Effort To Save Star Trek: The Experience Sign In Doubt – Las Vegas Hilton Paints Over Sign | TrekMovie.com
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Effort To Save Star Trek: The Experience Sign In Doubt – Las Vegas Hilton Paints Over Sign February 17, 2011

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Conventions/Events/Attractions,Fandom , trackback

An effort to save the last remaining piece of the former Star Trek: The Experience may have come to a sad end. This month the Las Vegas Hilton has chosen to paint over the original sign for the attraction, instead of preserving it. Details and reaction below.


Hilton Paints Over Star Trek: The Experience Sign

In December we reported that former cast members of the Star Trek The Experience were trying to save the original sign for the attraction. The Experience ended its 11-year run at the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel in September 2008, yet the original sign is still affixed to the side the hotel. This movement garnered the attention of local media in Las Vegas, including the local CBS News affiliate. The former cast members were trying to get the Hilton to either preserve the sign or donate it to a local museum. Both the Neon Museum of Las Vegas and the Hammargren Home of Nevada History have reportedly expressed interest in taking the sign off the Hilton’s hands. The Hammargren Home, owned by eccentric millionaire and former Las Vegas Lt. Governor Dr. Lonnie Hammargren, already purchased many items at last year’s CBS Star Trek: The Experience auction.

Original Star Trek The Experience Sign

So far the Hilton has not responded to the museums about the sign, nor have they commented to the media (including TrekMovie.com). And in the last week they have actually painted over the sign, which may negate any chance of it being preserved.

The sign today, with lower portion painted over, upper ‘logo’ is sun-faded but not yet painted over (photo: Vernon Wilmer)

One of those spearheading the save-the-sign movement has been Vernon Wilmer, former ST: The Experience cast member, who sent TrekMovie the following comment:

This seems to be the final solution by the owners of the Las Vegas Hilton, at least until the whole sign is inevitably taken down. It’s difficult to say since they’ve never offered a response to anyone’s inquiries, not even Colleen McCarty of Channel 8 news. It follows that they would do something this petty, rather than cooperate with the organizations or private collectors who were interested in acquiring the sign. As far as I am personally concerned the matter is closed. The conventions will now be held at the Rio, and except for a large ghostly Starfleet symbol on the side of their building, the Hilton has completely washed their hands of their involvement with Star Trek with a gallon of white paint and a big middle finger to the fans.

Las Vegas Trek Con To Rio – Future of new LV Star Trek Experience In Doubt

As Wilmer notes, 2010 was the last year at the Hilton for Creation’s Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, their biggest Trek con. The con survived at the Hilton for two years following the closing of Star Trek: The Experience, but for 2011 Creation is moving the event to the Rio, cutting the last big tie between the Hilton and Star Trek. The sci-fi themed "Space Quest" bar is still at the Hilton, but all the gaming machines (including the Star Trek slot machines) have been removed and replaced with a dance floor and the bar is now only open on weekends. 

As for any new Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas, the future remains in doubt. Despite some optimistic announcements from developer Rohit Joshi and Mayor Oscar Goldman, there appears to be no movement on the project. CBS has stated they are committed to bringing a Star Trek attraction back to Las Vegas, but the poor economy certainly put a big delay into the project, if not outright killed it.

More of Wilmer’s Star Trek: My Experience coming

If you are feeling nostalgic for the former Star Trek: The Experience, there is more coming in Vernon Wilmer’s documentary series "Star Trek: My Experience". Here is a new trailer for the next installment.

Previous releases from the "Star Trek: My Experience" project can be seen at blip.tv.


1. Dab - February 17, 2011

Sad. :(

2. GarySeven - February 17, 2011

I went to the convention in Las Vegas last year at the Hilton. If that’s how they are going to treat the fans, it’s a good thing that they won’t get any more of our money. On to the Rio!

3. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - February 17, 2011

I guess the Hilton does not want any kind of Business and they do not mind not making any more Money. I lived in Vegas for 2 and a half years and went to the Experence quite a bit. Loved sitting in the Capt Picard’s Chair and just Imagining what it would be like to actualy be on the Enterprise. I used to love Arguing with the Frengie about the cost of anything and asking them for the Where a Bouts of Quark as I had a score to settle. I sure do Miss that place. Oh. My Fave Drink in Quarks was the Warp Core Breach. Some great memories. Or at least when I was not to Drunk. Lol.

4. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - February 17, 2011

Oh. I do still have a Bottle of Romulan Ale and some Klingon Blood Wine. Yes. I have a Tribble. But. it is safe. I think.

5. Seany-Wan - February 17, 2011

Off the topic, but I just finished watching *BLEEP* My Dad Says and *SPOILER ALERT* Shat’s character has another son. Any word on Chris Pine making a cameo on the show????

6. mdbchud - February 17, 2011

great video piece. I should NOT have to ask, but what is the music used??

7. Vernon Wilmer - February 17, 2011

Children of Dune soundtrack by Brian Tyler. Used in a LOT of trailers.

8. Ian K - February 17, 2011

Someone needs to go paint over the regular Hilton sign…

9. Vernon Wilmer - February 17, 2011

LOL Ian!!!

10. Phil - February 17, 2011

“Killed off by corporate America”?? Okay, if Hilton was looking to re-brand, I could see them wanting to show it the door. But come on, the Hilton is a business and if The Experience was not making money, it was doomed to die. If CBS wanted to keep it afloat, all an investor would need is to see the books and someone would pony up the bucks to open it elsewhere. Vegas is full of attractions, so that’s not an unreasonable expectation.
Even if Hilton had not pulled the plug, the recession might have done The Experience in, anyway. Last time I rolled through Vegas a lot of stuff off strip was closed.

11. jas_montreal - February 17, 2011

I still remember the last time i visited the Experience. All the letters of support posted on the wall. This place mattered to a lot of people ! Its a shame that CBS isn’t working harder on trying to bring back the experience in some way or shape.

Please Bring back the experience !

12. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - February 17, 2011

I never was privilaged enough to see the expierence. I have always wanted to go. I dream of on day being able to go when they make a new experience. As far as the hilton, screw them. Boycot them. Do not spend money there or at any other hilton or hilton garden inn around the country!!

13. Michael Hall - February 17, 2011

Sheesh. As someone who’s loved Trek most of my life and happily visited the Experience twice, I have to say that as tragedies go the painting-over of a sign for a now-defunct attraction is a pretty small one. Trekkers really should save their angst for the tens of thousands of Vegas residents (including those great folks who worked at the Experience) who currently find themselves out of a job through no fault of their own.

14. Vernon Wilmer - February 17, 2011

Oyy, here we go.

10. Phil: Fine perspective, but I’m afraid you don’t have all the facts. It will all be in the documentary, I’m not making arbitrary statements here.

13. Michael Hall: You’re correct it’s a small matter, but there’s no major angst implied here – just the end of a very long story of back-and-forth with the Hilton.

15. Sebastian - February 17, 2011

Went to the ST:TE three times; even stayed at the Hilton on one trip.
I enjoyed it very much. It was ‘living the dream’ for Trekkies like myself.
I agree that the recession would probably have killed it anyway.
It’s such a damn shame, as it was a hell of a lot of fun.
Those were very good times.

So many things I’ve enjoyed in the last decade are either closed, or in danger of closing (even Border’s books, my home away from home, has filed Chapter 11). These are ruthless, cutthroat times. Whatever place or restaurant you enjoy now? Well, enjoy it while you can.
This recession is BRUTAL.

It’s so sad; I had so many fond memories of ST:TE. Now, I just have some old pictures and nice memories.
:- (

16. CommanderJacobs - February 17, 2011

I took my father (a WWII pilot and retired farmer) to the Experience, and he went through the ride with me – it was probly the closest he will get to space flight. When we got out, I asked him how he liked it. He said it wasnt bad, but he had his eyes closed most of the time! (LOL). That was about 11 years ago, When my wife and I went a few years earlier, the motion on the ride was a little more jarring – seemed to be toned down a bit when my dad and I rode – good thing too, cuz he was about 80 then, and while he could still probly beat me arm wrestling, hips can be easily broken… Now – no one gets the ‘EXPERIENCE’

17. Michael Hall - February 17, 2011

Mr. Wilmer,

Oy, no offense intended. :-) Again, I really enjoyed my visits to the Experience, which to my mind was much more fun and worth the price of admission than the Star Trek Exhibition (having stood on both, I can say that the Exhibition’s TOS bridge re-creation compares very poorly to James Cawley’s). Since I loathed almost everything about the 2009 film, the closing of the Experience, with its basis in the ‘Prime’ universe, was truly the end of an era for me. Good luck with your documentary.

18. Dennis Bailey - February 17, 2011

#3: “I guess the Hilton does not want any kind of Business and they do not mind not making any more Money.”

If they were making the kind of money you assume then the Experience would still be open. Clearly they were not.

19. Vernon Wilmer - February 17, 2011

Michael Hall,

I loathe J.J.’s movie too! Call me V.

20. Harry Ballz - February 17, 2011

I find it more than a little ironic that the description at the top of this thread reads, “the Las Vegas Hilton has decided to PAIN over the original sign for the attraction, instead of preserving it”

Freudian slip?

21. jcjlrchat - February 17, 2011

To say it simply, thank you Vernon. I enjoyed the documentaries.

22. Jamesingeneva - February 17, 2011

BobOrci, just curious, did any of you and the writers get to experience “The Experience?

I finally got in a visit right before they closed. Oh how I wish I had gone sooner and enjoyed it a few more times.

23. Vernon Wilmer - February 17, 2011

Thanks jcjlrchat, plenty more to come.

LOL Harry! I think you’re right…

Gonna be offline for a few days folks, I look forward to reading all your comments when I get back. Thanks for your interest, and thanks Anthony! ~Vernon

24. Jamesingeneva - February 17, 2011

wow I typo’d there, should say “…did you and any of the writers…” Sorry!

25. CoolPT - February 17, 2011

I was there the first day it was opened. Got to go thru the sim ride with Jeri Ryan, Richard Hatch, and was in groups with a lot of Trek alums. It was a great day and one I enjoyed it. But all good things must end, and I do hope it will be reborn and better than ever. Many thanks for the time it was there!

26. tony - February 17, 2011

got to go there 3 times took my kids once loved the attraction shame it went i wont spend any monet at the hilton anymore i think the way they treat people is just sad but it seems thats the way the world is going
Vernon thnx for the insights love the vids LLAP

27. Red Dead Ryan - February 17, 2011

“This month the Las Vegas Hilton has chosen to pain over the original sign for the attraction, instead of preserving it.”


28. Canon Schmanon - February 17, 2011

Didn’t get here in time for the typo, but it was quite appropriate, if you ask me. I was never fortunate enough to get the the “Experience” and that makes me a little regretful. It sounded quite fun. Still, my fandom doesn’t run so deep that I’m weeping and gnashing my teeth or anything. ‘Tis a shame, though. Maybe if they could make the movies a little closer together :-) it would have prompted them to rethink dismantling the whole thing. Better yet, maybe they should start another damned series ;-) !!!!!!!!

29. Tanner Waterbury - February 17, 2011

I’m still bitter over the closing!! I was supposed to go on my birthday to the Experience on Sept 29 2008, but INSTEEEAAAAAD, they close it on the 1st of SEPTEMBER!!!! COULDN’T THEY HAVE AT LEAST WAITED A MONTH?!!! Okay…bitter rant over. Its still sad that they painted over the sign.

30. Phil - February 17, 2011

20. Harry Ballz – February 17, 2011

I think it was Freud who said that “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”

Corrected typo, nothing more.

