Las Vegas, a city that has long invited dreamers to indulge in its neon-drenched illusions, now eyes a new frontier that reaches beyond earthbound entertainment. The desert near Sin City is set to transform into a launch pad for the stars, with the Las Vegas Spaceport announcing its first step toward becoming a staple of cosmic tourism.

Amidst the rugged terrain 32 miles west of the glittering Vegas strip, ambition marries industry, birthing a $310 million vision. Here, on 240 acres of solitude, unfolds the tale of a spaceport envisioned to weave the fantastic dreams of space with the concrete reality of development. The Clark County Commission, captivated by the promise of the future, has unanimously greenlighted construction permits for a monumental $30 million runway.

This initial victory heralds the beginnings of a project first revealed last summer by Las Vegas Spaceport’s CEO Rob Lauer, a commercial real-estate titan reaching for the stars. “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,” Lauer proclaimed with the fervor of a pioneer on the brink of a new world.

And what a world it will be. This desert oasis plans to encompass not just a strip of pavement for future spaceplanes but a constellation of facilities: a passenger terminal to bid adventurers farewell and welcome them home, a taxiway to marshal crafts to the runway’s brink, and a control tower to oversee the ballet of departure and arrival. The scope of grandeur extends to a rooftop observation deck for guests to witness history, a bespoke terminal for the jet-setting elite, a ground school to acclimate civilians to the heavens, and a palatial 20,000 square-foot casino. The gambling haven would eventually be operated by a yet-undecided local gaming company, paired with a 200-room hotel offering respite and a restaurant to satiate the starstruck.

To bring his towering plans to fruition, Lauer, with a council that includes retired US Air Force Brigadier General Robert Novotny and spaceport sage Dave Ruppel, intends to court the siren of equity financing. Currently, the skies harbor 14 FAA-licensed spaceports, with two in the coveted embrace of private ownership. They stand as the playgrounds of titansβ€”one belonging to SpaceX’s Elon Musk, the other to the empire of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Yet the aim is not only to join this celestial club but to democratize space travel. With technology’s relentless march, Lauer aspires to price a seat among the stars between $30,000-50,000β€”a steep descent from the current $200,000-$300,000 average commanded by the orbiting ventures of SpaceX and Blue Origin.

Why, one might ponder, anchor such starbound dreams in the dunes of Las Vegas? Lauer has his gaze set on the city’s teeming flow of 40 million annual visitors, envisioning they are but a brief 15-minute helicopter journey from strapping into a spacecraft. “And how many folks do we have flying to Las Vegas and spending $100,000 on a hand of poker?” he inquires, painting a picture of a synergy between the excesses of the casino floors and the extravagance of extraterrestrial escapades, potentially offered as the ultimate bonus to the highest bidders.

However, this spaceport would not play Frankenstein to the crafts that breach the heavens; it would instead, pair up with one of the 37 hopefuls seeking the FAA’s blessing to build the spaceplanes themselves.

With the audacity of those who first imagined a city of lights in the middle of the desert, Lauer concludes, “We have a 10-year plan to build a space tourism industry here,” expressing a confidence as vast as the cosmos in which he seeks to carve Las Vegas’ next chapter of fortune and fantasy.

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Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson, a Senior Editor and respected voice in iGaming and sports, brings over a decade of journalism experience with a focus on digital gaming and cryptocurrency. Starting in sports analysis, he now leads a team of writers, delivering insightful and advanced content in the dynamic world of online gaming. An avid gamer and crypto-enthusiast, Mark's unique perspective enriches his professional analysis. He's also a regular speaker at industry conferences, sharing his views on the future of iGaming and digital finance. Follow his latest articles and insights on social media.


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