Sumary of Blue Origin brings space tourism to tiny Texas town:
- On Tuesday, the company plans to launch four people on a 10-minute trip into space, including Bezos, his brother, Mark, female aviation pioneer Wally Funk, and Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old Dutchman and last-minute fill-in for the winner of a $28 million charity auction who had a scheduling conflict.
- “Our biggest driving force is the tourism dollar,” said Van Horn Mayor Becky Brewster.
- The town’s proximity to Big Bend National Park, the Guadalupe Mountains, an ancient barrier reef that includes the four highest peaks in Texas, and New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns also makes it an ideal pit stop for tourists.
- “We often plug ourselves as the crossroads of the Texas Mountain Trail,” Brewster said.
- While employees and contractors have been working at the facility since about 2005, Brewster said it’s just been in the last five years or so that workers for Blue Origin have started integrating themselves into the community.
- “When they were in the development stages, Blue Origin was so secretive about what was going on, their people couldn’t really socialize because they couldn’t talk about their work and things like that,” Brewster said.