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Find Out How Las Vegas Almost Saw A Full Scale USS Enterprise Attraction April 7, 2012

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: CBS/Paramount,Conventions/Events/Attractions,History , trackback

In 1998 Star Trek: The Experience opened at the Las Vegas Hilton, but did you know it was actually the "Plan B" after a much more ambitious vision was considered in 1992. This "The Starship Enterprise" attraction would have built a full-scale Enterprise ship in Downtown Las Vegas. Now the company behind the pitch has revealed details and artists sketches of this Trek attraction that never was. Details below.


The Pitch For A Life-size USS Enterprise For Las Vegas

Back in 1992 city fathers in Las Vegas were concerned that following the growth of the hotels on the strip, the downtown area of Vegas was becoming a ghost town. A number of pitches were considered for ways to revitalize downtown including a Star Trek attraction titled "The Starship Enterprise" which was designed by the Goddard Group. Now Gary Goddard  has taken to his blog to tell the true story behind the Star Trek pitch and show off some of the artwork.

Goddard describes the genesis of the idea:

My concept was to do something so large and so epic, it would fire the imaginations of people around the world. After looking at how difficult it would be to bring people to the downtown core (from the Strip), I knew we had to have something really exciting, dynamic, and without equal. We kicked around a few ideas, and then I came up with something really unique. I went to Chuck Canciller, my lead designer then – and a genius as well – and said, “What if we built the STARSHIP ENTERPRISE – FULL SCALE – on the land at the end of the street. Imagine that…” Chuck looked at me as if I had lost my mind, but by that time he also knew I was serious about big ideas like this. He immediately started working on some ideas.

Concept Rendering of the 1st concept for loading guests onto the Starship Enterprise

Inside they envisioned the Enterprise would have a tour of the ship with all the key areas, plus a restaurant in the crew mess, and there were ride elements including a "high-speed travelator that would whisk you from deck to deck." They also planned to develop additional attractions as the project went on. According to Goddard, the team then approached Paramount to begin negotiations on a rights deal for the ambitious project which was estimated to cost $150M. Goddard also says that the mayor of Las Vegas and the redevelopment committee were leaning towards approval of the project, so the final step was getting Paramount to agree. Unfortunately, everyone at Paramount loved the project except CEO Stanley Jaffe. Goddard recalls the final meeting at Paramount with the mayor of Vegas, committee members and the Paramount brass:

So with everyone in the room, I take Mr. Jaffe through the project. With the art, the plans, the overall concept. After my spirited “pitch” everyone was beaming – everyone except Mr. Jaffe. Mr. Jaffe thanked us for the effort, and he congratulated us on creating a bold concept and presentation, and then went into a speech that went something like this:

“You know, this is a major project. You’re going to put a full-scale ENTERPRISE up in the heart of Las Vegas. And on one hand that sounds exciting. But on another hand, it might not be a great idea for us – for Paramount.” Everyone in the room was stunned, most of all, me, because I could see where this was going. “In the movie business, when we produce a big movie and it’s a flop – we take some bad press for a few weeks or a few months, but then it goes away. The next movie comes out and everyone forgets. But THIS – this is different. If this doesn’t work – if this is not a success – it’s there, forever….” I remember thinking to myself “oh my god, this guy does NOT get it….” And he said “I don’t want to be the guy that approved this and then it’s a flop and sitting out there in Vegas forever.”

And with that, Mr. Jaffe in a single moment, destroyed about five months of work by a host of people, and killed one of the greatest ideas of all time.

Preliminary poster art designed for presentation to Paramount Studios

And so that was that. Las Vegas moved on and built the "Freemont Experience" which is still there to this day. And six years later the less ambitious (but still pretty cool) Star Trek: The Experience opened at the Las Vegas Hilton. The Goddard Group was also involved in that attraction, and promises a future post on the company blog about the creation of ST: The Experience.

For now, you can visit to learn more about The Starship Enterprise project and see more concept art.

Artist’s rendering of Starship Enterprise and downtown Las Vegas Skyline facing directly down Fremont Street





1. MJ - April 7, 2012

I think the guy was probably right. It would not have been good economics to have it there for decades. Look at the makeover that Trek needed to get going again in 2009.

2. Miraclefan - April 7, 2012

My problem is with the physics of all this, I mean how would that massive Saucer section not snap the neck of the ship in two?

Unless the Saucer Section was going to be hollow inside?

3. NCC-73515 - April 7, 2012

A trekker mecca.

4. Viking - April 7, 2012

Man, sooooo close, but a lone Klingon shot it right out of space. If this would have been green-lighted in 1992 when I was younger, still single and full of myself, I swear I’d have sold off my belongings, moved to Vegas, and gotten on with the staff. Imagine – getting paid to wear a movie-era uniform and roam the corridors of a full-sized mock-up the the Big E, guiding tours and working in interactive attractions.

5. NCC-73515 - April 7, 2012

Problem is: it cannot be built on earth!! :p

6. Viking - April 7, 2012

@# Miraclefan – read Goddard’s blog. That was a big concern due to high winds, so they came up with an open scaffolding concept to support the saucer section and make it look like the ship was in dry dock.

7. Goosenecked Fan - April 7, 2012

Would have been incredible if done right…

8. Craiger - April 7, 2012

An attraction like that would get outdated with with newer versions of the Enterprise coming later with the TNG Enterprise and the ST 2009 Enterprise, they would have to spend more money revamping that Enterprise attraction to modern standards. Would people want to go to see an old outdated Enterprise attraction?

9. Craiger - April 7, 2012

I forgot that the Enterprise Experience is popular with the recreated TOS bridge.

10. Thomas - April 7, 2012

For all the times people have posted on these threads that such a project would be amazing and a sure-fire hit, once you begin to see the reality of such an attraction, you begin to see how implausible it really is. Even the significantly scaled-down The Experience had a run of only a decade before economics and other issues forced its’ closure. As amazing as it is to imagine, this really wouldn’t work in the long run.

11. MJ - April 7, 2012

@8 “An attraction like that would get outdated with with newer versions of the Enterprise coming later with the TNG Enterprise and the ST 2009 Enterprise, they would have to spend more money revamping that Enterprise attraction to modern standards. Would people want to go to see an old outdated Enterprise attraction?”

