ST: The Experience Update – Talks Still Ongoing

Last month TrekMovie reported that the contract for Star Trek The Experience in Las Vegas was up at the end of this year and it was not clear if it would be renewed. At the time it was believed a decision would be made by the end of May, however sources tell TrekMovie that talks are still ongoing and the future is still undetermined.

Movie may have impact
Over the last year TrekMovie has received reports from sources varying from “it’s dead” to “it’s saved” so it is hard to really nail down what is going on. But the fact that talks are still ongoing is a positive sign. Apparently the fact that 2009 is going to be a big year for Trek with the new feature film along with all the marketing and merchandising is a big factor. According to a couple of sources, one possible scenario being floated is for the contract to be extended for a short period. However talks are very complicated with multiple parties including CBS, Paramount, Cedar Fair, the Las Vegas Hilton and others.

Regardless, a decision must be made fairly soon. A Cedar Fair executive in Las Vegas tells TrekMovie “by the of June we have to know one way or another.” Apparently they will need to close the venue down sometime in September if the contract is not renewed. This is due to the fact that the contract calls for Star Trek The Experience to totally vacate the Hilton by December 31st, 2008. However, TrekMovie is told that The Experience will definitely be up and running during the August Star Trek Convention regardless of any decisions.

TrekMovie will continue to monitor the situation with Star Trek The Experience and will hopefully have a report in early July regarding the future.

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June 18, 2008 12:27 pm

Keeping the ol’ fingers crossed. It’s a fun place.

June 18, 2008 12:28 pm

First, best of luck STTE!

June 18, 2008 12:52 pm

Best thing ta’ do is cut tha’ budget.

Get rid of all tha’ fancy techno crap and costly attractions and just have folk sit in a reclining chair, staring at tha’ spinny light wheel in tha’ ceiling. Guy on microphone tells them they be havin’ a bonny time.
Success! They tell thar’ friends ta’ go!


June 18, 2008 12:53 pm

This place is the mecca for Star Trek fans IT better not close down!

The Chad
June 18, 2008 12:57 pm

I’m planning a trip at the end of this month because of the fact that it may be closing down.

June 18, 2008 1:12 pm

Is there anyone/anywhere to petition to keep it going?

June 18, 2008 1:30 pm

Please check the startrek,com forums under the Attractions/Conventions section. We have information on that page that might help.

June 18, 2008 1:42 pm


I don’t think a petition will work. They need bodies buying tickets and souvenirs and sittin their butts in the captain’s chair for a photo-op.

June 18, 2008 1:52 pm

You said it #8 Jim. Exactly right. They dont need wishful watchers from across the country/world. They need people to visit.

In the meantime you might supporting it by purchasing something from their online store. They have some cool t shirts there that dont seem to be available anywhere else on the web.

June 18, 2008 2:17 pm

I’ll be there Aug. 9th!

June 18, 2008 2:22 pm

I’ve been watching ST since about 1976, and I’ve seen the Experience once. That’s part of the problem – it’s a “been there, done that” experience. Just got back from Vegas, and at least the back end of the Experience does not look like its changed much in ten years…..

On the other hand, Knotts Berry Farm, another CF property, is looking a bit tired, too.

June 18, 2008 2:31 pm

I’ll join the rest of you in crossing my fingers. I hope the upcoming Trek movie does so well that Star Trek: The Experience gets a long, long extension so that you can all get a chance to see it. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had with anything Star Trek related.

June 18, 2008 2:42 pm

I must admit that I’ve never been to STTE. I’ve never had the opportunity to go to Vegas for any reason. No doubt the movie is having an influence on their decision-making, but I have to say, unless they decide to hold some big movie-related event at STTE, or tweak it so that it’s more Trek 09-oriented, I don’t see it making much of a difference.

June 18, 2008 2:43 pm

It is a remarkable thing. Hope it’s around forever.

June 18, 2008 3:17 pm

please dont close down i have not even been there yet , come on !!! And yea maybe they should just tweak it to tie in with the movie , like a big movie premier party , maybe get rid of one of the rides (even if they do both look cool) and bring in a new one that realates to the movie

June 18, 2008 3:27 pm

This world better prepare, because Star Trek is coming in 2009!

June 18, 2008 4:56 pm

I was at ST:TE just a few weeks ago and the story I heard from an employee was that the real stumbling block at this point is the Las Vegas Hilton. They just aren’t sure the attraction brings in enough money to be profitable.

