Future of ‘Star Trek: The Experience’ In Doubt

Since opening in early 1998, Star Trek The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton has been the premiere live Star Trek attraction in the world. With its Trek-themed restaurant, museum, shops and rides, it plays hosts to thousands of tourists and Trekkies every year. However, the current contract is up and it looks like 2008 may be the last year for Star Trek The Experience.

The contract between CBS and Cedar Fair (current owners of The Experience) ends December 31st, and a spokesperson for Cedar Fair tells TrekMovie “there are currently no plans to renew” it. Talks are still ongoing and, although Cedar Fair is said to be happy with recent results from The The Experience due to effective cost-reductions, the attendance has been in decline for years (even after the introduction of the ‘Borg Invasion 4D‘ ride in 2004). The only ray of hope right now is that the new Star Trek feature film in 2009 may show promise of increased attendance. A final decision on The Experience is expected by the end of May.

Another possible lifeline for The Experience could be for Cedar Fair to sell it to another company and for there to be a new deal struck with CBS (and the Hilton). Cedar Fair took over The Experience, when it purchased Paramount Parks from Viacom in 2006.

If Star Trek The Experience is to close, then the current contract calls for them to entirely vacate their current location in the Hilton Hotel by December 31st, 2008. Since Cedar Fair will need time to dismantle the attraction, TrekMovie is told The Experience would likely close to visitors in September or October (if the contract isn’t renewed). At that time, all the genuine props and many of the replicas would be returned to CBS. It hasn’t been decided what would be done with the Star Trek related replicas owned by Cedar Fair, but it is possible they would be auctioned off.

A closure of the Experience would also have an impact on the annual official Creation Star Trek Convention, which has been held at the Las Vegas Hilton since the Experience opened there. Creation CEO Gary Berman tells TrekMovie that they would continue to hold the convention in Vegas (as they did for a decade before The Experience opened), but Creation would consider moving to a different hotel. Berman would be interested in getting a location closer to ‘the strip,’ but would want to ensure the new hotel offered fans prices as reasonable as those of the Hilton. If you want to be sure to see The Experience one last time (or first time), this year’s convention may be a good choice.

So far CBS (the Star Trek license holder) has refused any comment regarding the future of Star Trek The Experience. As the story develops TrekMovie will provide updates.

More on Star Trek The Experience @ The Official Site | Memory Alpha | Wikipedia

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This sucks…

I haven’t been there yet. i guess I will have to go this summer.

Third? I hope it doesn’t close.

If the Experience is to close, here’s what I think should replace it: an entire starship. We need an incredibly rich ST fan to build an entire Starship Enterprise for the fans. I don’t care if it’s the A, B, C, D, or E, or no bloody letter at all! (My personal preference would be the A).

Somewhere out in the desert near Las Vegas, one would drive in and pay (probably a lot) to get out and walk up to the immense monstrosity, enter, and simply wander around at one’s leisure, from the shuttlebay to the bridge. Everything works. Automatic doors, screens, switches, etc. Check out crew quarters, engineering… wherever… crawl in a jefferies tube. Eat lunch in Ten Forward. Elevators in the transporter room can take you in and out. Whatever–someone’s imagination is the limit. (oh, and many millions of dollars)

oh what the frak!!!!!!! i have not been there yet grrr!! ah shit gas be contiune raise this summer.. i will figure out go there next month without 2 kids… i might go myself!!!!!

My wife and I made a point of going there when we went to Vegas for our honeymoon 3 years ago. It was pretty amazing, and we would love to go back. Here’s hoping it stays and even gets better!

This is ridiculous if it closes down. The Experience was one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever had – especially for a theme ride! It’s not like we have all that many options otherwise. The Paramount parks have never really had anything worthwhile, and there’s just nothing like The Experience. I really think I may have to go again, and if so, I will have at least made personal history by having visited in the first and last years of it’s existence.

Also, Oregon Trek Geek, I’ve had that same idea for years. My family owns a currently unused farm in Texas that is nothing but flat empty land. My dream was to win the lottery and eventually build the Enterprise D out there with exactly that same concept. Of course, my idea would be to do the whole Disney-like experience where you could pick what position you would want to be and you would be trained for the position, and then you would have sims where you would actually perform your duty along with other people on board. This would be so awesome! It could be like Star Trek summer camp!

If it closes, that will be a shame. It’s obviously a great attraction for Trek fans. I haven’t been in years, but I enjoyed it!

I certainly hope that The Experience does not close. It’s a brilliant concept, brilliantly executed, in my view.

With the upcoming movie opening next year, it would be a particular shame and irony if it missed the hoped-for upsurge in popularity in Trek by just one year.

re: 4
Don’t forget the ladys!