31. Jim Nightshade - February 17, 2011

And so it goes–Thanx for nothin Hilton….over the 10 years the experience was there I went many times…every trip to vegas almost and stayed there more than once also….and attended the one vegas trek con celebrating treks 40th anniversary….eating at the Hiltons many restaurants, playing their slots like crazy etc….after I heard they were closing, I blamed the Hilton…my last visit there 2 weeks before they closed we actually stayed at the Imperial Palace I couldnt bear to give any more money to the hilton…when I mentioned that to April she said she heard that a lot….Since the Hilton closed the Experience i have not set foot at the hilton…It was awesome to ride the monorail to the experience….very futuristic…the year the monorail opened there was one train decorated with the Borg and we rode that with my parents who I also got to share my Trek Experience with…They went on both attractions ate at Quarks got pix taken with Ferengi…my dad got put into a tos pix…said it was full of imagination….Well My dad finally passed away Jan.22 at 92 from cancer…the last week was not fun…he was surrounded by 4 generations of family…I look back at that trip to vegas with them and the experience as one of my fondest dearest memories now.. I think the year was 2004….I admire Vernons many heroic efforts on behalf of the Trek Experience, his wonderful documentary series, and wonderful employees and actors like him and April….Like My Father, my memory of star trek the experience will live and so it will live on inside me….Doesnt surprise me that the Hilton doesnt respond and that they paint over it….and I am very glad future conventions will be at the Rio—anywhere but the Hilton….my original notes to the Hilton never got answered anyway….Hope they notice the downturn in business from Trek Fans and Conventions NOT going there anymore….the bastards…..
As to a new Experience….so much for Paramounts promise….I doubt that will happen either….but if it ever does their best chance for success would be somewhere on the strip not downtown…it would need family business and would be popular with kids and families if done right and with caring and great staff and actors like the original experience had….They are a resource that can not be replaced….they were all one in a million and made the attractions live for us fans…we can never thank them enough….those of you not lucky enuf to have been at the experience…we can never tell you how great it was….Thanks Again Vernon and April and all the crew and cast….

32. Dr. Cheis - February 17, 2011

I bet somebody got yelled at for breaking the Voyager. Somebody would have paid good money for it if it were intact.

Interestingly, I think the building looks better with the bottom part of the sign painted over. It gets to stay a memento of what was once there without misleading people into thinking the Experience still exists in that spot.

I just wish I had gotten a chance to go :(

33. Susan - February 17, 2011

What about the new Star Trek Experience?

When will it open?

What are the news?

34. Jamesingeneva - February 17, 2011

@Susan, Vegas economy has slowed to an even slower crawl than the national economy. The guy that said he was going to do it has done nothing and very likely not to do anything for many years at this rate. My suggestion, catch the Exhibit. It’s not the same but its at least a taste. As long as that continues to do well I don’t think we’ll see the experience.

35. Jonny Boy - February 17, 2011

Still saving a bottle of Romulan Ale and Klingon Bloodwine. Good times…

36. Captain Conrad - February 18, 2011

If the Voyager ride hadn’t sucked so badly, this might not have happened

37. captain_neill - February 18, 2011

THis is really sad news.

Star Trek: The Experience was one of the best theme attractions ever. The first two times I was at the Vegas conI loved going on Klingon Encounter and Borg 4D. I felt like I was in the Star Trek universe. I loved it.

And the performers really got into their characters

I feel sad that is no longer there and the final insult is that the Hilton do a middle finger and paint over the sign without auctioning it away.

38. Anthony Thompson - February 18, 2011

Much ado about nothing.

39. Victor Hugo - February 18, 2011

Why don´t they just move it to Orlando?

Only evil people, and “Knight Rider” extras, go to Vegas.

40. AJ - February 18, 2011

I find it troubling that, even with media coverage, Hilton never even reacted, let alone issued some generic corporate response.

Facing facts, hating the Hilton for the decline in Star Trek’s fortunes is misplaced. The Experience was not a museum, but more of a theme park for a concept that was in 2002, being called ‘stagnant’ and ‘dead’ in the media once ENT farted out of existence. The loyal fans kept it up, but it lost Mr. & Mrs. Joe Sixpack and family, who are the real bread and butter.

41. ST:EXP - February 18, 2011

see more imagery of the Hilton ST:EXP sign at the “staff access” section of startrek360.com and then click “launch photos”

42. dave - February 18, 2011

You want to know something it’s only a sign used for advertising the experience it wasn’t used in the production of any movie or television series. The Experience is closed, time to move on. Nobody stepped up and offered to buy it from the Hilton and if the sign had any value it would of been sold off in the auction. I’m surprised the Hilton didn’t have a clause in the contract that the sign had to be removed by the company running the Experience after it closed.

As a collector I am interested in collecting items that was used in the television shows and the movies, not something that was used in a commercial operation.

43. Earthman Jim - February 18, 2011

Is the Star Trek: My Experience documentary available for sale on dvd? It looks really good and I would like to buy a copy for myself as I did not have the pleasure of attending Star Trek : The Experience. This documentary would be my only way to do that.
I remember reading that it was closing in just one or two weeks right before I went to Dragoncon in 2008. While at Dragoncon I went to a Voltaire concert and painfully regretted not going as I listend to Voltaire’s reaction to the closing and a detailed description of his own experience at Star Trek: The Experience.
Going there was a dream of mine that never came true.

44. Cyberghost - February 18, 2011

I am sure that this has nothing to do with the sign, but where The STAR TREK EXPERIANCE WAS HELD AT, known as the HILTON WAS ACTUALLY NOT OWNED BY THE HILTONS, rather the hotel Was owned by another party other than the HILTONS, the hotel only leased the name Hilton, not owned by them. I don’t remember the chain that leased the Hiltom name, but it was definatly not owned by the HILTONS. YOU CAN PROBABLY TELL AS THE HOTEL SLOWLY ALLOWED TO BE RUN DOWN AND NOT UP TO THE HILTON STANDARDS.

SORRY ABOUT THE CAPS OFF AND ON, but my phone would not allow me to switch between caps and lower case.