I guess that’s kind of hard to do since there’s absolutely NO advertising for the attraction anymore. No cab signs, no bill boards, no monorail cars…nuthin.

June 18, 2008 5:19 pm

i was sooo tired of this! no one know for sure until end of may. oh come on…

June 18, 2008 5:19 pm

RE: #17

I thought there was a monorail car, last time I was there (my honeymoon in July, 06) one of the trains on the monorail was borg themed, and was pretty much a big trek billboard.

2 months ago I took a connecting flight through Vega$, and in the airport there were tons of signs for ST:TE, not to mention the videos to help you get through the security checkpoints depicted a Klingon attempting to get through security, I’d say there’s advertising there still.

I do hope the attraction stays open, I was planning a trip to Vegas and that was (as always) top of my list of things to do in Vegas, as I’m not much for gambling.

June 18, 2008 5:42 pm

I’m sure Tim Grifterzeal and the fine folks at Sly-Ly Studios and TrickUNitely will be along shortly to announce they’re in serious discussions with the bellhop at the Helton to extend Star Trek: The Experience via a new webisode-extravaganza known as Fes(arius)ConUSA.

Seriously though, when I was in Vegas in the summer of 2005, this was the only place I visited. The exhibit is grand… the store pathetic. If they’d really make that store more, erm… knock-your-socks-off, then there’d be a reason to go back more.

The casino floor adjacent to the Experience could really stand to be a bit more “connected”… why not some slots that have Science Fiction themes, or even some “classic” gaming like Sci Fi pinball games and the rest. I mean, people will easily drop a dollar in to play some classic restored games, and they’ll make just as much as slots that have nothing to do with the theme.

I think another part of the problem is that it’s too much TNG/DS9/VOY era… maybe a bit of “reimagining” along with ST09 and a “lightening” of the set could help. It’s just too damn dark there, too.

Orb of the Emissary
June 18, 2008 6:24 pm

PLEASE keep The Experience open! Star Wars fans have The Skywalker Ranch and Stargate fans have Stargate: SG-3000 rides at Six Flags! What will Star Trek fans have if The Experience goes down??

June 18, 2008 6:24 pm

I have been wondering about this, Im planing on going sometime between Aug 1-4th.

June 18, 2008 7:12 pm

You can get inexpensive Experience tickets at this site…

I think its like 1/2 off the normal price of admission.

capt mike
June 18, 2008 7:53 pm

theres so much to do at the experence. Like Quarks bar and grill. You can have a drink or luch or dinner. I loved the warp core breach. what a drink that is. Yes there is all kinds of advertising there for the experence. At the airport it show klingons trying to get through security with there big knives and cabs do still have there signs up and in the las vegas magazine they have articles on the experence. I know about this because i lived there from march of 05 to just last summer and when i went back to visit last month.It’s a kool place to visit or just to go for lunch and talk to all of the people in full costume and argue with the ferengie about the paying to high a price for admission or about how another one cheated you. the actors love doing that as it realy makes you feel like your in the 24th century. but beware the borg because they may try and assimalate you while your having lunch.

June 18, 2008 8:03 pm

#19: All the advertising they had done previously that I mentioned is GONE. The monorail car has been redecorated, the billboards are gone and the ads at the airport were conspicuously absent.

I was just there three weeks ago.

Jim Nightshade
June 18, 2008 9:01 pm

Well sounds like they already made their decision then if all the ads have been pulled everywhere….When I was there when the monorail first opened the Borg Car actually got taken over by BORG who announced as you got closer to the Hilton that They would add your Technology to their whole etc….it was fun to hear the borg and I took my parents then. It was awesome….I am glad I got to take my parents there once and show them the Vegas I like before they got too old to travel….I was most recently there New Years before last….and we got to meet Beverly Washburn, who was the female crew member who died of old age in that classic tos episode…I love the cast and crew at ST The Experience. They are easily the best thing about the attraction. April is one of my faves…I will miss them all terribly if they close and then there would be NO REASON for me to go to the Las Vegas Hilton at all. So If the Hilton knew what was good for it it would want to keep it. Maybe we should all send e mail to the Hilton….

June 18, 2008 9:19 pm

It’s a lot of fun. Lots of original props. They’ve got the original servo. Go everyone.