I have spent tons of time there every time I visit Vegas. I have been four times. That place is like a home to me. I will be so sad if it closes. If you have not been there before, I HIGHLY suggest you get there. Stay at the Hilton, it is a great hotel in Vegas, and Star Trek The Experience being there is just the cherry on top. This is truely sad news.

I went to the ST: Experience…it was amazing, I was 12 when I saw it and I was enveloped by how wonderful it was. It sucks that it might go away.

Chance

Been there a couple of times, the rides are great but the gift shop really does suck! With all the Trek related products out there they have little to show for it and with all the costumes, Props, etc they should be selling some of that stuff there insted of that crappy IAW ebay auctions. They have plenty of room for it? Revamp the place some and have diffrent Sci Fi cons there other than Trek and it may draw more fans? Do a ride baised on the new movie and it may also draw more?

Darth” The Experence” Ballz

I think they made a mistake doing the whole “Borg” thing in 2004. The should have then built a replica of the TOS bridge and wrote a “plot” taking you to both. There’s a reason TOS is still so strong….I mean, hey, I like the whole TNG concept they have, but I think it would have been stronger to also have had something from TOS. IMHO.

Sooo it seems i was not the only one thinking somone should build a starship and open it to the public… I was thinking to make it like a hotel, people could stay in the rooms. THere would be full battle simulations on the bridge and enginering etc. Somone needs to do this, i know there has to be some totally rich trekkies out there.

I went there when it first opened and again last summer, its such a great time, and I really hope it doesn’t close.

Shame. I want the servo that’s in the earlier display case there if it shuts down(I wish someone would take me seriously about this once). At least I got to see the whole thing once.

I went in 2006 and was hoping to return in a year or two, I hope this isnt true…

This would be unfortunate if they indeed close it. I have been to The Experience multiple times (thanks for several business trips to the area) and it is enjoyable each and every time I’ve been there. It truly allows us fans to be immersed in this world that we so love. If this attraction closes, it will be sorely missed.

Well, I just sent the marketing section of cedar fair a polite email stating my support for STTE, even if they cannot keep it open, hopefully they can find a buyer.

(BTW, if you wish to contact them the email is: marketing@cedarfair.com and is available on their website)

It would disappoint me a little if the attraction were to close. However, this comes as no surprise to me. The Experience is long in the tooth as far as modern Vegas attractions go. The last time I went was to see the Borg ride. It was a few months after it had opened. Two observations about the visit.. I always liked everything about the first ride right up to the “simulator” part at the end. I always thought that was kind of shoddy. Since the attraction has been there for years though, they have really worked out all of the kinks and it all flows smoother than I remember. Plus, they weren’t taking this attraction as seriously as they once did. The actors were allowed to inject a little wink-wink humor into their parts. It was a little like being on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. Very enjoyable. The Borg ride, on the other hand, still had some issues. They did a great job building the sense of urgency right up until you board the vehicle. Suddenly, excited cries of “Hurry! The Borg are right behind us!” changed to a very bored “Please move all the way down the aisle and fill up every seat.” My wife and I were among the first inside. We sat for five minutes as they sloooowly loaded everyone in. The Borg in the hallway were killing time doing a hesitation waltz. Kinda killed the momentum. Still the ride film was cool. My favorite… Read more »

I can’t believe they are thinking about closing Star Trek: The Experience!

When me and a mate visited the United States in late 2004 one city we wanted to go was Las Vegas and we wanted to visit Star Trek: The Experience! We went there each day we were in Vegas. We bought countless items from the gift shop, which I still proudly display, ate at Quarks Bar and went on the Borg Invasion ride. I was amazed by all the Star Trek memorabilia on display!

It was an awesome experience and something every Trekkie should have the privilege to visit!

That is why I sincerely hope they find a way to save Star Trek: The Experience! It is something that I will always remember and it was the highlight of our trip!

I’ve been The Experience about ten times over the last six years or so. I’ve taken Trek fans and non-Trek fans alike and they’ve all LOVED it.

Even Quark’s Bar—it really is one of the best bars in Vegas.

I’m sad now.

[The] TOS Purist aka The Purolator

Let the damn thing close, it was 100% Berman / Braga TNG crap anyway. It was built back when Vegas attempted it’s futile “family-friendly” makeover, and now that failed idea has tanked, it makes sense that The Experience would tank, too.

Seriously though, VEGAS?!? They should have built it in Orlando to begin with.

This news is so disheartening. I have been through The Experience on three different occasions, spending hours each time, and enjoyed every minute. To hear that it is going to close just months before the movie premiere is absolutely mind-boggling.

