Saying Goodbye To Star Trek The Experience – Decommissioning Report + Video + Pics

As captain of a local Star Trek club here in Las Vegas, we have been privileged to have the opportunity hold our regular meetings at Star Trek The Experience for years, where we have made lots of friends and grown to love The Experience and her crew. Now after the millions of visitors, and mission upon mission completed, the time has come to say goodbye.

 

On Monday September 1st, 2008, over 1500 fans gathered in the Space Quest Casino inside the Las Vegas Hilton, to pay their final respects and observe the final decommissioning ceremony of Star Trek The Experience. This was led off by the final 27 lucky fans that took part in the final missions of Klingon Encounter and Borg Invasion 4D rides. After their final run through, these VIP guests were brought out of the now empty Star Trek The Experience and given front row seats for the closing event.


Fans and media pack the Space Quest casino
[click to enlarge]

The faithful crowded around the entrance to Star Trek The Experience when Captain (and STTE Operations Manager) Chad Boutte took to the podium and began the ceremony at 2200 hours (10:00 PM) with the introduction of the event’s MC (and Star Trek guest star) Suzie Plakson, who introduced the cast and crew of Star Trek: Experience one by one who walked out on a red carpet to take their long and overdue bows and receive the appreciation by the fans who gathered for this historic night.


Boutte and Plakson (L) introduces each of the ST: The Experience crew members as they ‘disembark’  [click to enlarge]

The roll call of names and introductions ended with a special name. April Hebert, who was the first cast member to be assigned to Star Trek: Experience, came out, still in character as a Vulcan (Hebert has portrayed multiple roles at STTE, including Starfleet and an Andorian). As the longest active crewmember, Hebert was presented a very special gift, the official flag of the United Federation of Planets that has hung proudly in front on the main entrance from the first day of service. The moment resulted in a five minute standing ovation.


Boutte presents Hebert with the UFP flag from ST: The Experience
[click to enlarge]

Captain Boutte returned to the podium one final time with his closing remarks, and as he held aloft a signed baseball that represented the cast and crew of Star Trek The Experience, he reminded us all of the optimism and hope that Star Trek represents by quoting Mr. Spock in Star Trek II, saying "there are always…possibilities."


The fans give the Vulcan salute as Boutte said the final words
[click to enlarge]

And with his final words, "live long and prosper" (of course), the gold curtain finally came down and the 11-year mission of Star  Trek The Experience was over.


The curtain comes down
[click to enlarge]

Behind the famed gold curtain, the crew gathered for a private event to say their goodbyes to each other and share the emotions that were pouring out. As the faithful fans departed the officers and crew of Star Trek: Experience gathered for one last party above Quark’s Bar and Restaurant. In addition to the Plakson, some Trek celebrities showed up to say goodbye; on hand were Garrett Wang (VOY: Kim) Lawrence Montaigne (TOS: Stonn) and Chase Masterson (DS9: Leeta). During the party Boutte and others were presented with gifts from the staff and crew.


Boutte presented with plaque
[click to enlarge]


Commemorative poster signed by STTE cast
[click to enlarge]

More images for STTE closure: Photography by Paula Angelos and Ryan Graham, more photos from Ryan at his photobucket page.

VIDEO


 

Goodbye and Thanks, from the USS Las Vegas
On a personal note, I want to express my thanks on behalf of the officers and crew of the USS Las Vegas for being invited to participate in the official decommissioning ceremonies. We were honored to have taken part in this very true historic night. This is one of those events that as a Star Trek fan you will be able to say…I remember where I was when the Star Trek: Experienced closed after almost 11 yrs of service to the Star Trek fans.


USS Las Vegas, signing off from ST: The Experience
[click to enlarge]

 

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we hardly knew ye

I wish I had a chance to go. But LV is way too far. I wish they had a travelling Star Trek experience. Would love something like that to come to Montreal.

I’m glad I was able to get there – who knows, maybe another will spring up somewhere…..