June 18, 2008 9:31 pm

My friends and I LOVE the experience. Four of us took a trip to Vegas back in January. As a life-long Trekkie, I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. It is MECCA for Trekkies. The props, the gigantic models (which btw, no pictures do justice), the whole atmosphere! Though our female friend kind of wanted to die after going through the rides and the museum, she loved Quark’s! How could you not love all that well presented alcohol? She liked it so much we all went back to Quark’s again before our plane left that last night. It was definitely a huge highlight of our trip, so I really really hope they keep it open! Otherwise thats less incentive to go to Vegas again.

Captain Robert April
June 18, 2008 10:23 pm

I guess the emphasis now should be on finding another site, preferably on the strip.

June 18, 2008 11:01 pm

26. Jim Nightshade, in the case of something so fan-oriented as STTE, money will speak louder than a whole horde of e-mail.
29. Space on the Strip is prime real estate. STTE would have to draw in massive amounts of people (and money) to justify putting it anywhere in the Strip. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, I personally just don’t see that happening.
I’m personally sorry to see STTE go after all these years, as I’ve never had the opportunity to go to Vegas for any reason; if you don’t drink or gamble, what’s the point? But I digress. If STTE has been hurting from a reduced number of visitors, then the fans need to start turning out in large numbers again to show there’s still interest. All the e-mails and online petitions don’t amount to a thing if the people are turning out to buy tickets, souvenirs, drinks at Quark’s, etc.

June 18, 2008 11:03 pm

That should say “if the people are not turning out…” Sorry.

Jim Nightshade
June 19, 2008 12:07 am

#30 Thomas you are correct sir on all counts. I have gone to the experience, spent hundreds on their on line store and bought tons of stuff and ate at quarks every time ive been to vegas….It is the best thing to do in vegas if you are a st fan….there are lots of other things to do in vegas besides drink and gamble you should go once just to gawk at everything…World class shows….The Beatles LOVE is awesome, so are most of the shows…mandalay bay has an incredible shark exhibit…almost every casino has some kind of free show, I havent been able to go the last year or so….and i miss it…I dont drink and dont gamble….much….its a unique place to gawk at everything at least once…and star trek the experience was icing on the cake….Im sorry I havent been there to support it the last year or so…There are many places on the strip an attraction like star trek could fit….they had a 3d movie called atlantis in the caesars palace mall…..we saw the titanic exhibit in the huge buildings in the old tropicana…..almost any casino would have room for it….no doubt the hilton just wants to fill the space with more slot machines. sigh…

June 19, 2008 2:55 am

I hope it stays open. I was there last year through the con and will be here again this year. I loved it and can’t wait to go on it again.

If this closes it will be another blow to Star Trek.

The Underpants Monster
June 19, 2008 6:19 am

Very, very fond memories for me. I wish I could afford to go back this summer. As someone mentioned upthread, if STXI is a hit it would be great to see the attraction updated with some stuff from the new film.

June 19, 2008 8:17 am

The Mrs and I got married there with a party of 40, back in -05. Did our vows on the bridge, had the reception at quark’s (they closed down the whole bar side), went on the rides afterwards. What a fantastic experience it was. All our guests still talk about it to this day. We’ve been there to visit twice, and are planning to go back at the end of this year. So they better not go anywhere…

June 19, 2008 9:24 am

If there is such a thing as a trekgasm, it can be found in Las Vegas at the Star Trek Experience.

It is the Holy of Holies of Trekdom. Don’t miss it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wolf Trek
June 19, 2008 9:29 am

If you can, take the backstage tour of the facility. It’s a BLAST! More fun than the rides.

June 19, 2008 12:42 pm

I’ve been to the Exp 4 times. LOVE the orig. ride w/ Shuttle battle w/ Klingon over Vegas! The Borg 4D is pretty good. I love Quark’s bar!
I might extend my debt and make a weekend trip last weekend of July/First of Aug. But want to time trip to miss convention, too crowded!
I have loads of video & still pics of it all, inclding props in display cases. I even was part of a private trek toy list party on the TNG bridge! I may do the behind the scenes tour this time too.
I’d hate to see it go, but at least I’ve been multiple times!

James Seals
June 19, 2008 3:12 pm

I’ll be going for the first time this weekend, thanks to my beautiful girlfriend. It may be her birthday, but she wants to spend it with me gushing over Trek greatness.

What a gal, huh?


Jim Nightshade
June 19, 2008 10:01 pm

Lucky You James bud! Tell All the employees we are all cheering for them online and hope they survive and tell them we think they are the best part of Star Trek The Experience! If you see April Tell her jeff and Sheri said hi and we miss her-she also dresses us as an Andorian….

