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The Strip of tomorrow: In outer space

Robert Bigelow, the millionaire who wants to colonize space with hotels -- yeah, really -- is profiled at length in Forbes. The real estate mogul is planning to expand his mysterious North Las Vegas facilities for a major push skyward:

He's building hotels. Orbiting hotels. High-tech, low-cost inflatable space stations 228 miles above sea level. If the future for humanity is in space, and Bigelow believes it is, we will need a place to stay. Bigelow made a fortune in his lifetime building affordable places to stay on Earth. In the last 15 years he has spent $210 million of his own money, and he says he will spend up to $500 million overall, in order to prove that space is a safe place for a passionate entrepreneurs. "We have a way of building stations that are far less expensive, far more safe and can be built more quickly," says Bigelow. "And the timing is right."

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As a longtime journalist in Southern Nevada, native Las Vegan Andrew Kiraly has served as a reporter covering topics as diverse as health, sports, politics, the gaming industry and conservation. He joined Desert Companion in 2010, where he has helped steward the magazine to become a vibrant monthly publication that has won numerous honors for its journalism, photography and design, including several Maggie Awards.