45. Steve-o - February 18, 2011

so cyberghost. i think i am confused. did you say that the Las Vegas Hilton is in fact owned by the hiltons? thats incredible! To think that The Las Vegas Hilton was actually owned by the hiltons. I would have figured another company bought the rights to use it’s name, but i’m glad that the Las Vegas Hilton was indeed owned by the hiltons

46. Phil - February 18, 2011

You know, a lot of people are venting about how horrible the LV Hilton was to ST:TE. All they were was the building it was housed in. The Experience was owned by Paramount Parks (I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m mistaken) and when Paramount got out of the amusement park business The Experience went with it. The building still draws tourists because Elvis performed there. Trek does not have that level of loyality, so it really was just a business decision.

47. Niall Johnson - February 18, 2011

My wife and I stayed at the Hilton last weekend, and it really is on a slippery slope downhill. They gave me the keys to a dirty room with a conference table still covered with half full glasses of orange juice and half eaten breakfasts when I checked in Friday night. Not impressed! I don’t the new owners give a fiddler’s about the place. It’s a shame as I love the buffet and its staff, but I’m not in a rush to stay there again. BTW, the poor sign is verrry faded.

48. Jerry Modene - February 18, 2011

Actually, there are a lot of rumors floating around town that the Hilton will be demolished to make room for some new high-rise condos.

49. Tony Todd's Tears - February 18, 2011

Seeing this dishonor makes me want to cry, how could they so blatantly give us the finger like that?

My dishonor as a Klingon is complete.

50. Anthony Thompson - February 18, 2011


Did you ask them why they gave you a room with a conference table in it?

51. Anthony Thompson - February 18, 2011

45. Steve-o

LOL! Now we know for certain that the Las Vegas Hilton is in fact owned by the Hiltons. Don’t tell anyone, but I know for a fact that Paris Hilton maintains a penthouse suite there for whenever she visits Vegas!

52. Steve-o - February 18, 2011

if universal studios can design a whole harry potter land, and dr seus town, why cant someone make star trek a permanent installation at a theme park somewhere?

just do it all ready!

53. Phil - February 18, 2011

Well, those properties belong to Universal. Building a Trek themed amusement park runs into the same problems that merchindising the franchise has, namely the demographic for amusement parks isn’t the Trek audience. What you you call it, “First Contact” land? Boring, and no investor would buy it. Think about it, Star Wars has the young people demographic, and no one is building an amusement park with that theme, either. Disney had to shut down and revamp the Star Tours ride because it was getting really old, and they are not building a park around that franchise. If Disney can’t do it, then no one will. At the end of the day it has to make money.

54. Shannon Nutt - February 18, 2011

I was lucky enough to visit the Experience twice…once when only the Klingon Encounter was there, then again when it had added the Borg experience. The actors who worked there were a lot of fun to be around and were definitely the best part of one’s visit.

I think the Hilton is going to realize what a big mistake they made when Star Trek starts to have a huge resurgance in popularity over the next few years. One can only wonder how it would have done in the Summer of 2009 when the last movie came out.

55. Red Dead Ryan - February 18, 2011

The Experience had been losing tens of millions of dollars for pretty much it’s entire run. I’d say whoever was in charge of the Experience was extremely patient and willing to take it on the chin but eventually couldn’t stand to lose anymore money. They just as easily could have shut the whole thing down in 2000. The Experience was a money-losing enterprise right from the start.

The Experience is done. Done for good. It all comes down to the bottom line. No investor is going to risk losing tens of millions on something that appeals to only a tiny number of people.

56. THX-1138 - February 18, 2011

I have a friend that used to work there. It was some of the most fulfilling work she has had in Vegas. I completely and thoroughly enjoyed my visits to the Hilton and the Experience. All the cast were fantastic and never broke character with me. They made that place for the fans. When you could have lengthy converstions with cast members and immerse yourself in the fantasy world they created it was a really unbeatable time.

One can understand that if the money wasn’t there then the Hilton was obligated to close the doors. I wasn’t there every day it was open but on the three occasions I visited it was packed, particularly my last visit two weeks before it closed. I don’t know how it lost tens of millions of dollars for the Hilton between the ticket prices which were not cheap, and all the convention business the hotel had to rack up from having the Experience as an anchor. In any event, to completely not respond to those who would wish to see the sign donated is a tremendous insult. Painting over a sign that a musem expressed interest in reeks of a certain malicious intent and basically a big FU to those that supported the hotel while the Experience was in place. It goes beyond merely trying to practice good business.

57. Lt. Bailey - February 18, 2011


I am sure this will be an interesting addition to your saga. When Lisa told me of the post Goldie made about this paint job, I thought those Rat Bastards are still twisting the knife in my back. Thank you for what you do about keeping this in our minds. All you actors did a great job of putting people like Lisa and I into Star Trek. If it was not for STTE, we would not have all the great friends in LV as do with you guys.

Even after it closed, there was still a lot pain when we visted as the monorail had the vocal spiel about STTE when you rode it and it approached the Hilton. That went on for 2 months after it closed and I was tears when we heard it each time.

The LV Hilton is not owned by Hilton, it is owned by Resorts International. They have the right to call it Hilton only and that is it. We last time we were there after Christmas, Spacequest was dark and baren. Nothing but couches and planters where our ST Slot machines were. They added some Black Jack tables and a small elevated ramp for a young female to dance in the middle of all these tables. She was not an Orion Slave girl either…. sadly.

While the Rio will not have STTE, the new location will be a better place indeed. We needed it and it will be a baot load of fun as we did a recon of the place back in Dec. They have a huge convention area that is the same as Hiltons and the number of restaurants is more and a lot better. The best place to hang out will be the I-BAR if you can find a seat. They have the best dress waitresses, trust me. I hope the casino slot manager gets some ST slot machines for the CON.