Combining Oregon Geek, Josh and Craig’s ideas would be an amazing idea for the ST franchise. Suppose Paramount built and ran their own ST-themed hotel on or close to the strip. Not only could it fashion rides and attractions based on the series, but also advertise the movies and host several cons a year. Or, in line with all the other theme hotels on the strip, why not a Sci-Fi hotel which features several different types of scifi attractions, complete with 23rd century costuming for all employees, scifi-based restaurants, slot machines, clubs, etc. Who would not want to stay in a futuristic themepark hotel (featuring, of course, ST)?

All the ideas aside, knowing that my con visit this August may very well be my last chance to do The Experience again, I resign myself to enjoying it as much as possible during my stay. Frakin’ frak!

This really sucks. I’ve been there with my wife (who doesn’t like or dislike Star Trek) and we both really love it there. My wife actually insisted we stay and eat dinner at Quarks! It was great! We got to chat with a Farengi and a Vulcan! Nothing beats Pipius Claw with Sulu’s Wing Sauce! BTW, anyone know where I can’ get more of Sulu’s Wing Sauce?

I was married 2 years ago on the bridge of the Enterprise with my wonderful wife at the Star Trek Experience. It would be very sad to see it go.

I was there almost three years ago. I took my new bride to Las Vegas for our honeymoon. Sure, it’s a little cliche, but we had a good time. Got to see David Spade do his stand up routine, and got to be part of David Copperfields act.
Anyhoo, my wife is the coolest and was more than happy to go to the “Star Trek Thing” with me. The Star Trek Experience wasn’t actually much of one. It was alright, just not a memorable time. I totally forgot about the Borg until I read this article. I also took my wife to see Celine Dion (Cirque du Soleil Light) and that was way more entertaining!

I’ve been to the Experience only once back in ’01 and found the experience to be less than trektacular. The “filmed” sequences were grainy and looked like you were watching a movie with moving seats. The creators should have taken a cue from Back to the Future’s simulator at Universal to make a more, engulfing ride using an Omnimax screen and did the visuals in super clarity 65mm.

Quark’s Bar was a lot of fun. There was this Klingon woman who would NOT want to be photographed. Everytime I positioned the camera to take a picture, she’d shift positions. Now, there was this tall Klingon guy who wreaked of alcohol. He wasn’t offensive but did get in your face, who eventually went away after one of the Ferengis came up to stare at my friend’s large red nose centered pimple.

I like the idea of a “model” starship that Trek fans can visit and making it a hotel were fans could visit and stay (and in some cases, never leave) but they’ll never build one on the Strip. Real estate on the Strip is way too valuable to create a theme hotel that is so specialized without bringing in a world-class casino. That would be about the only way to offset the cost.

Well this sucks. I went about five years ago and had an absolute blast. It’d be a real shame if it closes.

That’s too bad. I guess I’ll have to make one more trip to pay my respects before it closes.

I’ve been to STTE several times since it opened. The first time was with my Dad who passed away 5 years ago. He loved trek every bit as much as I do. Every time since then, when I visit Vegas, and I find myself at the Hilton, it always brings back good memories for me…

I hope that they keep it around, especially with the movie coming out. With what we’ve heard from Nimoy and company, JJ looks to have a winner on his hands that will likely reinvigorate the franchise to levels perhaps not yet seen.

Besides, it would be a shame to tell all those actors at the Experience who took the time to learn Klingon that their services are no longer required. After all this time they’ve spent playing Klingons, they just might start acting like them! ;)

Rats!!!!! Or maybe Frack!!!!
My town has just started air service directly to Las Vegas. My wife and I thougt we would take advantage of it and go see Star Trek: The Experience (which I have never seen before but have been looking forward to for a long time) for my birthday in September. We’ve already booked the plane tickets.
I’ve never been to vegas before and I hear it’s fun but I figure it’s more fun with Star Trek.

See, if Paramount persuaded theaters to put just a five-second trailer for ST:TE in the middle of the regular trailers for is movies — say, between now and May — it might perk up business for The Experience. The problem with that is that if that happens, it’s only drumming up business for its ST:TE’s current owner of TE and, moreover, it could get too expensive for CBS/Paramount to buy even if it wanted to. The trick might be to negotiate some kind of joint venture or other agreement between CBS/Paramount and the current owner with CBS being able to buy TE at a preferential price of CBS promotes it along with its Paramount products (i.e., as a trailer). In return, the current owner would benefit from the advertising in the form of bigger business. CBS is already the holder of the license for Trek and it wouldn’t take much for it to get together to elaborate on its business relationship with TE’s owner. CBS might even promise to cut the TE’s owner a break on licensing fees if business doesn’t rise to the level both parties expect. There’s a lot of imaginative proposals that could be made to produce the kind of synergy (to use a corporate word for the day) that both these companies could use. Just a thought. Of course, Hilton has to agree to this, too. The last time I was there, I saw that they were remodeling the Trek Experience area and seemed to be… Read more »

I loved that place. I’ve been there often and will miss it tremendously.

