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.