# 31 Jim. Sorry to hear about your father, my friend.

58. Romulan Ale - February 18, 2011

Ah well after staying at the LV Hilton multiple times a year for 12 + years that is the last straw. I probably logged nearly a month a year there. I often stayed there when I could have and should have stayed elsewhere. V’ it looks like the MindMelds I promised you will have to be elsewhere when I come out there.

59. HarryDog - February 18, 2011

Quite sad and I’m glad I managed to go in 2007. Can’t see me making it back to Vegas now. Looks like the Corporate Mouse will get my dime (well once it’s been converted from £’s that is) next time I’m Stateside.

As McCoy said “Remember!”

60. MJ - February 18, 2011

I have a great idea to get back at Hilton. In Trek 2012, there should be a in-space hotel with he digital banner “Marriott” displayed prominently!

61. Phil - February 18, 2011

Yeah….do a quick zoom into the Space Marriott covention center and…horrors, a Star Wars convention!!!

62. THX-1138 - February 18, 2011

Cool! A Star Wars convention! I wanna go as a Stormtrooper!

I love Star Wars.

63. Jim Nightshade - February 18, 2011

Thanks for the Sympathy Lt. Bailey! much appreciated–glad we went to vegas with my folks once and that they got to see the experience with us…at least we have our memories….

I like the Mariott idea in the movie except that the Las Vegas Hilton is not owned by the Hilton chain so it would be somewhat misplaced —Maybe instead show a scene of Vegas and right where the Hilton used to be, maybe a huge Starfleet Bar and Lounge hahaha….

64. Phil - February 18, 2011

The problem is, if it’s a tribute to “The Experience”, the place needs to be empty except for Milhouse and Comic Book Guy throwing back brews and waiting for the nude Capt. Janeway to download on CBG’s comminicator…

65. Trekwolf164 - February 18, 2011

STTE was fun I was lucky enough to have visited several times.You would think the Hilton would have sold the dam signs on E-Bay.

I really would like to see another STTE in Vegas.

It is the only way I will ever marry.

66. Phil - February 18, 2011

I’m spending way to much time on this thread…maybe Disney isn’t such a bad idea afterall….


67. Gorn Captain - February 18, 2011

Universal once had a Trek attraction where guests “acted” on a replicas of the movie Enterprise set and were edited into footage with Shatner and the gang. Yeah, it was cheesy, but it was fun.

Someone at Paramount/CBS get on the ball, and get something into a theme park by the time the sequel comes out!

68. Warbirdguy - February 19, 2011

Very sad to see that the Hilton just wants to wash it’s hands of Star Trek. What harm would it have done to allow us to save the sign. It seems very childish.

69. Ralph F - February 19, 2011

Echoing No. 52; not sure how we’ve gotten this far into Trek history w/o some manner of a permanent STAR TREK exhibit at a theme park somewhere. I know it’s a rights thing — Trek being w/Paramount and all — but it can be done if the price is right.

Only problem is *now* that Paramount will be pushing JJ’s Trek over anything in the original universe.

70. Phil - February 19, 2011

A story in todays paper spells out why “The Experience” won’t be returning to Vegas, or anywhere else. One of the traveling exhibits is closing in Southern California. Projected to draw 40,000 visitors, it drew just under 8,000. It was projected to generate $800,000 in revenue, it acutally generated $183,000, and will close in the red to the tune of about $400,000.

You all have about a week to vote with your wallets, otherwise you will have no one to blame but yourselves. Sorry, Hilton and CBS/Paramount are off the hook here. They built it, and no one came.

71. Red Dead Ryan - February 19, 2011


Yup, that sounds just about right. Its all about the bottom line. “Star Trek” just doesn’t pull in the revenue like it used to.

People are either legitimately low on cash or a lot of Trekkies are extremely cheap and expect things to be free or at low cost.

It’s why we’ll never see another Experience. The Exhibit will probably continue, for a little while at least.

Let’s just hope the next “Star Trek” film is great. Because if it sucks, that might be the final straw for the franchise. But I do think Bob and co. will pull it off. So we’ll just have to think positively ABOUT SOMETHING.

72. B.C. - February 19, 2011

Phil, Which paper? I’d be interested in reading the article.


73. Phil - February 19, 2011

Here you go…


74. B.C. - February 19, 2011

Never mind. Found it.

If anyone else is interested: http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_wstartrek19.21dfce8.html

75. B.C. - February 19, 2011

Whoops. Thanks.

Even though I saw it twice when it was in Hollywood, I’m considering a final visit while it’s still in Riverside tomorrow. Any idea if it’s exactly the same as Hollywood?

Sorry, this is going off-topic from the original post.

76. Phil - February 19, 2011

Could not say. I understand they changed it up a bit around the holidays, but how I don’t know.

77. Pierss - February 19, 2011

@ 23. Vernon Wilmer

just looking at STE on wiki and in the Klingon Encounter section there is a nebulous statement

“(Note: The exact attraction experience varied as a result of live performer input.)”
do you know what thats about?

78. Frederick, the Trek Scrapbook Guy - February 19, 2011

If only all problems were solved as easily as covering them with a gallon of paint.

79. Jim Nightshade - February 19, 2011

pierss 77-that just meant that the portions of the adventures that had live actors in it-depending on their performances your particular adventure may be slightly different from another–u know some performers were serious,some hammy n less serious with their lines etc

80. Phaser Guy - February 20, 2011

I liked the Experience, but it was pretty overpriced.

81. TV-Tastic - February 20, 2011

Well, it’s certainly nice to see cooler heads prevailing for the most part in this the regarding not only the complete irrelevance of the sign but of The Experience, and dare I say it, Trek itself.

