Interesting. So to clarify - if the tourists never leave & pay only upon arrival, the resort income is capped at whatever the design's max passengers is?
More or less, though it's not 1 credit per passenger delivered so the maximum passenger capacity of the base isn't quite the same as the maximum income that the base can generate over the course of its lifetime. Upgrading your passenger compartments should also be able to extend the lifetime of existing resort bases, though the switch from Standard to Massive Passenger Compartments requires a retrofit (Standard to upgraded Standard and Massive to upgraded Massive Passenger Compartments should not require a retrofit for the change to apply, based on how other component upgrade techs work).
therefore the max passenger # of the base more just affected the "bandwidth" of its income over time.
As far as I am aware, the passenger capacity of a Resort Base has no impact on the rate at which tourists arrive until the base fills up.
And if it is, wouldn't the base become useless (from an income perspective) once filled up?
Yes, unless you improve the passenger capacity of the base through researching the component improvement tech or retrofitting more passenger compartments onto the station*. One load of tourists is always 20,000 people, so a Resort Base has a useful service life of:
- 60 loads of tourists per unupgraded Standard Passenger Compartment
- 80 loads of tourists per upgraded Standard Passenger Compartment
- 120 loads of tourists per unupgraded Massive Passenger Compartment
- 180 loads of tourists per upgraded Massive Passenger Compartment
The default Resort Base design calls for 10 passenger compartments, so it can take quite some time for a Resort Base to fill up.
* Retrofitting additional passenger compartments onto existing bases is not something I'd really recommend over replacing filled bases, because it means that either your new-build resort bases have way more passenger capacity than they actually need for quite some time or you need to deal with managing multiple nonobsolete designs in a single role, which can be a bit of a pain. Assuming you scrap the old base when you build a replacement, there probably won't be a significant difference in the cost of a retrofit versus the cost of building a new station, and retrofitting an old base to add passenger compartments will almost certainly increase its maintenance cost unless you take things off the base at the same time, whereas scrapping the old base and replacing it with a new base of the same design shouldn't change your overall maintenance costs. Building a new base may additionally be faster than retrofitting the old one, depending on how well the freighters do at providing the resort base with the materials it needs to retrofit itself and on how big of a change you're making.