In Recession, Hawaii to Build a "Spaceport"

Paradise is getting poorer. Visits to Hawaii are down and tourist spending is slumping 15 percent. But rather than offer, say, another honeymooners deal, the state is thinking outside the box -- er, the biosphere. It wants to build a galactic etherport to fly tourists through space. Aloha, Earth!


I believe the industry jargon for this move is gutsy. Space tickets these days go for about $200,000 -- you can reserve your own here, by the way. We are also, you have surely heard, in a recession (or not?). So it's a ballsy move, but it's also not unique. The Honolulu Advertiser reports that New Mexico is building its own $200 million spaceport and "Oklahoma, Florida and a host of other communities nationally and globally are vying for a piece of the space tourism market." Crazy loves company, I suppose.

"In principle," Conor Dougherty notes on the Real Time Economics Blog, "the economic idea behind a spaceport probably isn't much different than cruise terminals, something Hawaii is well familiar with." That's true. Spaceports aren't any different than cruise terminals -- except cruises exist, and they can be booked for less than the price of a Lamborghini Gallardo.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

Video

Is Minneapolis the Best City in America?

No other place mixes affordability, opportunity, and wealth so well.

More in Business

Just In