A plan to build a resort that replicates conditions on the moon, but in Coachella, has lots of skeptics. The facts seem to support that skepticism, sadly. According to the Desert Sun, the Canadian company Moon World Resorts is basically hoping for a developer to come along and foot the $4-billion bill to build and operate the hotel. So far, “the company has little money of its own for the project, nor have developers publicly lined up eager to spend,” says the Desert Sun.
The lack of funding for the project has some experts from the area and local officials skeptical about the project’s ever being built. That incredible $4-billion price tag, coupled with the fact that no one’s really lining up to pay the money, aren’t great signs.
Another reason for incredulity: the director of the Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship tells the Sun that “while lack of experience doesn’t preclude success, the 14-year period between the idea’s inception and the Coachella announcement could be reason to think that the project would not come to fruition.” (The moon-themed hotel was originally imagined for a Las Vegas-adjacent area in 2002.)
According to a February release announcing the company’s decision to try to bring the enormous resort complex to Coachella, the MOON resort would include a 10-acre replica of the lunar surface, “incorporating an operational, fully functional and totally realistic lunar colony set within the world’s largest and tallest sphere (750 feet / 229 meters).”
It would also count a 4,000-room, five-star hotel; a 10,000-seat event center; a convention center; a science and technology campus offering “advanced degrees” (in moonology?); and a “seductive beach club” among its many amenities.
Moon World Resorts has been working with Coachella’s economic development manager over the course of four years just to try and find the right place for the massive destination. But all that hard work hasn’t convinced anyone familiar with the hotel business in the area that they’ve got to worry about impending lunar competition. A manager for the Hilton Palm Springs says that that plan is beyond impossible: “If there was a word to supersede impossible, I’d use that” to describe MOON.
Coachella’s shaping up to be quite the theme park capital—the Orlando of the West!—as it could also be getting an Aztec-focused theme park; developers turned their conceptual plans into the city’s planning department last year. Meanwhile, in the desert between LA and Las Vegas, someone is trying to build what now seems like a totally reasonable UFO-shaped hotel.