Exactly my thoughts. See my post #1. The economic of this over decades just would not make a lot of sense. They would have to charge high ticket prices and bring in hundreds of thousands of people annually to pay to for the upkeep and save for the continual enterprise design changes every 10 years.

12. MJ - April 7, 2012

@10 “Even the significantly scaled-down The Experience had a run of only a decade before economics and other issues forced its’ closure. As amazing as it is to imagine, this really wouldn’t work in the long run.”


13. Newman - April 7, 2012

that would have been soooo cool.

14. Craiger - April 7, 2012

MJ, I wonder if another way they could have done the attraction and be able to revamp it for the future would have been to just do the full scale interior of the Enterprise only and built a building around it instead of the full scale mock up of the Enterprise?

15. dmduncan - April 7, 2012

If it had failed it would have been torn down and something else put up.

No guts, no glory.

Jaffe had no balls.

I had a similar idea, but I don’t think Kickstarter is good for 150 mil. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that’s pushing it.

My dream of a full scale Serenity is still alive, however.

16. Sebastian S. - April 7, 2012


I would’ve loved that! The dream of ST fans becoming concrete reality.

I’d been to the STE a few times in the early to mid 2000s and it was always a blast. Breaks my old heart that the lifesize ship never came to fruition. And by the way, I really miss Quark’s; ST connections aside, that was a nice restaurant…

Having a 1;1 scale starship Enterprise would’ve made the scene in ST09 with Kirk on his bike looking at the big E’s construction even MORE resonant…

17. Newman - April 7, 2012

@ 10, 11. I disagree. The point of it would have been just to get people to the downtown core in the first place. Profit from the attraction itself is besides the point. Getting people (and their money) downtown was the goal, and I think a full-scale Enterprise would have done just that, regardless if it was profitable as an attraction.

18. Newman - April 7, 2012

@ 15 – I would love to see a full-scale Serenity! I loved Firefly!

19. MJ - April 7, 2012

@15. DM, did you notice how the ship in Promethius kind of looks like the Serentity?

20. El Chup - April 7, 2012

Not realistic, but, by god, a real sized constitution refit? I wouldn’t creamed my jeans for so many weeks thy would’ve named a medical condition after me.

21. dmduncan - April 7, 2012

17. Newman – April 7, 2012

In Vegas a project like this HAS to be commercially successful because otherwise it will not physically survive. The real estate will be used for something else to go up. And it WILL go bye bye.

Theoretically if you had a successful mega-Kickstarter project that produced the funds, then you could build it in Riverside, Iowa, in its drydock with what I expect would be a tax break from the city of Riverside, since it would be such a tourist attraction, and it would put them on the map.

Hell, they are already the future birthplace of James T. Kirk. And they advertise that claim to fame.

In that scenario it would certainly make enough money to pay for the upkeep and a maintenance/operation crew, and Las Vegas type profits would not be necessary.

You would also be overrun with Trekkie volunteers. We could all move to Iowa and live on the damned thing!

In which case, I call dibs on Kirk’s quarters.

19. MJ – April 7, 2012

Sort of, now that you mention it. I was thinking it had design cues from the Nostromo, but I think Serenity also borrowed from that design, which explains why they might all have a family resemblance.

22. Jason - April 7, 2012

I dont think it would have mattered that there would be newer versions of the Enterprise.

In 1992 when this was going on the final TOS movie had already been released and TNG was near the end of its run on television, so it wasn’t even the most current Enterprise then.

23. Mikefly - April 7, 2012

Woooooooooooooooooooooooo Oooooooooooow. That is all

24. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - April 7, 2012

I have to add my voice to those who agree with Mr. Jaffe and are content not to have seen this go forward. This earthbound Enterprise would be a building, not a ship, and it would be made of concrete, not some futuristic metal. Its exterior would have to be constantly cleaned, maintained and repainted or else it would just decay and stain.

I’d rather wait for something that boldly goes, than bemoan the rundown condition of something that tamely stays put.

25. InnerL - April 7, 2012

If you build it, they will come.

26. Andy Patterson - April 7, 2012

I don’t give rip one about gambling or a lot of other things Vegas represents. Other than the shows and the food I don’t care to go there. But if they’d pulled this off, and done it really well,…this would have been too cool. Would’ve drawn me and many others to Vegas.

27. EJD1984 - April 7, 2012

Dayum!!! This would have been phenomenal! Hopefully with this new exposure of the project, it might gain some traction/interest today.

I would love to see some of the preliminary engineering drawings as to how the saucer (and possibly the engines) would have been supported.

28. Red Dead Ryan - April 7, 2012

Stanley Jaffe was right on the money. As cool and ambitious as this project seemed, and it definitely was cool and ambitious, it just didn’t make economic sense. $150 million dollars is a ton of money, plus projects this size tend to go over budget by millions of dollars more. Not only that, but where was this thing going to be built? Next to strip clubs and casinos? And wouldn’t non-fans have seen this as an eyesore on the Las Vegas skyline? And how many people was it going to actually attract? It would have needed much higher paid attendance then what the eventual “Star Trek: The Experience” got at the height of its popularity.

And there was also the possibility of it being a fire hazard. How would people get out if the secondary hull was on fire? Wouldn’t people be stuck in the saucer section? Would there be escape chutes, or would people be forced to jump out of desperation, ala the World Trade Center?

29. Carlos Teran - April 7, 2012

Probably Stanley Jaffe was right. It would be so sad to see the USS Enterprise demolished and its pieces in bad shape and auctioned like those of The Experience.

30. dmduncan - April 7, 2012

You’d make it out of steel, not stucco the thing with concrete! lol!

You’d paint it, and then, just like any aircraft carrier that manages to stay afloat as a museum in the very corrosive environment of the saltwater OCEAN — voila!

Some people dream and they build rockets and then they launch them, while others do not bother for fear of what it would do to their spirit if the launch was not successful.


This is earth, boys and girls. If you have problems with gravity and rust, you are in the wrong dimension of reality.

31. Vultan - April 7, 2012

A bit off-topic, but you’d think Lucasfilm would’ve built a real Star Wars cantina in Las Vegas by now. C’mon, it’s in the desert, people are thirsty, no kids or droids allowed…. And it’s not like they’re above making a buck from that franchise.

