Motels on the moon is a reference to Robert Bigelow.
After many years from the late 1960s through the 1990s developing commercial real estate hotels, motels and apartments, Bigelow founded Bigelow Aerospace in 1999
In his real estate career, Bigelow built approximately 15,000 units, and purchased another 8,000. For most of his career, "he held on to almost everything he bought, but ... eventually unload[ed] much of his housing stock in the boom years immediately before the 2008 crash". In 2013, Bigelow reflected on this: "People just really wanted to throw money away, ... So that was lucky."
In 1995, Bigelow founded the National Institute for Discovery Science to research and advance study of various fringe sciences and paranormal topics, most notably ufology. The organization researched cattle mutilation and black triangle reports, ultimately attributing the latter to the military. The institute was disbanded in 2004.
Bigelow has indicated that he plans to spend up to US$500 million to develop the first commercial space station, the amount that NASA expended on a single space shuttle mission.
Bigelow Aerospace has launched two experimental space modules, Genesis I and Genesis II, and has plans for full-scale manned space habitats to be used as orbital hotels, research labs and factories.
Bigelow's BEAM module was launched to the International Space Station on April 8, 2016, on the eighth SpaceX cargo resupply mission.
In 2013, Bigelow indicated that the reason he went into the commercial real estate business was to obtain the requisite resources to be able to fund a team developing space destinations.