The famous winged TWA terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport came out of its decades-long retirement Wednesday with a new life as a luxury hotel.

“How beautiful is this?” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony opening the $268 million project.

The Finnish architect Eero Saarinen didn’t have a hotel in mind when he designed the futuristic structure that opened in 1962.

The TWA terminal at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport comes out of retirement to open as a hotel, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
The TWA terminal at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport comes out of retirement to open as a hotel, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Those were the heady jet-age days of the first space flights and President John F. Kennedy’s promise of a moon landing.

Now, developer Tyler Morse hopes the proximity to the tarmac will draw travelers who don’t want to fight nightmarish city traffic to catch their flights.

Guests will pay about $250 a night for that privilege in 512 rooms with noise-dampening windows adjacent to JFK’s Terminal 5.

Visitors arrive in the main lobby of the TWA Hotel at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Visitors arrive in the main lobby of the TWA Hotel at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

For longer layovers, the hotel has six restaurants, including one operated by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. One of its eight bars is housed inside a vintage TWA aircraft Morse said was once purchased and used by South American drug dealers.

The hotel also features a 10,000 square-foot observation deck with a pool.

Kennedy is catching up with other international flight hubs that have hotels. Right now, most options are either a few budget accommodations in a few hotels in a neighborhood near the airport, or a very long train or cab ride all the way into the city center.

A room at the TWA Hotel at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport has a view of the Eero Saarinen-designed terminal, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A room at the TWA Hotel at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport has a view of the Eero Saarinen-designed terminal, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

New York’s aging airport, which is itself undergoing a $13 billion renovation, was home to TWA until the airline went out of business in 2001 and was absorbed by American Airlines.

A lone TWA sign still marks its winged, white former terminal that remains a bold, elegant example of mid-20th century design.

Susan Meekma Stevens holds a photo of herself when she was hired by TWA at the newly opened TWA Hotel at New York's John F. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Susan Meekma Stevens holds a photo of herself when she was hired by TWA at the newly opened TWA Hotel at New York’s John F. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
People meet in the Paris Cafe during the opening of the TWA Hotel at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
People meet in the Paris Cafe during the opening of the TWA Hotel at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Tables are set for visitors in the Paris Cafe during the opening of the TWA Hotel at New York's John F. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Tables are set for visitors in the Paris Cafe during the opening of the TWA Hotel at New York’s John F. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A vintage telephone and notepad are placed in a guest room for the opening of the TWA Hotel at New York's John F. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A vintage telephone and notepad are placed in a guest room for the opening of the TWA Hotel at New York’s John F. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A room at the TWA Hotel at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport has a view of the Eero Saarinen-designed terminal, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
A room at the TWA Hotel at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport has a view of the Eero Saarinen-designed terminal, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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