Anyway, I hope this gives other developers ideas about mega-attractions. If not a full-sized Enterprise, an engineering set would be very cool—with a glowing warp core at the center surrounded by stations showing off the latest in (real-world) and Trek technology. Hey, they could use it for tech shows—robotics, automobiles, computers, and… whiskey…

Scotty would approve!

32. dmduncan - April 7, 2012

28: “And there was also the possibility of it being a fire hazard. How would people get out if the secondary hull was on fire?”

Why would it be any different for this than it is for any skyscraper?

Still, if it was built in its drydock as I suggested, the way we see in ST.09, that problem would easily be addressed by being able to evacuate using the drydock structure itself as a ginormous fire escape that surrounds the ship.

33. Jack - April 7, 2012

Yep. I picture this covered in bird poop, dirt and peeling, faded paint and with coke cups and cigarettes floating in the water.

This might make me a bad Trekkier, but, yeah, I agree that to build a massive version of the TOS movie enterprise in 1992, after you’ve finished with the movies, seems like a project destined to have limited shelf life.

There were a bunch of theatres in Canada (Paramounts) built in the late 90s that had quite huge, amazing, beautifully lit models of the Enterprise (either the TMP+ enterprise or the First Contact+ ship) and a Bird of Prey hanging overhead (complete with laser battle shows at set intervals) and, well, they looked dated pretty quickly. Awesome, but kind of “why is this theater decorated with a ship from a 15-year-old movie?” — to most but die hard Trek fans.

After a while, they stopped the laser shows and usually didn’t have the lights (the deflector, windows, nacelles and running lights — awesome) turned on. There’s something about Trek doesn’t stay quite as classic (to the general public) as, say, the Death Star or something. You walk in somewhere and see Star Wars stuff, and you generally don’t say, “heck, what’s that doing here, that was a movie from 30 years ago.”

They had Star Trek movie-era shows at Paramount theme parks, also in Canada, but all of those wrapped up a good 20 years ago, I think. And yet,, Star Wars and Indiana Jones stuff at Disney is alive and well. As is Harry Potter stuff at Universal, I think. But those attract kids (and their geeky parents). Trek has relatively limited kid appeal.

34. Captain Ransom - April 7, 2012

if it was a hotel it might work in the long run. assuming that it is even possible to build. i’m not sure the ship design would actually be physically possible to recreate in real life in real size. still, it would have been an incredible sight to see.

apparently, the country of azerbaijan is building a death star hotel, but not to scale obviously! smart move since it will probably become the only reason to visit the country.

35. Captain Ransom - April 7, 2012

#24: i guarantee you we will not see a real enterprise that boldly goes anywhere in space in our lifetime.

36. Sebastian S. - April 7, 2012

I’d be happier to see one that WORKS… ;-)

37. Vultan - April 7, 2012

Well, I did some searching around and it seems there WAS a Star Wars cantina at the FAO Schwartz in Vegas. Apparently, it’s now closed.

38. Mikey1091 - April 7, 2012

Dude, if this had been built, I would have demanded to LIVE in it, LOL!!!! No, seriously, this would have been an awesome attraction. it’s too bad it never came to be.

39. Sporky - April 7, 2012

Dubai would totally buy this idea, go there, NOW!!!!!

40. Aussie Ian - April 7, 2012

Here’s the challenge then ………… since a life sized Enterprise in Vegas is not possible, how about this?

Recently, people have sent lego men up into low orbit with hot air balloons and video cameras. It seems that the lgical thing to do next is send a kit model of the Enterprise up there and post it online.

Just Imagine it! No effects, no CGI, just the USS E – baby with real space behind it, posted for posterity for all to see…… stay tuned you read it here first!

41. Red Dead Ryan - April 7, 2012


I think the reason why “Star Trek” ships and props displayed in the theatres became dated was because Trek itself has always been identified more as a tv property, unlike “Star Wars”, “Indiana Jones” and “Harry Potter”, which are all movie properties either from the start, or based on books, as is the case with HP. Plus, Trek has never come close to the big screen success enjoyed by SW, IJ, or HP.


The design of the ship is a lot different from the design of a skyscraper. I guess a drydock structure would be the most logical fire escape. But judging from the pics above, the drydock portion was absent from the design. You’d have to design it so that it doesn’t get overcrowded by panicking people.

42. Jack - April 7, 2012

Some of the comments on that site were a little, er, earnest:

“Star Trek makes people believe that the world and our future can be better. It can also be without money and greed and power. Such a monument to “socialistic” and “non-capitalistic” philosophies would be against what rich people want and they might even loose their control and power.

This fantastic idea was more than an attraction, it would have become a shrine to support for a better world. This idea had to be killed just like Star Trek experience.”

43. Mike star trek nerd - April 7, 2012 what they should have done.

Built the ship but made it into a hotel/ casino… Imagine staying in the captains quarters, admirals, or even just crew cabins. Put a massive casino underneath it. Sell daily tours, still have the superfast turbo lift rides, have a theater with actors portraying the crew on the bridge battling Klingons. Even be able to participate in as a part of the crew in the engine room or the jeffries? Tubes. Maybe a shuttle roller coaster/ away mission (don’t wear the red shirt).

44. Vultan - April 7, 2012


A non-capitalistic symbol in the middle of Vegas?
Yes indeed, I would appreciate that enormous irony.

45. Luke Forrester - April 7, 2012

Something that size and it would have been an attraction only, they would not have made it a hotel?

46. Red Dead Ryan - April 7, 2012


And what some of those comments didn’t mention was that the “non-capitalist” and “socialist” themed monument would have cost folks at least $100 a pop!

47. dmduncan - April 7, 2012

40. Aussie Ian – April 7, 2012

Great idea, so DO it! I’ll look forward to seeing that video!

48. Red Dead Ryan - April 7, 2012

There were obviously pros and cons to this project that obviously didn’t happen:

Pro: The building was designed just like the refit Enterprise

Pro: It’s a “Star Trek” attraction

Con: Where in the city was it going to be built? I suspect there wasn’t a whole lot of commercial space in the city for something as big as the Enterprise, unless it was built out in the middle of the desert.

Con: It was going to be expensive to build, to maintain and operate, and expensive for those attending.