I was a four time visitor to the STE. I had never seen anything like it before, and may never again. It was my official home away from home when I was in Vegas. I can not describe the sinking feeling I got reading this report. This is truely a sad, said day.

The EXP was a blast. My wife and I got to go there a few days before the shutdown. It will be seriously missed.

I was able to get some good pictures though:

http://www.iceflow.net/trek/

At least I’ll have the memories of walking on that bridge for the first time…pretty awesome. I hate to see it go…

Ten year mission.
1998 – 2008
Ten years and seven months, I suppose, but still. Not eleven years.

Captian Darrien Lampert

Well,

It was great and all but it was time to go! How does it look when you put on a job application that you were a klingon for 10 years, LOL!

Lampert

Sad to see it go, especially since the movie was bound to revitalize interest.

Luckily I had the chance to get onto the bridge of the Enterprise D

#2

Yeah, same here. There’s nothing happening regarding Star Trek in Montreal lol
I only remember having one Star Trek convention in the 90’s at place Bonaventure with guest star George Takei. That’s about it.
Shame…

Very sad watching that ceremony. I was glad I made it back there last month to say goodbye. It just won’t be the same.

My wife and I renewed our vows there, we went at least twice a year, every year. I had never had a reason to go to Vegas before the experience, and now I feel like I don’t have a reason to go again. It would be like going the house you grew up in after someone else lives there.
I was able to go there just shortly before the convention with my son and it was one of the best times we’ve had there. By that time everyone knew what was going to happen and we were able to talk to the characters, in and out of character.
I’m not sure when, or if, I will go back to Vegas but if I do it won’t be the same. I’m not sure if the Hilton, and Vegas, realizes just how much overflow business they received due to the Experience, but just maybe the bean counters will let some one know

It’s a shame it’s closed. So much potential.

It would be nice if J.J.’s movie generated enough long-term buzz that, if a group could put together enough capital and a good marketing strategy, something similar to this could actually make it out on the road, even if on a smaller scale and/or focusing on one particular facet of Trek (e.g. Abrams-era TOS). They could roll it out for several weeks prior to releasing a sequel, as a PR tool, and do weekends in places like a hall in the Cobb Galleria in Atlanta and whatnot. I bet they could nail a pretty penny in admissions and merchandising sales, once the initial outlay and overhead was cleared.

I wish that I could have gone.

Was there the sunday before and enjoyed the Experience for one last time. Left Vegas early that monday morning, stood outside the hotel, took a pic of the sign outside, then drove back home to Los Angeles listening to Trek music all the way.

Yes, I was a sad geek.

Thanks to STTE for the all the great times for so many people.
Star Trek LIVES.

They never had enough TOS stuff there. Hopefully they’ll reopen in a new, better location (Orlando, Florida maybe?) with more of a TOS twist – like a Space Station K7 theme instead of the DS9 get-up, and a couple TOS rides.

SAD!!!

I finally – FINALLY – got to go about three weeks ago, the weekend after the convention. I am really pleased I got the chance, and I was absolutely blown away. I met some amazing people there… Every once in awhile, I think about going back to Las Vegas again next year, and think “Oh, I should invite so-and-so, they’ll love The Experience”… and then the fact that it’s closed comes back to me, and I am saddened to think that such a cool place will be no more. The staff and crew were extremely generous and kind, and I truly am sad to see it go.

Any one have the recipe for a Warp Core Breach? *sniff*

Thanks to everyone who could make it. It was fun, oh my.

ST Nemesis was awesome

I got to go many many years ago, got so few pictures but I have the memories at lease (or at least until I am old and senile and cant remember anything).
Unfortunately the Borg 4d wasn’t up when I went nor any of the Enterprise series stuff, heck voyager was barely started when I went! :(

I was just there two weekends ago. It was great fun. It will be missed.

If the space becomes Michael Jackson’s as rumored, I’ll literally puke.

#23 – It makes perfect sense….isn’t he an alien? :-)

If the new movie generates interest in a TOS attraction, but I’d want it to have both the new and original designs. Hire James Cawley to build another TOS set as a public attraction.

the guy sitting in the captain’s chair……FIERCE!