√24. [The] TOS Purist aka The Purolator – May 2, 2008
“Let the damn thing close, it was 100% Berman / Braga TNG crap anyway. It was built back when Vegas attempted it’s futile “family-friendly” makeover, and now that failed idea has tanked, it makes sense that The Experience would tank, too.
Seriously though, VEGAS?!? They should have built it in Orlando to begin with.”

Some of us include the Berman/ Braga crap as shows we liked.
You enjoy being the Grinch, don’t cha?

the only ray of hope would be to remake reinvision TSTE. I have been there many times, usualy during the trek convention. But I must have say, its got stale, especially for fans or hotel guests who have seen basically the same thing over and over. Since a revamp would be costly, get out there this year and check it out, it may be your last.

The experiance takes a lot of room and could be divided up, more resturants and shops, that a novel idea in Vegas.

Bummer, but business is business and its all about $$$

38, they could certain revamp TE to take advantage of interest generated by STXI, including making it TOS-era. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, in my opinion.

From what we know of leaks from the production, a Corvette is involved in the new movie. Now, you and I know that, besides gambling — er, “gaming” — Vegas is all about fast cars and faster women. (There’s a whole NASCAR-themed hotel/casino right on the Strip.) Who’s to say that an attraction with content more accessible to the 21st Century viewer wouldn’t reinvigorate The Experience? They could easily build a plotline around the “antique Corvette” that will (reputedly) appear in this new movie.

A lot of Trek fans are around the age when they can contemplate buying a ‘Vette. Product tie-ins of this kind could lend a whole new dimension to TE.

Just imagine: “Star Trek: The Experience, brought to you by GM. GM: Warp Speed.”

I’d buy that for a dollar. :-)

oh frak! i’ve been meaning to go to this for ages and haven’t yet!

I’ve been to the Experience 4 times. The first few times, it was amazing. The third time, it was a little dated…. the last time… I was really disappointed. The first time we went, it was shortly after the place opened. (It as my honeymoon!) Everything was fresh and new, and the gift shop(s) were amazing! The “Admiral’s Collection” was astounding, although not affordable to a great deal of people. Still.. fun to gawk at the expensive props. It was cool to wander “The Promenade”, and look up the “windows” that gazed into space. You could picture Odo scowling down at you… In vivid contrast, our last trip…. well.. sucked. The new Borg ride was fun, but the original ride was kinda dated now. The “Promenade” was now missing the faux-second-deck. (I think the Vegas monorail station took up the space above?) Just a ceiling now, and it went from being a cool recreation of the Promenade to… well.. a plain-old hallway. The gift shops now carried low-end signature junk. With the plethora of Trek stuff out there, the selection was *really* disappointing. Quarks was still a gas, and the actors patrolling around as Klingons, Ferengi and Borg still did a great job. They kept it entertaining … especially the female Klingon accosting us… All in all, it was fun, but this isn’t a great shock. Personally, I think the “cost-cutting” measures that the new owners undertook might have backfired, and contributed to the lower attendance. Certainly, the poor selection… Read more »

Was there a couple years ago. Its a pretty tired attraction. I mean, who really thinks it would be cool to go to Quark’s Bar? I am honestly surprised it has last this long.

NO!

Where will I get my drinks!?

the experience is very TNG.. and therefore dated.. perhaps we will have a very new experience a few years from now

Maybe a move to another location is just the sort of thing TE needs. Frankly, the location has always been a bit on the cramped side for my tastes.

I’d like to see the thing move to a place where they could have a REAL upper level, with more shops, an upper level to Quark’s, etc. A Bajoran wedding chapel seemed like a natural to me, but again, not enough room, whether they’d thought of it or not.

Maybe they could take over a part of the MGM Grand…

Well, I’ll make sure I see it as soon as I can afford a gallon of fuel for m’ Tardy or an airplane ticket. My financial advisor says that will happen as soon as we switch to alternative energy. Anytime now, probably this weekend. Not to worry.

Reality: Vegas is in trouble since noone can afford to fly there at the moment… (Read: Scare tactic to make Trekkers fly out there & spend their Fed. credits…)

Advice: Believe in the Great River… the great material continuum… There’s plenty of latinum kids, it just needs to be refined and distributed in greater quantities and at a faster rate.

Next: Star Trek: The Home Experience
Grab a six pack, sit on the couch, and watch a Trek DVD.

I’ve been to Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas and it is AWESOME. Star Trek movies playing 24/7, a great restaurant, and the rides are SPECTACULAR. The Klingon Encounter was just incredible. At one point I nearly cried it was so awesome (and I’m a guy so it was THAT COOL).

It better not close, and if you haven’t been there yet… GO! NOW!

:'(
I love The Experience. I’ve been 4 or 5 times. I have such fond memories there and every intention to return. *sigh*

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