Con: The design of the “building” would require an extraordinary escape route in case of a fire.

Con: A lot of residents in Vegas would get sick and tired of seeing the Enterprise in their city twenty four hours of the day, three hundred and sixty five days of the year. Especially non-Trekkies.

Con: Even Trekkies would get tired of seeing and going to the same old thing after awhile. The design, I suspect, wouldn’t really allow for a major overhaul, both inside and out.

Con: How was the thing going to be torn down when it went out of business?

Well, as you can see, the cons vastly outnumber the pros. That is why this project never came to fruition.

49. jas_montreal - April 7, 2012

Interesting !

50. Fueled by Armus - April 7, 2012

Yeah…I don’t see how the Enterprise plopped down in a random city, even Vegas, would work. Only way it could be commercially viable is if it was part of a theme park and there just isn’t that cohesive pull for Trek.

I’m sure they feel like this one CEO was just a dick to shoot their project down, but I’m willing to bet everyone else egged them on *because* they knew it would get shot down so they could safely cheer them on and be positive in case of future dealings.

51. Jack - April 7, 2012

@41. “Plus, Trek has never come close to the big screen success enjoyed by SW, IJ, or HP.”

Exactly. I wonder too, whether it’s dated in a way that those other franchises aren’t. I don’t watch Star Wars and think “this is so 1977″ (even with the longer hair) or Raiders and think “this is so 1981 (except maybe during the effects at the end).” It’s not just because they’re set in different times/places. Trek was too, but it always seemed very much (some outings more than others) like a product of its time (and budget).

42. Exactly. The same goes with people wanting to see Abrams’ Trek be an exact reconstruction of TOS a la Phase II. The thing has gotta make money. There’s room for improvement, and some smarts — but this ain’t Battlefield Earth. The purpose of Trek is not primarily to lay the half-baked foundation for a real 23rd century utopia here, apart from stressing that we should really get along a hell of a lot better than we do…

48. Is a Star Trek attraction automatically a pro? :)

52. Commodore Adams - April 7, 2012

OMG that would have been so awesome!

53. Laird Popkin - April 7, 2012

Sure, $150M is a lot, but keep in mind that each Casino cost $1B to build, so compare to that, this thing wasn’t a huge number – if whatever they did was big enough to make a splash, even a small ‘bump’ in a Casino’s revenue would cover the investment. And, presumably, the attraction would have been profitable on its own.

The thing that amazes me is that if they’d done this, Star Trek would be a permanent attraction in Las Vegas, which would have not only made money forever, but would have promoted the heck out of Star Trek as an iconic brand. Sure, there was some risk that a failed project could have damaged the Star Trek brand, but the potential win was so big that it’s astounding that they wimped out. But, as someone I knew at Paramount years ago put it “We put the NO in INNOVATION.” So instead of taking creative risks that might win, they did “safe” things (like Enterprise and a series of forgettable movies) that nearly killed Star Trek.

54. CmdrR - April 7, 2012

It’s Vegas. It would have been small and tacky. Hookers would have hung out on the hangar deck. Still…

55. Jack - April 7, 2012

Just as unlikely, but I wonder if there would have been more of a draw if they’d built the ’60s Enterprise, still to scale, as a hotel/casino — with restaurants, spaces for shows (a fun 60s themes Cirque show, a theatre focusing on shows from 60s/early 70s giants [like, yes, Cher and Manilow]), say), plus bridge/engineering/ etc. tours/shows for fans. Waitresses in sexy Trek miniskirts, theme rooms with those crazy grills and sliding doors, but with a midcentury modern/Trek feel (and well-built/well designed). A combo of 60s kitsch/fun (which is what downtown vegas is all about) with some decent design. There’d be great views from those windows, too. :)

56. Keachick - rose pinenut (F) - April 7, 2012

On reflection, I don’t think that Las Vegas is the right city for the Enterprise to be stationed. Even I know about its seedy side as well as the high life and that much of the wealth of the city comes from gambling and escort services provided to patrons etc… If I visited the USA, Las Vegas would not be my first choice of destination.

Probably the idea of having the USS Enterprise could work better in a theme park. It would certainly be great to see, if possible, at a picturesque, more family-friendly facility. There’s always the future…

57. CmdrR - April 7, 2012

Captain, these sensor readings make no sense. I’m reading the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, The Great Pyramid, and an all-you-can-eat shrimp buffet all within the same general coordinates!

58. George - April 7, 2012

This would have been a fantastic idea. So what if the design would have been outdated? Who wouldn’t want to be able to have a chance to actually be on board a real life sized Enterprise? Even if it’s on the ground somewhere on Earth. $150mil? How many Star trek fans are there? Forget that, how many people are there in the world that would love that chance? I’d say more than enough to justify the expense of building it and maintaining it. It can be easily engineered with safety and authenticity in mind. I’ll build it if everyone who wanted it done sent me a dollar or two. I’m not joking either. If you want to help, I’ll need a website designer first up to get this started. Contact me at and we’ll go from there.

59. Jack - April 7, 2012

57. Lol. We’re closing in on Donnie and Marie at 17 mark 4.

PS. And there could be a quality brewery in the bowels of the ship. Nobody’s thought if that one before. Er…

Romulan IPA anyone? :)

60. Magic_Al - April 7, 2012

The TMP design was the best and most practical, since Probert designed so much functional detail into it, including hatches and airlocks everywhere. Fire exits? WIthout een violating the canonical design, you have an airlock aft of the bridge, airlocks under the saucer like the one used for the spacewalk in TMP, hatches on the top of the saucer as used at the end of TMP, and gangway entrances on the port and starboard sides of the saucer. Design a “spacedock” to connect to as many of those openings as necessary and you solve your exit and structural support issues and it’s still accurate!

61. Sebastian S. - April 7, 2012


Good one! ;-D
I’d never thought of it that way….

Another reason a full-size Federation starship wasn’t built there?
The Ferengi bribed the Nevada gaming commissioners … ;-P

62. Gene L.. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - April 7, 2012

I had the idea for a full size Enterprise blimp when I was a kid in the 70’s! Now, a blimp/dirigible is the way to go here. It can move around the country, it is not a fixed concrete structure, it is lightweight framing with a skin on it. You throw a few propellers on her, and cruise!

