New Mexico town eyes economic lift-off from Virgin Galactic space launch

12 July 2021 | International

NAMPA/REUTERS

NEW MEXICO

As the first passenger rocket plane gears up for take-off, a sleepy desert town near Spaceport America in New Mexico is hoping for a lift-off from tourism.

The oddly named town of Truth or Consequences, 30 miles from the launchpad, relies on its hot springs, healing waters, and nearby Elephant Butte reservoir for its livelihood.

But tourism has evaporated with the drought, which brought the reservoir's water level toward record lows. Residents of TorC, as they call it, are looking skyward for relief.

"This is real pioneering stuff, opening up the heavens to the entire world," said town manager Bruce Swingle, who is organising a watch party on Sunday for Richard Branson's launch of Virgin Galactic Holding Inc's space tourism flight.

The town never expected the lion's share of revenue from activities around Spaceport America, but rather a steady stream that would grow alongside the launch facility, he added.

When Val Wilkes and her wife Cydney bought a motor lodge a decade ago, she named it the Rocket Inn.

"I've always been a science fiction fan and I love living around the corner from where science fiction is becoming science fact," she said.

Motel bookings have improved as pandemic curbs have eased, and will keep rising throughout the town, she said. Las Cruces, New Mexico, about 80 miles south, with its direct route to

Spaceport America, will have little impact, she added. "If people want to come to our town, they'll come."

One thing that has not been rising is the reservoir, originally built for the agricultural industry, but has become a major draw for tourism in the town of 5,800. Recreational activities include boating, fishing and camping.

Built from 1911 to 1916, the Elephant Butte reservoir was once 44 miles (70.81 km) long and 11 miles across. However, after years of drought, the man-made lake is now an estimated 18-20 miles long and 5 miles across.

Rings around the edges show where the water once rested, and Phil King, an engineering consultant for the Elephant Butte Irrigation District said the high-water mark was last reached in

1995.

Similar News

 

Cabinet instructs home affairs to repatriate Burundians

2 days ago - 26 July 2021 | International

NAMPAWINDHOEKCabinet has directed the immigration ministry to enter into an agreement with the Burundian government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) which...

Ethiopia's Amhara boss urges residents to fight Tigray rebels

2 days ago - 26 July 2021 | International

AFPADDIS ABABAEthiopia's Amhara region on Sunday called on all armed residents to mobilise for battle against rebels from conflict-hit Tigray, calling it a "survival campaign",...

SA ramps up vaccine drive

2 weeks ago - 12 July 2021 | International

NAMPA/APJOHANNESBURGSome in wheelchairs, others on canes, hundreds of South Africans waited recently on the ramps of an open-air Johannesburg parking garage to get their Covid-19...

China vows retaliation after US blacklists companies

2 weeks ago - 12 July 2021 | International

NAMPA/APBEIJINGChina on Sunday said it will take “necessary measures' to respond to the UD blacklisting of Chinese companies over their alleged role in abuses of...

New Mexico town eyes economic lift-off from Virgin Galactic...

2 weeks ago - 12 July 2021 | International

NAMPA/REUTERSNEW MEXICOAs the first passenger rocket plane gears up for take-off, a sleepy desert town near Spaceport America in New Mexico is hoping for a...

Germany to donate all remaining AstraZeneca vaccines in Aug

2 weeks ago - 09 July 2021 | International

NAMPA/REUTERSBERLINGermany will give all its remaining doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to less developed countries in August, the government decided on Wednesday.The cabinet decided...

Exiled Turkish journalist attacked in Germany

2 weeks ago - 09 July 2021 | International

NAMPA/APTURKEYA Turkish journalist, who is critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government and has been living in exile in Germany, was injured after being attacked...

Chinese port city Qingdao launches fight against algae bloom

2 weeks ago - 09 July 2021 | International

NAMPA/APBEIJINGThe northern Chinese port city of Qingdao has deployed thousands of boats and powered scoops to deal with a massive algae bloom that is threatening...

Namibia, Angola set up livestock fence committee

1 month - 28 June 2021 | International

NAMPAWINDHOEKNamibia has set up a technical committee that will work with the Angolan counterparts to construct a livestock fence along the Namibia-Angola border.According to a...

Why China is getting tough on crypto

1 month - 22 June 2021 | International

AFPBeijingCryptocurrency prices have fluctuated wildly in recent weeks as China intensifies a crackdown on trading and mining operations.On Monday bitcoin slumped more than 10 percent...

Latest News

Fighting the fire of discontent

21 hours ago | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – Although Namibia shares a similar volatile cocktail of high inequality, poverty, unemployment, corruption and waning trust in political powers than South Africa,...

Livestock marketing gaining momentum

21 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUDue to the unavailability of animals in the market for the month of April 2021, there was a massive decline in the number of...

Covid: Come to work even...

21 hours ago | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATIThe health ministry has ordered its staff members in the north to...

African central banks to hold...

21 hours ago | Economics

VUYANI NDABAMajor sub-Saharan African central banks are expected to keep interest rates on hold this week as the region's recovery lags the rest of the...

EDITORIAL: ACC reappointments discouraging

21 hours ago | Opinion

First things first: No sitting president should be appointing the anti-corruption boss in any constitutional democracy. It compromises ethics, impartiality and – perhaps most importantly...

Taxing ­rendering ­services outside ­Namibia

21 hours ago | Business

Stefan SwartzHave you and your employer been in a position where the services you perform, as part of your trade, had to be performed to...

Africa demands local production of...

21 hours ago | Economics

Global pharmaceutical firms should license production of Covid-19 vaccines in Africa rather than just do piecemeal contract deals, an African Union special envoy has said.By...

Crash near Henties kills govt...

21 hours ago | Accidents

Staff Reporter Henties Bay A 49-year-old man died in an accident on the C-34 road yesterday.According to the Namibian police’s Erongo commander...

AstraZeneca keeps eluding Namibia

21 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKGovernment has expressed serious concern with the perpetual delays of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine delivery, which has now put the...

Load More