Flying high: SpaceX plans for luxury resort

Judging from an advertisement posted on its job board nine days ago, SpaceX has big plans for Boca Chica Village, the formerly sleepy retiree haven a seashell’s throw from Boca Chica Beach and now neighbor to the company’s Starship production complex and launch site.

“Boca Chica Village is our latest launch site dedicated to Starship, our next generation launch vehicle,” reads the posting. “SpaceX is committed to developing this town into a 21st century Spaceport. We are looking for a talented Resort Development Manager to oversee the development of SpaceX’s first resort from inception to completion.”

Among the preferred skills the company desires in a candidate is “experience working for high-end brand luxury development.”

SpaceX says it’s looking for someone to manage design, architecture and construction, provide a final cost and schedule for the project and implement cost controls, obtain all the necessary governmental approvals and coordinate all field work, acting in the capacity of a project superintendent. The position would also entail coordinating and confirming project specifications with SpaceX, maintaining the “quality and workmanship of the project,” resolving issues that come up during construction, tracking project changes and completing the project closeout package, documentation that verifies the project is finished and ready for delivery.

Basic qualifications for the job are a bachelor’s degree and at least five years experience in construction project management. Preferred skills also include “experience bringing teams and processes from development to production, excellent concentration and attention to detail with outstanding work efficiency and accuracy (and) strong leadership skills.”

In addition, the posting calls for candidates with experience in “developing in areas with no previous infrastructure” and who can work long hours and weekends.

SpaceX’s media office did not respond to an email asking whether development of the resort would involve razing the existing 30-plus structures that make up Boca Chica Village, also known as Kopernik Shores, or what it means for owners/residents who have not sold their properties to SpaceX. The Hawthorne, Calif.-based company has offered owners three times the appraised value of their properties in order to convince them to move.

Most by now have taken the money and pulled up stakes, though a handful of holdouts remain. Some owners have complained that SpaceX’s offers are based on faulty appraisals that don’t reflect the actual value of their properties.

Most of the residents of Boca Chica Village these days are employees of SpaceX. In addition to the original houses, a number of diminutive Airstream trailers have been brought in to house workers for what has turned into a round-the-clock Starship prototype construction and testing program at Boca Chica.

Starship is being designed to take humans to the Moon and Mars. Preparations are also underway to build the first Super Heavy booster, the 31-engine behemoth that would push Starship beyond the Earth’s gravitational pull and then land again to be refurbished and reused for subsequent missions.

So far the company has built out the Boca Chica site incrementally as operations have ramped up, without much thought to appearances, though now SpaceX is also advertising for a temporary Spaceport Development Specialist “to assist in all aspects of project implementation to build out the Boca Chica launch site as needed, including aesthetic industrial design improvements.”

Other plans for Boca Chica potentially include an offshore launch platform. On July 16 SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted that “SpaceX is building floating, superheavy-class spaceports for Mars, moon & hypersonic travel around Earth.” The company has a job posting for a Senior Offshore Operations Engineer to “work as part of a team of engineers and technicians to design and build an operational offshore rocket launch facility.” Musk tweeted on June 6 that SpaceX is considering three options for the first Super Heavy launch: Boca Chica, Florida’s Kennedy Space Center or an offshore platform.

If Boca Chica actually winds up with a SpaceX resort, the star attraction will be Starship itself. “It will look crazy tall” fitted with a nosecone and sitting atop a Super Heavy booster, according to an Aug. 7 Musk tweet. Together on the launch pad Starship and Super Heavy will stand 394 feet, roughly equivalent to a 28-story building.

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