I travelled all the way from London to Vegas to see this before it closed…What an amazing experience! Here’s hoping something better will come along, sometimes change is a good thing & in the spirit of Trek we must look to the future!

Thanks to all the cast, especially Chris Aguilar

Shame. It was the reason I went to Vegas. I don’t give a rip about the gambling.

I was there at the Star Trek Convention, and said my final goodbye then.

She’s really not dead, as long as we remember her.

Yellow shirt sale!

Re: #26

The guy in the captain’s chair is me… I am Paul Walker. I am the captain of the USS Las Vegas Star Trek Club here in Las Vegas NV. The people surrounding me are the officers and crew of the USS Las Vegas.

I didn’t get to go; I’m sad and pissed.

It was fun…

I made one last trip there a couple of weeks ago. Cheers to all of you lads. I look forward to whatever is next.

Chances are there’ll be a new Star Trek Experience related the revamped franchise in the future. Like the original Star Trek, ST: The Experience is going away for a while but will eventually, inevitably come back!

Was lucky enough to go twice. Last time being July 07. I’ll miss it! I know I’m crazy, but I have 8 bottles of Sulu wing sauce. Had to stock up, don’t know where to get it ever again and I can’t be expected to eat pippius claw without it!

T.’.

As a long time LV resident, I would like to thank the cast and crew of Star Trek: The Experience for their 10+ years of service in bringing the final frontier to my hometown. For years, knowing that I could visit either the Eiffel tower, the Great Pyramid and Quark’s, the (formerly) best bar in Las Vegas, gave me a profound sense of civic pride. But, as they say —

“All good things…”

T.’.

I’m happy to say I was able to make it on Sunday before they closed. The sensation of being beamed up to the Enterprise was amazing and my son actually believes he went to Space and was on the Enterprise. The experience was so wonderful, a true gem for any diehard star trek fan. To actually have had the pleasure to live out not one, but two missions in real life, not just another one of the many missions we’ve dreamed up over so many years was a moment I will always carry with me and while my son is young, I’m sure he will too.

To the cast and crew of the Star Trek Experience, “It was nice to see you in action one more time…”. I wish each of you the best of luck in your future endeavours, and while it most likely will never be the same, reflect on your times at the experience and take pleasure in knowing you helped do something only so many people can dream of, you made 3 million peoples dreams come true.

Live Long and Prosper dear friends, you will be missed.

Re: 37

“T” please contact me if you would like to join our ship and take part in many more Star Trek releated activities….

I just got back from Vegas.

It was fun.

I’m devastated

I’m so glad I had a chance this summer to go there.

Goodbye Era of Star Trek that I love. May JJ Abrams’ bastardization not scar your memory.

Got to see it a few years ago …It was GREAT. Wanted to go again since the Borg update, but alas, was not able. Here’s hoping the Tour is a success until the next ‘Experience”
~Tom

Thank you to the cast and crew, you alway made it feel like home. This place, this home will be missed.

Hopefully they wont go and sell everything.

But they probably will.

I’m very sad to see this go.

@16

Dude, I was cool til I read your post then I was all like, waaahhhh! That’s exactly what I was going to do but couldn’t afford it. Instead, I held a candlelight vigil all by my self and wore my Starfleet cheerleader uniform all weekend.

*sniffle*

I just can’t believe that more people like stupid Mickey Mouse than Star Trek. Maybe after the movie we’ll have enough numbers to sustain a permanent attraction somewhere.

Every July when I flew the long hours over the Pacific from Australia to holiday in the US I never missed Vegas and spending lots of time (and money) at the Experience and of course Quarks, how I will miss it. I’m sure the Hilton will too as there is now little reason to venture off the Strip to go there. I’m glad I was able to have one last, long visit this July. Thanks for the good times and memories Star Trek The Experience.

I was married to my wonderful wife on the bridge two years ago. I will never forget the Star Trek Experience.

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