Virgin Galactic Chooses New Mexico Hotel to House its Future Space Travelers

According to a Marcus and Millichap report, the hotel sector in the Southwest region posted, at the beginning of 2014, its best showing in several years.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor

Virgin Galactic has chosen Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces as its first official hotel to serve the needs of its elite passengers who will pay $200,000 each to travel to space from Spaceport America.

Hotel Encanto will be the exclusive Dona Ana County Future Astronaut hotel, upgrading its services to offer a premium experience. Dedicated Guest Concierges will be hired and new rooms, facilities and multi-lingual staff will be added.

Hotel Encanto has already started remodeling works, specially designed for the Virgin Galactic experience, such as guest rooms, the outdoor pool and terraced gardens, as well as the Azul Nightclub & Lounge, a 2,500-square foot seating.

The privately-funded company also announced a contract with World Class Gourmet and Chef Tatsu Miyazaki to provide catering for the travelers during the three-day training session.

“By partnering with Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces and World Class Gourmet, we further our vision of investing in the local New Mexico community while we define the Virgin Galactic astronaut experience,” said Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides. “Future Astronauts will come from around the world to New Mexico, so it’s important that they experience the outstanding local offerings and character as part of their experience.”

The hotel sector in the Southwest region posted its best showing in several years, according to a Marcus and Millichap report. At the beginning of 2014, occupancy in New Mexico has risen to 51.9 percent, 90 basis points higher than one year ago.

Room revenue is slowly regaining its strength, still behind the peak in 2008, but almost 12 percent higher in the first quarter of this year than the previous one. Transactions increased more than 70 percent, supported by the broader access to acquisition debt, while the recovery in property operations intensified bidding.

Photos courtesy of Hotel Encanto.