Doesn’t anyone find it curious that The Experience opened its doors not at the height of Trek’s popularity but really, about two years into its downturn? The Experience was destined to fail from the moment the project launched. It was a novelty and nothing more and when visitor and convention numbers dropped it was completely unsustainable.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved the place and it was actually a deciding factor for me moving to Las Vegas in 2003 but one would have to be completely delusional to think that the thing was going to last forever. I’ve probably been to it over 100 times (well, at least to the free parts to eat and enjoy the shopping, but when I did go on the rides I got the locals’ rate, so that was good) and there may have been a grand total of ten times when I saw the place packed and of those times half were Trek Conventions and the other half were holiday weekends. Most of the time, the place was pretty thinly populated with patrons. I wouldn’t call it a ghost town but, you certainly never had to wait to get on a ride or to get a table in Quark’s. And for those who were there during those lean occasions, the majority of them were obvious die-hard Trek fans in uniform.

Part of the problem when it comes to discussions like this is Trek fans themselves having an over-inflated sense of importance. I hate to break it to people but despite what all of the actors and production folks say in interviews and at conventions, we really don’t matter significantly to the bottom-line of the franchise. Trek “fans” make up about 2% of the viewing audience for any given series or film so they aren’t awfully concerned about us. Yes, we’re the ones that spend the money on things like The Experience and merchandising, but the only person that cares about merchandising dollars is George Lucas. Merchandising is a minuscule portion of the bottom-line for for television production companies because it’s incredibly inefficient which is why all they really get involved in is the licensing of the brand. Again, this is peanuts compared to where the real money is: advertising dollars and distribution revenue. the product is the show or film, not the action figures.

And this is the inherent problem with Trek since 1995. The general viewing audience is bored with it and the television landscape has changed remarkably since TNG’s peak and it’s unmarketable. Paramount/Viacom/CBS… whoever it is this week, don’t care about the 2% audience, they care about the other 98%. The problem with fans is that they don’t seem to get this and they still think that they matter. After all, look at all the like-minded Trek fans they seem to find on the Internet which has fueled this misguided sense of self-importance. I mean for goodness’ sake, there was an actual fan movement to save ‘Enterprise’ and people actually took it seriously to the point where they thought they could raise money and pay for the production costs themselves (and of course there was that ludicrous $3 million donation) ! Because, of course, that’s rational and that’s how Hollywood works. This is the kind of general delusion that many Trek fans call reality which is why they are able to convince themselves that fan movements are actually effective in the 21st Century. For the record, it’s not just Trek fans, it’s all genre fans. I made a point on my blog recently to call out the dopey BSG fans who’s fan movement to save Caprica resulted in a bunch of apples being sent to SyFy execs because the problem wasn’t the crappy audience numbers from day one of the series despite a massive marketing campaign and the fact that it was a spin-off of the most popular show EVER on that network, it was the short-sighted network execs.

The bottom line here is that space-centered Sci-Fi is all but dead on anything but niche television networks and it’s even struggling there (which exactly the reason why Sci-Fi changed its name to SyFy in order to distance itself for being known for that particular genre and draw in new viewers). This generation of audiences just isn’t interested in it. Using Nu-Trek’s success as a yardstick to determine interest in Trek or space-centered Sci-Fi is, again, misguided. Nu-Trek succeeded because it was the exact opposite of what Trek has been and was more of a good action/adventure movie than a Sci-Fi film. At the end of the day, though, it really has no bearing on whether or not the franchise is healthy enough to support amusement parks or even a future television series.

So that being said, why does anyone give a poop about the sign (that as someone already pointed was simply an advertisement for a hotel attraction and NOT a part of the franchise) to begin with and why should the Hilton? It’s just part of their building… that’s it, and also, despite the propaganda by this site, this is a non-story here in Las Vegas. The only news agency that has had any interest in this was apparently the News 8 I-Team and they’ll show up at your front door if you tell them you have a noisy neighbor with too many cats. I suspect that the only reason that the News 8 I-Team was involved was because Mr. Wilmer called them.

There isn’t one other news outlet in town that has written one word about this foolishness or ANYTHING to do with The Experience for almost a year. The sign means NOTHING to the history of the local community just as, for the most part, The Experience meant nothing to the history of the local community. It was a blip on the radar screen that meant far more to fans across the country and around the world than it did to anyone here. It certainly won’t be talked about by the locals as one of the great attractions in the history of this city. That’s not to say anything against it, but the fact is that the local community had ZERO interest in it. Why would they? It was completely a niche product that was designed exclusively for tourists with little to appeal to the local citizen who isn’t already a fan.

Has it occurred to anyone that maybe the reason that the Hilton is ignoring requests for the sign and just painted over it is because it would be far too expensive to not only remove the sign but to then clean up the big mess on the wall of the building that would be left by its removal?

There are far more interesting things to discuss regarding the future of the franchise than the non-controversy involving this dopey sign which is why I spent so little time actually discussing it.

82. Goosenecker - February 20, 2011

Yeah, I loved it too but knew it wouldn’t last forever.

And the fact is, this country is in the economic toilet right now…and has been for a few years now. Then Maobama had to go and help kill the Vegas tourist industry by telling people not to go there…remember that? Hmmm…I do!

Anyway, I wish they start over in another city — I thought the suggestion of Orlando was an excellent one! But, I doubt that’s going to happen when everyone is tightening their economic belts — and the point made about space-based sci-fi not being popular right now was another excellent point.

Anyway, my heart goes out to all those employed in Vegas these days. I know they are really taking a hit from this economy.

Just remember…we need real hope and change in 2012! LOL!!!!!

83. Phil - February 20, 2011

81. TV-Tastic – February 20, 2011

Solid points all the way around. A councilman commented on the dissapointing numbers for the exhibit closing this week in riverside. His last comment was telling:

“I’m disappointed that the turnout wasn’t higher, and I don’t know why (it wasn’t),” said Councilman Mike Gardner, whose Ward 1 includes the downtown museum and the off-site gallery a few blocks away where “Star Trek” is on display.

But, he added, “I’m personally not that interested in ‘Star Trek’ stuff.”

84. ST:EXP - February 20, 2011

I never understood why a Trek-themed restauraunt or bar chain wasn’t franchised out around North America.

Easy money.

Good restaurants in popular downtown cores are always busy anyway.

