A few years ago, the Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton closed forever. If you never got to visit it, the elaborate section of the hotel was the closest we’ll ever get to a Star Trek Theme Park. There was a recreation of Quark’s Bar, a really cool 3D Borg ride/experience, and a recreation of the USS Enterprise D’s bridge that was so perfect it would bring tears to the eyes of any Trekker who stepped foot on it for the first time.
But that wasn’t the first time Star Trek was targeted for Las Vegas. Gary Goddard, who is a big theme park attraction producer who worked on the eventual Star Trek Experience, has revealed on his blog that in 1992 there were plans to build a life-sized USS Enterprise on the Vegas strip!
The “big idea” was building the ship itself at full-scale. That was the main attraction. That being said, we also knew we would have to have some kind of “show” on board. So, conceptually, it was to be a “tour” of the ship, with all of the key rooms, chambers, decks, and corridors that we knew from the movie. There was to be the dining area for the ship’s crew (where you could dine in Star Fleet comfort), and other special features. There were also one or two interesting ride elements that we were considering including a high-speed travelator that would whisk you from deck to deck. But we were really just getting into the show aspects when everything came to a head.
Alas it was never to be after Paramount got cold feet over the fear that it wouldn’t be popular and would sit there on the Vegas strip as an eternal example of their failure. Yup. They were crazy back then.