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A $700-per-night stargazing resort is coming to Colorado. Is there enough space — and demand — to support it?

One San Luis Valley campground owner says Alamosa County acted too quickly in permitting new businesses, leading to a chain store effect that has them and others “rolling the dice.”

Ranges near Blanca Peak and surrounding mountains are seen Sept. 9, 2023, northwest of Blanca in Alamosa County, where new developed camping options are popping up for visitors wanting to take in solitude and the stars. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun via Report for America)

Gamal Jadue Zalaquett was burned out by the tech world at an age when most people are just kicking their tech careers into gear. So in 2020, the then-29-year-old from Miami went on a pilgrimage to the San Luis Valley, where he fell in love with the land and the history.

“It was the Native American history, you know, then I got into the history of Crestone,” he said. “Then the Great Sand Dunes and how long it took to establish (the national park and preserve). And I was really mind blown by the pristine rural area.”

But when he learned a record 600,000 people visited Great Sand Dunes in 2021, and that friends had turned a house they bought for $90,000 into a short-term rental going for $200 a night, and that the national park had only two surrounding “resorts” as opposed to “Zion, Yellowstone and Joshua Tree that have so many,” he decided to start making investments.

On April 8, he broke ground on Kosmos Stargazing Resort just outside Alamosa, promising a “celestial retreat like no other” replete with pricey amenities for sky watchers — provided he can lure investors to help raise the estimated $15 million it will take to complete the resort.

Jadue Zalaquett envisions 22 glass-domed “stargazing” villas, each with a stargazing spa, constellation dome and observatory, commanding $700 to $1,200 per night. If guests were to tire of solo stargazing they could head to the cryotherapy spa, the greenhouse or planetarium for a “star party.”

Written by Tracy Ross

Posted at: https://coloradosun.com/2024/04/15/colorado-stargazing-resort-alamosa-county/