As exciting as this Vegas attraction would have been, my blimp is better. Can you even imagine seeing the Enterprise floating towards you? Full size??!! And it would be a lot cheaper than this big fixed building. You could have it based out of Vegas or somewhere, and have an attached visitor’s center house a mock up of the bridge etc, like they do at Disney. Dock the Enterprise blimp next to it when it is in town.

I always thought it was a good idea. And definitely either the refit or the original. No fugazy TNG ships.

63. Robert H. - April 7, 2012

They couldn’t do it on Earth, so they did it on the planet Gideon.

And any wonder why people thought a 366 metre long starship looked over 700 metres?

64. Gene L.. Coon was a U. S. Marine. Stand at ease. - April 7, 2012

#42, #46

Which site are you referring to, that talks about the “socialistic Trek”?

I always get a kick out of those, because they absolutely don’t “get” the original Trek. TNG may have gotten all sloppy socialist, but Kirk was a take no crap rugged individualist, and 60’s Trek was a lot more conservative than many here would recognize, or care to admit. You could look it up, as Casey Stengel might say.

65. Robert H. - April 7, 2012

Perhaps they should try Starfleet Headquarters as seen on Star Trek Enterprise or Star Trek 4 with shuttlecraft mockups that include steam vents and added lens flare.

66. Jack - April 7, 2012

64. Click on the photos, it will take you to the site (belonging to the guy who was trying to get this bui;t, I think) this story came from.

67. Jack - April 7, 2012

Well, there’s always the starship in Vulcan, Alberta.
They still took a few liberties with the design. I guess they were limited to what they could build.

Actually, I’ve just checked it out again — not as bad as I’d remembered.

68. Driver - April 7, 2012

That would have been >insert expletive here< awesome.

69. Buzz Cagney - April 7, 2012

I’m staggered at those that agree this was a bad idea. I’d have been on a plane out of Heathrow the first chance that i got. Are you doubters sure you are fans at all? Where is your spirit of adventure?

70. jorDe' Klingon Warrior - April 7, 2012

#4, He was not Klingon, he was Ferengi.

71. jorDe' Klingon Warrior - April 7, 2012

Just remember that the Star Trek:The Experience was built from the ground up. It was not built within an existing building. So if they had built the Enterprise, it was not such a far fetched idea.

It was a great idea. Just not one that we could have.

72. Captain_Conrad - April 7, 2012

She would have come before her time… plus as cool as it would be, all of us hardcre Trek fans would hate it. I mean come on! Our favorite series would have been heavily merchandised and we’d sell our souls just so we could feel like we’re on the Enterprise, but really it’s a bunch of flashy lights and a warp core that makes us go “ooohh ahhhh.” I’m glad this project failed. Roddenberry would have rolled in his grave if Star Trek had been exploited in this manner.

The Experience was good enough and I hope they bring it back, but something like this would have been, overall, depressing. We’d be on board an Enterprise that couldn’t move anywhere

73. Harry Ballz - April 7, 2012

Hmmmmm, the last few threads have involved a starship in Vegas that was never built (72 posts), an amateur Star Trek episode done by fans (90 posts) and a story about Brent Spiner’s efforts on an internet show (2 posts).

Interesting as to what people here feel like posting on……

74. - April 8, 2012

People would have been making trips from all over the world to see it.

The idea that it would be outdated does not hold. Many still think the 79 tmp Enterprise was the best ever and i would not care which model enterprise it was as long as i could get on board.

Melbourne doesn’t have an icon. May need to send the link to our town planners.

75. Anthony Thompson - April 8, 2012

“Make no small plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood.
-Daniel Burnham, architect.

76. Jack - April 8, 2012

72. “Roddenberry would have rolled in his grave if Star Trek had been exploited in this manner”

Are you kidding? Roddenberry put IDIC medals into an episode solely because he wanted to sell them through mail order. Nimoy refused to read the
line/promo. This idea that Roddenberry was out solely for the betterment of mankind is, well, a crock. He was a TV producer. He was in the business of making money, among other things. Not to belittle Star Trek or Roddenberry, but he was inspired, it seems, by other movies/shows, like Forbidden Planet, Wagon Train and the Outer Limits… and a lot of people worked on the show and made it good, and sometimes great. I still say, the UN-success-story idea of an international crew and a united earth is fantastic, and probably the show’s best legacy. He created a great show, but he was as human as the rest of us.

74. Not outdated in that it wasn’t a great design. But who, other than Trek fans, is going to go to Vegas to see a ship from an 80s movie, say now, or even in the mid-to-late 90s. The thing would have folded after a dozen years or less.

77. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - April 8, 2012

That would have been awsome!

78. MJ - April 8, 2012

@76. Sheesh, you are really too hard on Gene Roddenberry. And you should note that his son, Rod, reads these boards frequently. A little more respect here for GR, please. FYI – I personally met the guy in 1977, and he didn’t come across that way to me in any way so.

79. - April 8, 2012


Sure, but think of how cheap you could have picked it up on ebay for after that.

80. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - April 8, 2012

@55 – I agree that the 60s design would be a better, more iconic (if slightly less aesthetically pleasing) choice over the TMP Enterprise. If you’re concerned about datedness, ironically it’s the oldest stuff – i.e. the original material – that works best.

@60 – It’s funny, I wasn’t going to suggest a blimp (because they are not rigid enough) but a few weeks ago I was reading about the rigid airships (Zeppelins) of old and semi-rigid airships of today (, and I started considering something like this. I wonder whether it would be feasible to build a full scale model of the Enterprise with some kind of rigid framework, matte metallic-coated Mylar (or similar) skin, and – crucially – ballonets (small internal balloons) filled with helium that would not serve to actually lift the entire ship in the air so much as just counteract the force of gravity and maintain the ship’s shape. The issue of wind would still pose a danger, though.

81. Anthony Thompson - April 8, 2012

76. Jack

Another troller. That IDIC story is getting old – about 45 years old, in fact. Have you ever heard of product placement, homeboy?

And, BTW, which “80’s movie” are you talking about? The ship depicted in those drawings resembles the TMP Enterprise, which was released in 1979.