Now make a replica of Quarks like they did at ST:EXP.

Maintaining it is simply the cost of any restaurant, but the Trek angle would be a huge draw.

Planet Hollywood…. except Star Trek. Not general sci-fi. JUST Star Trek.

That’s just good business sense.

I would buy into that franchise with real six-figure money if anyone from Paramount wants to contact me to get it going….

85. richpit - February 20, 2011

Wait…the mayor of Las Vegas is named Oscar Goldman? Like the Six Million Dollar Man’s boss? That’s awesome.

86. Dr. Image - February 20, 2011

Glad I made off with one of Quark’s bar menus. Had Armin sign it a few years ago.
Those times, like many others in life, we thought would go on forever… the end of another golden age.

87. Phil - February 20, 2011

84. ST:EXP – February 20, 2011

Planet Hollywood went bankrupt….

88. Phil - February 20, 2011

85. richpit – February 20, 2011

It gets even better, Mayor Goodman is a mob lawyer…..

89. Jim Nightshade - February 20, 2011

The Riverside Trek Exhibit is interesting for the failure….When we all read about this travelling exhibit many of us wanted it to come to our town….the initial list of locations all seemed to be in california….just one state up in Oregon, nothing….also two states up in Washington where i LIVE nada….AND YET it played in San Diego, Riverside, how many other california locations….maybe everyone who wanted to see it in california already has….

Why not some of the other 50 freakin states??
Yes the economy is certainly a big chunk of any current problems with attendences and moneys….

TVTASTIC #81 you make a very logical and informative case which makes a lot of sense as to reasonings why trek attractions seem doomed to failure—especially given the added bad economy the last couple of years….I guess we can all be thankful it lasted as long as it did 11 years is a long time..many of you are saying it did not make money….but we were told it did make a profit not a huge one…but could that mainly have been because of the very cheap rental rate they got from the Hilton in that deal for the first ten years? They did cut back years ago and one could tell the difference….I found it interesting final tallys said that over 3 million went to the trek attraction—-I remember attendence figures that said 2 million within the first few years of it opening so that means all the other 7 or so years only an additional one million showed up? If that was true then it did sound like after the initial excitement and interest it died down considerably to mostly just hard core fans from around the world, fans like us….hmmm…

90. Pierss - February 21, 2011

@ 82. Goosenecker.

Change in 2012 ?
Is Ralph Nader running AGAIN! -_-‘

91. captain_neill - February 21, 2011

I miss the Experience.

92. Warbirdguy - February 21, 2011

Ditto Captain Neill.

93. Lt. Bailey - February 21, 2011

Its safe to say we all miss it, at least those who have been there. The idea of a theme restaurant/bar is the best thing to do.

Sure the rides were nice and we did go on them at times but not every time. We spent the most time eating on the Federation side and drinking at Quarks, watching ST on the TV’s. I did buy items in the shops and why not? It was the easiest way to get ST items and they always had some unique item for sale.

They could even have a Museum of the Future in this restaurant (under heavy guard) like STTE had before you went on the rides. The ride(s) would be the biggest cost of this project so that would be one reason why nothing has happened…yet. On the other hand, having a bar would be cost effective, if you had the right location.

The best part of STTE was during the CONs at the Hilton, you saw so many people there and in uniform. The bar was 3 people deep and once you found a seat, you never left, if you can help it. STTE was a great palce to hang out if you were not seeing anything at the CON or waiting for the next guest on stage. It was the best place to mingle with other fans and meeting people. Its because of STTE that we have so many friends in Las Vegas.

94. TV-Tastic - February 21, 2011

Jim Nightshade #89.

Thanks, for the kind words, it’s appreciated. There’s one more thing that I forgot to mention and that is that The Experience didn’t just arbitrarily close down. The Hilton refused to renew the lease because they wanted the space for retail space which is obviously far more profitable for them. It really could have lasted in the red or at least earning a small profit for years had The Hilton not said goodbye to them. For Cedar Parks and Paramount, the costs in the place were already sunk in so low or no profit would be sustainable until they rode out the bad economy. The problem comes from trying to resurrect it and all new startup costs.

95. Jim Nightshade - February 21, 2011

Yup and what has hilton done with all that valueable space–walled it up it looks like not much–original rumors were a new theatre for michael jackson to perform but if true it didnt work out very good for the hilton huh?

96. thinks - February 21, 2011

I have stayed at the Hilton for one reason alone, to enjoy Star Trek: The Experience. I went there for the 2010 convention and I must say, the Hilton is becoming a s**t hole. Ever since they removed the experience, it’s starting to look worse and worse. The next time I go to Vegas, I won’t stay at the Hilton. The economy is recovering nicely and their is no excuse for them not to reopen. Come on Rohit and Goldman, reopen the experience, make a lot of money and makes us fans proud!

97. ST:EXP - February 22, 2011

87: Phil….

Because Stallone blows.

98. Phil - February 22, 2011

95 and 96…

Nevada is still spiraling around the rim of the economic toilet. Several major properties on the strip are barely hanging on, or are in bankruptcy. Unemployment in double digits. The Rio is for sale, The Hard Rock is fighting off foreclosure, Planet Hollywood, Tropicana, and Rivera are barely hanging on. MGM’s problems have been reported far and wide. Several off strip properties are closed or are about to. Further, there are a half dozen properties that were under construction when the economy tanks, and it will be years, if ever, before they re-start. It sucks, but The Experience was a minimal attraction to begin with, and investment dollars won’t be coming back to these kind of attractions any time soon.

99. Phil - February 22, 2011

97. ST:EXP – February 22, 2011

The Planet Hollywood casino went bankrupt, too. Owned by Harrah’s now. Can’t blame Sly for that one….

100. Christopher Mulrooney - February 23, 2011

Here’s a fact, The Las Vegas Hilton is not owned by the Hilton Hotel, brand. just for your information.

101. Goosenecker - February 23, 2011

#90 — Anybody but what we’ve got in there now! LOL!!!

