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SkyWatchers Inn & Vega-Bray Observatory on the block...

Observatory Maksutov
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#1 Chris Westland

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 04:39 PM

I was thinking of traveling down from Phoenix to this area, when I came across an intriguing notice that SkyWatchers Inn & Vega-Bray Observatory together were being sold at a $925K asking price.   

 

The description:

 

"The town of  Benson (near suburb of Tucson) adheres to Arizona Dark Skies Association guidelines for commercial and residential lights.  The observatory’s has a 20” Maksutov Cassegrain telescope, designed and built by Dr. Vega and Dr. Bray. The size and quality of its lens makes it one of the most-unique amateur telescopes in the world. The sale Includes an eclectic collection of minerals, fossils, and other items  ..... contents of the 6,000 SF building are plentiful as well as unorganized.  Also for sale at the 6,000 sq.ft teaching facility,  20+ scopes for the military, sliding roofs, multiple styles of telescopes" 

 

Sellers are a bit vague on who owns the scopes, and whether you would own them if you paid for the complex.  It opens for public auction in a month, at starting bid of $825K.  I think it has been more or less closed since the early 2000s.  I suspect if property developers ultimately buy this (to tear down and subdivide) much of the contents could be available quite cheaply to anyone who ventures down there.  

 

Plus they are selling a bunch of cottages.  It's being sold "As-Is" which doesn't send a reassuring signal, though maybe there is just no interest.

 

I may ultimately take a look myself.

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#2 vsteblina

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Posted 11 April 2021 - 11:20 AM

Do you have a link to the listing??

 

I have a place right across the valley and can see the observatory from my place.

 

Yes, there is a light pollution ordinance in the county, but Benson has gotten much much brighter in the past few years.  The observatory is located on a small knob in a nice residential area, that is transitioning from rural to subdivision.  Interesting area ecologically, not sure how it will change with all the building.

 

I did go up to the observatory once a few years ago, but no one was around.  Not sure how many acres comes with the property, but my sense is that it would be a difficult property to subdivide.  I think it does need some work.

 

Anyway, I am sure folks would be interested in seeing the link to the listing.


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#3 R Botero

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Posted 12 April 2021 - 04:00 AM

It's on Astromart:  https://astromart.co...skywatchers-inn


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#4 Chris Westland

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 04:11 PM

Thanks Roberto!


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#5 macdonjh

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 05:26 PM

...and here I am, too many years away from retirement.


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