82. Buzz Cagney - April 8, 2012

#72 of course it couldn’t move. Its a building! But, and here’s the thing, it would look like the Enterprise. Life size. It would have been our only chance of seeing the ship that way. Tell me, if they had built it, you wouldn’t have gone? In fact don’t bothr telling me, I know that you would.
Ah well, maybe they’ll do it one day. Soon I hope! Maybe when Paramount have a more farsighted CEO.

83. Number 3 - April 8, 2012

Always dreamed of a full scale TOS Enterprise as a hotel,perhaps with a few theaters and restaurants.If it was going to be in Vegas, it would probably be a casino.Personally, I would have rather see it be built in San Francisco or Hollywood.
Someday they’ll do it(I hope) but probably at 1/2 to 1/4 scale maybe at the top of a hotel/ casino.
Hey, one can dream.

All my best

84. SirBroiler - April 8, 2012

I think the failure of The Star Trek Experience proves that this would have been a failure. Imagine had they started building and ran out of money before it was even completed – that would have been an even worse disaster for the franchise. Paramount wouldn’t even spend 40 million on a Star Trek movie at that time – why would they spend 150 to build something with even more risk attached?

I’m a pretty devoted fan when it comes to loving and watching the movies and shows, even have read a few of the books. But I’m not one to shell out a lot of extra bucks for much beyond that. I did live in Vegas for a while and visited the Star Trek Experience and once was all I needed. I have a feeling there are more fans at my level than those who flock to every convention or attraction and spend countless dollars purchasing every piece of Star Trek stuff out there. This project may have been ambitious, but there would never be an audience to support it over any significant period of time.

85. - April 8, 2012

“Paramount wouldn’t even spend 40 million on a Star Trek movie at that time – why would they spend 150 to build something with even more risk attached?”

Read the article,

86. Nick Cook - April 8, 2012

I agree with many of the comments; neat as this would have been it would have had a limited lifespan, and probably cost a lot more the the estimated 150 million. I’d still have gone though. :)

Also ,why the hate on #76 Jack. I don’t see anything wrong with acknowledging Roddenberry was motivated to produce a successful, show and make a profit out of it. That was his job after all, and it’s hardly a negative. Nor does it detract from the other aspects of his work.

87. Holger - April 8, 2012

I remember some media reports about the project back then.

88. VZX - April 8, 2012

I graduated high school in 1992. If this was completed back then, I so would have moved straight to Vegas after graduation and done whatever I could to work there!

But, I also agree with the many posters here that I doubt its success. BUT, it is ambitious and, in the words of Kor: “It would have been glorious!”

89. Rico - April 8, 2012

It would have been amazing to see something like that!

90. LongIslandTrekster - April 8, 2012

The scope of this concept was a far cry different from “The Experience.” I believe it arrogant presumption to assume that the economic slow down would have closed this larger and more grand attraction. Even in a down economy, Hoover Damn tours remain strong. This concept was to draw crowds off fo the Vegas strip and I suspect it would be “too big to have failed” as a tourist attraction. In the end, we will never know.

As far as the comments concerning the profiteering and business of Star Trek, I will never forget the look on my father’s face when I asked him permission to use his credit card to place a telephone order for a blue satin “U.S.S. ENTERPRISE” windbreaker with shoulder patches. I was 11 or 12 years old at the time and the request was completely out of character.

My father agreed after I said that I would repay him out of my own pocket and he reviewed the Lincoln Enterprises (later found out to be owned by Majel Barrett Roddenberry) flyer with pricing that I received in the snail mail. To my dads credit, he told me to just go away when I approached him with cash after the package arrived.

Oh those real hard core Star Trek memories…. In case your wondering, my wife has the jacket put away for our son.

91. n1701ncc - April 8, 2012

Great idea but it would stuck out like a sore thumb to every non trekker to visit Vegas.

I do believe the Star Trek Experience belongs in an amusement park. You can build 5 simulated for each series and pick an experience from each series best episodes.

Here is my vote

TOS = Balance of Terror
TNG = The Best of both Worlds
DS9 = What you leave Behind
VOY = End Game
ENT = In a Mirror Darkly

Now that would be an attraction i would go to. Put it in Florida maybe let Universal lease out space to Paramount and it would be all set to make a boat load of money

92. Tony B - April 8, 2012

What a bunch of naysayers in this thread. Starting with how can we do this rather than we can’t because of …(insert excuse here) strikes me as a much more positive way to go about doing this. Bring on the problem solvers and those who have big visions and dreams!

It would have been iconic, inspirational and a long-time worldwide attraction. Do all of you realize that there is a lifesize Gundam RX-78 in Japan?

Yes naysayers the Gundam is smaller – but if they can build that they can build a 1:1 Enterprise.

93. Sebastian S. - April 8, 2012

92. Tony

Well said. ;-)

If Gene Roddenberry had listened to all the negativity, we would’ve never had Star Trek in the first place (science fiction was not exactly popular on TV when Star Trek first aired; it was considered kid’s stuff). All great things in this world began life as audacious dreams.

To quote Kor, “It would’ve been glorious…” ;-)

94. George Zip - April 8, 2012


Kind of surprised we haven’t seen at least one of those virtual rides with a TREK theme. Those are good choices.

95. George Zip - April 8, 2012

I love the refit ENTERPRISE — still my favorite design — but I always thought the saucer section of the 1701-D would make a hell of a hotel; you could even do the lore of a soft-landing bit, and retcon that a city (Vegas) was built around the saucer.

Of course, the Galaxy-class is much, much bigger than the refit ENTERPRISE, so there’s that issue.

The hotel rooms would be modeled of course after those we saw in TNG. You could have the main bar (Ten Forward) and then dozens of other eateries and attractions — some “real” and others “holodeck based”.

Even a reduced scale thing would be impressive (e.g., the TITANIC Exhibit in Branson MO).

96. Khan 2.0 - April 8, 2012

maybe this is where they got the idea to build the Enterprise on earth! (j/k)

i can sort of see where the Jaffe guy is coming from tho. it might have been seen as abit tacky and maybe even a giant flop – in which case it couldve dented star treks name. maybe the wounds from Star Trek V were still fresh too….and in 92 TNG had really taken over the Trek baton

that said it wouldve been incredible. just imagine the opening ceremony with the original cast in the movie uniforms…having them on the bridge, touring the ship…nah theres no way it couldve failed!

