The Roswell UFO Festival has just ended, but that doesn't mean extraterrestrial-themed fun has to stop. Architect/designer Gene Frazier and businessman Thomas Armstrong are out to prove that indulging your inner exphile can be a year-round pleasure.
The pair have been working on Earth Station Roswell, a resort complex nestled in the famous city where a UFO allegedly crashed in 1947. Breaking the bank at $50 million, the saucer-shaped complex, scheduled to open in the summer of 2010, will feature a hotel and conference center with numerous attractions, including a nightly light show, a spa, an all-virtual-reality arcade, extensive grounds, and a UFO theme strong enough to make anyone want to believe.
"We really want this to be the touchstone for information about UFOs, extraterrestrials, crop circles, lost civilizations," says Armstrong, on the phone from his retail store Roswell Landing. "We want it to be the place where people can find out what’s going on in the world with these things—the latest archaeology, the latest research, the latest information."
Being pigeonholed as a tourist attraction may seem inevitable (that's what happens when you build a 75-foot-tall, 300-room hotel shaped like a spaceship), but Armstrong is passionate about the complex being a classy locus of knowledge and information.
The cafés in the complex rely on a system of underground service tunnels, the design of which, according to Armstrong, is a replica of the tunnels at the Pyramids of Giza. "There are some secrets," he says, hinting at other architectural riddles, "some hidden design elements that pay tribute to lost civilizations of the world."
The main stage of the concert hall and conference center rotates and is equipped with satellite
uplink, which Armstrong suggests would be the perfect place for the truth to be told: “Should there be
disclosure, should the governments of countries around the world decide to come
forth, we want the disclosure to happen here in