The light and sound shows presented as part of the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas attracts many visitors, meaning that the venture has done exactly what was asked of it when it was conceived in the 90s.
Except the neon-drenched canopy looks positively dreary alongside another plan to reinvigorate the area, one which has only just been revealed after being kept secret since its inception in 1992.
According to entertainment design firm The Goddard Group, a project to build a life-size Starship Enterprise from Star Trek was green-lit prior to the Fremont Experience getting the go ahead, but the plan was nixed at the last moment by then head of Paramount, Stanley Jaffe.
In a blog post on The Goddard Group’s site, Gary Goddard explains this incredible idea. The Enterprise would appear to be in “dry dock,” and would offer visitors a tour of the ship they knew and loved from the TV series and movies.
Inside a “high-speed travelator” was being discussed to take people between levels, along with recreations of the bridge, corridors, living quarters and a functioning Starfleet banqueting hall. Ultimately, the team wanted to include as many features and locations seen in the show, so although they’re not mentioned, it’s almost certain that the famous transporter room would have made it in, alongside the engine room and possibly, even a recreation of the ship’s shuttle The Galileo.
With five months of preparation, concept drawings, the unspoken approval of the redevelopment committee, Las Vegas’s Mayor and Paramount’s licensing division, plus a $150 million budget all in place; all that had to be done was convince Paramount’s decision maker: Stanley Jaffe.
Goddard describes a “spirited” meeting that he’ll never forget, but Mr. Jaffe wasn’t convinced, and feared that should it be a failure he didn’t want to be the one responsible for its approval. Just like that, the dream of building a full scale NCC-1701 USS Enterprise in Las Vegas, was gone.
To be classed as life-size, a recreation of the ship would have been around 650 meters long, 240 meters wide and 80 meters tall, and those arriving at the city by air would have seen it as they came into land. Almost every Star Trek fan in the world would have visited, many more than once.
It was an insane plan for an insane city, and one which would have perfectly suited its love of all things over-the-top. How unfortunate it never became reality.