102. Captian Brian Knowles - February 26, 2011

Here’s a thought. Why doesn’t The RIO bring back Star Trek: The Experience since the Hilton obviously doesn’t want to make truckloads of cash off of it?

103. PetTaarg - February 27, 2011

Wish I went. Never got to experience “The Experience”.

104. Metal Mouse - February 28, 2011

There is a reason that Star Trek as a franchise is lasted past the original series demise in 1969. The more than devoted fans that not only were there in the beginning but have passed on the torch of “fandom” to the ( Pardon the pun.) next generation of fans. The closing of the Star Trek: The Experience was an emotional blow to millions of fans. Fans that were there from the beginning and those that either grew up on the shows or were recently introduced. The chance to participate in a “living dream” of “just once being where you can boldly go” appealed to a lot of people. Some of which were not even fans but still got caught up in the fun of Star Trek. To call people that are devoted to a show that has stood the test of time, “self -important” because they care deeply what happens to a piece of Star Trek memorabilia…seems to be a bit jaded, if not heartless. That sign was the first thing you saw as you parked in the Las Vegas parking lot. It heralded to millions of people, they were finally there and were about to be able to lose themselves in a world that they wanted to be in for so long. The first time I was able to go to the Star Trek Experience I was in my late twenties. Upon entering the main entrance and seeing the huge model of the U.S.S. Enterprise suspended just above the entry…instantly transported me (Again no pun intended.) back to when I was a little boy. A time when I would watch tales of heroes and their high adventure every week. In those days I wished I could be there commanding that intrepid crew in the most famous starship ever. Being able to see the props and costumes worn and used by actors of the show was a highlight in my life. Enough so, that I even had to beg my fiance at the time to get married there. Which is what eventually happened. Saying my vows on the bridge of the Enterprise-D was more than I could have hoped for. Sharing that with my now wife makes it even more of a pivotal point in my life. So yes… I had hope for more concerning the fate of some fading sign on the side of a building. because it will always be more than a sign to me and anyone else that was even remotely connected with the “Experience”. I feel for those that never got the chance to go. However, in the words of the immortal Captain Kirk. “I don’t believe in the no win scenario.” In some way, some other fashion, I believe that Star Trek: The Experience will go on and make fans of the past, present, and future happy once more.

105. ColdFusion Developer - April 28, 2011

The Star Trek Experience was a lot of fun and I made a point to go every time I was in Vegas. I was told that they were moving it to a mall in Vegas but I read on Wikipedia that the plans for the re-opening of the ST:Experience have been canceled. Bummer. :(

106. Slang - May 15, 2011

Paris Hilton should have her face painted over

107. David - May 23, 2011

So glad I was able to go though the EXPERIENCE numberous times. Still have my Tribble, Star Trek Experience shirt and coffee mug and jacket. Glad my kids also went through it and I have pictures of them with some of the characters.

108. Warbirdguy - May 30, 2011

I read on line that Paramount is going to build a Star Trek Themed park in Spain of all places. It’s scheduled to open 2015. I wish that was happening in Vegas. But it still put Trek fans on the fore front. We have power.


109. John - July 8, 2011

I want to share something with everyone here. The first time I went here was with my father right when it opened up. I got inside the shuttle and I started touching the panels outside the little fence area as I sat down. Someone came over the intercom and said… Young Man… Those panels (or something) will not function for you because bioprint signature etc (I forgot) I sat down and shut up quick.

I also went back on a cross country drive hoping to see star trek the experence again. Hell I detoured into Vegas just to see it. Went to some shoddy hotel and saw it on the TV that it was shutting down tonight. I immediately got up and drove there… I am in that crowd. I couldn’t believe I missed it, I saw Chase Masterson and Voyagers Engineer which I seem to have forgotten her name. It was one of the most strangest things I have ever done or got into my life… I just drove down there after seeing it on tv and walked through the doors, saw a small crowd and started taking pictures with my cell phone. I had no idea it was closing down. It was the only reason I took a detour to vegas. Sigh… If only I came earlier.

110. Vulc4n - July 11, 2011

I will always continue to support from New Zealand, the re-opening of Star Trek the Experience. I got there during the 2008 convention just before it closed and will never forget it, as it was the closest to living my dream, that being Star Trek. I continue to enjoy Vernon’s documentary and thank him very much for the effort, the experience continues to live….

111. CRILEY - July 11, 2011

I was one of those unfortunate souls who never got to see it. I had hoped to take my husband there for our 5 year anniversary and have our wedding vows renewed, but alas, with these plans to have it rebuilt shot down, I’m afraid we’ll never get the chance to experience the EXPERIENCE.

:( Sad.

112. Lee Bernhang - July 12, 2011

Mr. Wilmer:

I applaud your efforts to save the sign, and to tell the world how much the Las Vegas Hilton SUCKS. I doubt I will ever set foot in that god forsaken place again!

113. CAROL PARTAIN - August 7, 2011


114. gerald - April 1, 2012

i have to say even though i never got to see the convention at the Hilton, it’s better off at the RIO. I went in august 2011 and the move didn’t seem to hurt the attendance. i think they broke the record for people in costume.
The Hilton seemed to be a lonely place when i walked in there, i was told where i walked in and walked thru was where the Star Trek Experience was, it was just plain and lonely bar lobby that seemed out off place, 2 people were sitting there when i walked thru and it seemed like a lounge singer should have been there?? i have to say the Hotel Management screwed up, it’s like they want to run the place into the hole. while the rio i believe had over 30,000 people in attendance, the hilton seemed dead

115. gerald - April 1, 2012

i read some peoples comments about the economics of supporting the theme area, and the theme had to go, because they weren’t making enough money. Last year at the RIO i didn’t see any thing that made me think star trek was on it’s way out the door. I wouldn’t have even went to the RIO if it wasn’t for the Convention, I did some gambling, I booked the hotel for this year, i’m sure the rio will be booked solid this year.

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