Wolf, THe Behind the scenes tour is awesome especially if someone as knowledgable and fun and pretty as April is, gets to take you….but it is MORE fun if you know and understand and already been on the rides so be sure to ride the rides first before behind the scenes as it all makes more sense and is more awesome…

elsewhere someone said that Paramount themselves were out there recently and that they may want to buy it back and keep it up as it should be….we can dream

Captain Robert April
June 19, 2008 11:40 pm

It would definitely be in Paramount’s best interests to keep something that high profile up and running in some capacity.

It could be nothing more than the Hilton angling for a bigger (dare I say it?)….piece of the action.

June 20, 2008 7:02 am

One thing I did not hear from anyone who has been there–how many people were visiting STTE when you had the opportunity to go?

Also, I think the way to promote STTE is using what would appeal to our family–I get to take my boys to STTE and my wife and daughter go to see Manilow (well, okay…I might go along too) since both are at the Hilton.

June 20, 2008 10:55 am

I visited STTE last year when I attended the Las Vegas Star Trek convention and it was a lot of fun. I’m going again this August. I can’t imagine the Hilton without STTE. It’s such an impressive attraction that it would be a shame to see it go.

I got a kick out of the individuals dressed as characters from Star Trek, including a Bajorian and some Ferengi’s going around the attraction and engaging tourists and guests in some funny dialogue and conversation.

I wouldn’t change too much, but one thing worth fantasizing about: how about some Dabbo girls and some private holodeck suites? Hey, this is Vegas you know.

June 20, 2008 11:54 am

We live in Australia and are going in August, can’t wait!

June 20, 2008 12:13 pm
32. Jim Nightshade – June 19, 2008 you hit the nail on the head. I went to Vegas a few times in the early 90’s the last time for the premiere of the STAR TREK Experience. I am not really a gambler and found so much to do otherwise that my mind almost thinks entertainment and amusement before I think gambling when the word Las Vegas comes to mind! Well I also I think Elvis in the mix.;) I also recall the Luxor had a 3 part theme story entertainment deal that ended with this wild simulator ride that blew my mind! There were other things I can’t recall that I did and not much gambling. I am sure hardcore Vegas gambler types maybe wonder what is going on with all this entertainment stuff, but that is what Vegas is about. I still have not done the BORG part of the ST Experience yet and I really think they should incorporate some classic TREK into the ST Experience if it survives, which I really hope it does. I also enjoyed eating at Quarks, the displays and the costumed employees. Not big on buying souvenirs so the gift shop was not a huge issue for me. Of course money is the bottom line for any business and I am not really how good it does these days. Seeing I only went at the premiere it was booming! So in the present whatever happens happens as they say. Here is for staying!
June 20, 2008 10:43 pm

Hmmm. I seem to recall reading that a reason that it was being closed was the declining interest. I wonder in the new movie will revive some of that or not.

Either way, declining interest and sales in a good reason to close something. If they’re not making money on it, it’s not worth it for them to keep it open. It’s as simple as that.

They definitely need to do some movie tie ins if the experience lasts that long.

Sammy T.
June 21, 2008 12:13 am

Kudos to the Operations Manager and Marketing Director Chad Boutte who seems to really give a damn about the place. I’ve had several friends including myself receive a personal e-mail response to all of the thousands of e-mails I’m sure he gets regarding possible closure. Even though no specific answer is given about their future, he has taken the time to thank all of us fans and encourages all to visit them in the near future. Nice to know someone still cares and is not dodging the questions. His e-mail address is

June 21, 2008 9:29 am

#47, I agree with you. My friend and I actually got a personal phone call from Mr. Boutte thanking us for continuing to be loyal fans and encouraged us to visit the attraction again. It just felt nice to actually get a call from someone in a position that he is in. Hope to see everyone at the experience real soon.

Harry Dog
June 21, 2008 10:31 am

I got an email from Chad Boutte when I emailed earlier in the month. I was impressed with that because big corporations generally don’t give a hoot about personal touch. I really hope the Experience remains open. I was hoping to visit next year for my 40th but if it’s closing this year I’ll have to do some organising to get there before hand. Hopefully it’ll stay open. If it does I’ll wear my kilt – okay

June 21, 2008 7:20 pm

The morning news here in San Diego did their weather broadcast from the Star Trek Exhibit. From what they showed this looks to be a really fun experience! I’m going to wait a week or so for the crowds to thin out. Then I’m SO going!!