seen as not just an architectural feat, but as the genesis of a burgeoning, long-term space tourism industry. Only time will tell how this historic endeavor will unfold as we move closer to a reality where a hand of poker and a walk amongst the stars can co-exist in the City of Lights.