97. dmduncan - April 8, 2012

Well of course it’s tacky to have this giant Starship sitting in the middle of LAS VEGAS, of all places. Which is why as a commercial project I could not fully…get on board.

To me it would be important to build this thing in an environment which would help you approach it as a real ship, and that ain’t gonna happen in Las Vegas.

But imagine that you approach it the same way James Kirk did in ST.09 on his motorcycle. Only you do it in a car. And there’s the ship sitting pretty inside of a scaffolding which is itself inside of a Starfleet facility.

Now suddenly it’s like you’ve entered the world of the 23rd century.

Let’s say that there is some place outside Riverside, Iowa, where you could build this thing.

Yeah, that’s right. Riverside, Iowa. Not a tourist hotspot.

But you build this thing there, and it WILL be. Particularly if you make it a realistic representation, out of steel and plastic and fiberglass and what else.

And make no mistake — it CAN be done. There are, in other words, no insoluble engineering (or safety) problems that would stop it.

The social problems would be the hardest ones to solve. Things like financing, real estate, community acceptance, etc.

98. Harry Ballz - April 8, 2012

97. dmduncan “I could not fully…get on board”


99. Goosenecked Fan - April 8, 2012

My proposal is to build a full-size Enterprise in ORBIT and make it the first Space Hotel! Ferry tourists up to it. Wouldn’t that be incredible? That’s better than building the thing on Earth!

The only thing it would need is to be towed out into a higher orbit occasionally!

People talk about space tourism…well, this would be big draw!

100. Mark Lynch - April 8, 2012

I would have sold one of my kidneys to have gotten on board a full size TMP Enterprise…

101. Jack - April 8, 2012

86. No hate on Roddenberry. It was a great show, or I wouldn’t be here. But I tend to lose my patience when he starts being treated like a Christ-like visionary who did this totally for the betterment of mankind by some on here. Not to play down his contributions, but he was a producer and a businessman (with a strong interest in the human potential movement). And an artist, sure. This is reality, he had to make money. And, yeah, he fought for his show to be the way he wanted it, absolutely.

93. Science Fiction was pretty popular on TV — Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, even Lost in Space.

Of course they can build it. And, yeah, it would be popular for awhile. But had they done so in 1992, in downtown Vegas, what would it be now, 20 years later. Maybe it could be incredibly popular and amazing, but I also worry that, well, ultimately it would start to show its age and suck.

102. Jack - April 8, 2012

81. Dude, I’m not a troll or a troller. And yes, I know that the Enterprise model was in TMP in 1979. I lose patience with ‘Roddenberry was a Christ/Buddha-like visionary who’d hate to see his beloved Star Trek commercialized” talk. I don’t think I said anything that’s untrue or insulting. And, well, the story’s old because the show is old. Of course it was okay of him to make money. He was a guy who made a show and had help from others to turn some half-baked ideas into reality. It was a really good show, and I’m not downplaying his contribution or his ideas.

103. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - April 8, 2012

HEy Jack, we get it dude no need to be a redundant tool

It would’ve been beyond F-ing cool is the actual answer and so what if it didn’t last. We are a dipsh*t short attention span society anyway. If I could see THEEEE Enterprise (the best one alongside TOS) when I wnet to Vegas on business or to chase whores I would’ve been a happy man

104. Dr. Cheis - April 8, 2012

If they had built a fullscale Enterprise, it would probably still be here today. I doubt they would have torn it down to make room for anything else.

105. Jack - April 8, 2012

103. Sorry.

Hey, I would have gone too.

106. Red Dead Ryan - April 8, 2012


Maybe you’re onto something. People generally go to Vegas to gamble, visit strip clubs, only fans go to the Trek conventions there. Vegas doesn’t strike me as the kind of city where a young family would take their vacation even for a Trek convention. Plus that city depends so much on gambling, and when the economy slides, everybody suffers. You don’t have that problem in a small town like Riverside. Yeah, you don’t have a big population, but I’m sure they’d be thrilled to host something that is a big draw and brings tourist dollars to their town. Plus you could build the ship in an open field that wouldn’t be too far from the town either.

As for the financing, that could come from volunteer financing from fans. I suppose Paramount/CBS could raise funds by selling autographed TOS (or TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT) photos for about $30 or so which would go to the construction of the project. I don’t know how easy or hard it would be to sell 20 million photos to fans worldwide, but I’d have to think there are enough fans to give it a shot. And CBS/Paramount could still put some of its own money into it if the fundraising falls a bit short.

107. Red Dead Ryan - April 8, 2012

I might be crazy, but I saw nothing wrong with what Jack said. I do think sometimes there can be a cult-like reverence of the guy on this site. Statements like “Gene’s Vision” kind of prove that.

108. dmduncan - April 8, 2012

Well I think the context you encounter the ship in is very important for the experience you have has a visitor. Vegas is not the right context.

But yeah man. I would love to be watching the sun go down, sitting on the hangar deck, my feet dangling off the edge…while behind me there are events taking place through the wide open giant doors of the hangar.

I can imagine that thing hosting the biggest Star Trek/SF convention in the world. Bigger than Comic Con. Something that would grow up around it because…suddenly it’s there, something totally awesome that wasn’t there before.

Y’know, people probably thought Disney was nuts too when he envisioned building Disneyland in the Florida boonies. But look at how big it got and how much it expanded into other theme parks.

I think this can be done and done successfully. Outside of Vegas. Near Riverside, Iowa. And if you click on the aerial view, it certainly looks like they got plenty of room to spare for it.,-91.576667&spn=0.1,0.1&t=m&q=41.481944,-91.576667

109. Nick Cook - April 8, 2012

As I said above, I’d have happily gone to Vegas to visit this thing. Heck, my wife and honeymooned in Vegas ’cause we wanted to go the Experience (and went back three times). We were gutted when it closed.

It’s not being a ‘naysayer’ to acknowledge that the proposed attraction would have cost vastly more than estimated, been a huge money sink and likely not have been the huge success some folks here are suggesting. Heck the Experience was brilliant, but even that didn’t exactly rake in the huge profits (and it did okay).

But yeah, I’d have liked to see it, as would every other fan I imagine. The general public, maybe not so much.

