South Texas cities going after SpaceX tourism dollars

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South Texas cities are rebranding themselves amid unprecedented SpaceX-fueled space tourism.

STARBASE — On a gravel road less than 4 miles from the Starship launch site, a row of SpaceX “millionaire mansions” are rising next to private outposts where people pay to camp along the Rio Grande to watch liftoffs. One of the sites, Keith Reynolds’ Raptor Roost, drew 75 people for the most recent launch, more than doubling the occupancy from Starship’s last flight in November.

Tourists streaming into South Texas for a chance to see first-ever orbital launch of SpaceX Starship As with the first two, Starship’s third launch was a boon for businesses across the region — and an apparent turning point in the evolution of SpaceX in South Texas. As launches become more regular and successful, the race among South Texas cities to nab space tourism dollars is ratcheting up. Some signs of their efforts are easy to spot.

Launching success: SpaceX Starship fans boost Rio Grande Valley businesses Now, they’re looking at how to expand their reach with SpaceX online influencers who have vast followings. Many of them already have a presence around Starbase, so they are good conduits for marketing. “I think SpaceX reaches such a global market it’s our opportunity to build brand awareness for South Padre Island,” Henry said. “You got to get them to Texas first.


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