Did Jaffe make the right call? We’ll probably never know for sure.

110. MJ - April 8, 2012

Jack, just because I said “you are really too hard on Gene Roddenberry,” does not mean that I think he was a “Christ-like visionary.” I’ll stand by my original simple post @78 here — if you go back and read it, I don’t think it is out of line. As I inferred then, I also think it behooves us to be polite to Gene’s legacy given that his son is probably reading everything we say here.

And unlike others here, I can attest that I spent some time with guy over a couple of days in the late 1970’s on a pro-space project, and can attest that he was not the A-hole businessman that some of these posts here seem to infer. Nor did I see him walk on water or cure a blind man.

111. ToMaHaKeR - April 8, 2012

I’ve always imagined that such an attraction would be epic!

112. dmduncan - April 8, 2012

110: “And unlike others here, I can attest that I spent some time with guy over a couple of days in the late 1970’s on a pro-space project,”


113. Nick Cook - April 8, 2012

Who implied Roddenberry was an ‘a-hole businessman’? I never got the impression Jack was suggesting any such thing. And I really don’t see why acknowledging there was more to him than wide-eyed visionary is really a bad thing.

He was smart, he was talented, and he was a good producer that made the most of his opportunities. That’s a good thing. :)

114. Vultan - April 8, 2012

All in all, I think I’d rather see 150 million bucks invested in SpaceX or something like it. Real spaceships are even cooler.

115. Red Dead Ryan - April 8, 2012

#113 & 114.

Yup! And yup!

116. Vultan - April 8, 2012


Hey, are you the aviation journalist Nick Cook?

117. Keachick - rose pinenut (F) - April 8, 2012

Jack is not a troll! Yes, I think that most of us are aware that Rod Roddenberry may read these posts on occasion, as may many of the Trek actors and others (past and present). Jack did not say anything wrong and I do not think that calling him a “redundant tool” is necessary.

Gene Roddenberry had a young family to take care of. Any venture like Star Trek had to be financially viable. He, like millions of other Americans et al, had to work, earn money to pay mortgages, bills and put food on the table. Have none of you had to do something for the sake and welfare of others and not just for yourselves? The tricky part is being able to maintain yourself and other dependents by being financially viable and at the same time being able to work at something that is also creatively fulfilling as well. Gene Roddenberry was one of those people who seemed to be able to do both. Surely a win-win scenario for all!

118. Keachick - rose pinenut (F) - April 8, 2012

#56 – “Probably the idea of having the USS Enterprise could work better in a theme park. It would certainly be great to see, if possible, at a picturesque, more family-friendly facility. There’s always the future…” – Keachick

I wrote that way back on this thread. I guess Riverside, Iowa, could be that picturesque place?

119. Amish Electrician - April 8, 2012

Atlantic City’s newest just opened…50 story wedge shaped building…they could of built a fleet of ships for the 2.2 billion they spent on that stupid building

120. Red Dead Ryan - April 8, 2012

The Enterprise would be out of place in a crowded metropolis such as Las Vegas. It would fit better with the wide open *space* of the plains of Iowa, especially under the stars of a cold, crisp autumn night….

121. Amish Electrician - April 8, 2012

Build one in space…now that would be a tourist attaction

122. Mirror Jordan - April 8, 2012

Cool idea, but probably wouldn’t have been terribly successful then…or now.

123. jon1701 - April 8, 2012

76: Jack

I agree with everything you said. I dont think you said anything wrong here.

See what Herb Solow, Leonard Nimoy & Rick Berman said on the subject:

2 minutes in (great documentary by the way)

124. MJ - April 8, 2012

@117 “Gene Roddenberry had a young family to take care of. Any venture like Star Trek had to be financially viable. He, like millions of other Americans et al, had to work, earn money to pay mortgages, bills and put food on the table. Have none of you had to do something for the sake and welfare of others and not just for yourselves? The tricky part is being able to maintain yourself and other dependents by being financially viable and at the same time being able to work at something that is also creatively fulfilling as well. Gene Roddenberry was one of those people who seemed to be able to do both. Surely a win-win scenario for all!”


125. MJ - April 8, 2012

@93 “If Gene Roddenberry had listened to all the negativity, we would’ve never had Star Trek in the first place (science fiction was not exactly popular on TV when Star Trek first aired; it was considered kid’s stuff). All great things in this world began life as audacious dreams.”


126. MJ - April 8, 2012

@113 “Who implied Roddenberry was an ‘a-hole businessman’? I never got the impression Jack was suggesting any such thing.”

OK, I will admit I stretched that a bit. Perhaps I got carried away too given Jack definitely did use the term “Christ-like visionary” to describe some of us who think better of Gene.

I don’t really see any Gene worshippers on this site…that definition of Gene is largely a figment of past media stories about him that I will acknowledge has rubbed some fans the wrong way. But, by the same token, the more recent discussion about his womanizing, moneymaking schemes, etc., kind of miss the point about the man in my mind as well.

127. MJ - April 8, 2012

@123 “See what Herb Solow, Leonard Nimoy & Rick Berman said on the subject:

I guess we may be interpreting this material differently, because what I got from this documentary was that Gene was the real deal and that Herbert Solow is a grumpy old man who is still bitter that he wasn’t able to do much work in TV after 1970.

128. Nick Cook - April 8, 2012

I have a great deal of admiration for Gene Roddenberry, for a great many reasons, but I have no desire to deify him. He was as Human as any of us, which is another thing in his favour to my mind. :)

The’s nothing wrong with trying to make a profit, so I don’t know why anyone would object to that. But hey, there’s some weird people out there.

Alas, I am not the journalist Nick Cook. I’m not nearly so successful. :)

129. MJ - April 8, 2012

@128 “but I have no desire to deify him.”

There we go again???

Who in the “F” is deifying him here? You complain about terms I am using (“A-hole businessman)…fair enough! But then you throw out the “deify thing” again, just as Jack did.

So you get to complain about extreme terms I am using while you go on using your own outlandish terms in the other extreme???

130. Red Shirt Diaries - April 8, 2012

Just an observation. It does seem to me to be a straw-man type of argument when people keep comparing Gene to God, Christ and using the term, “deification.” It just seems like a weak-minded cop-out for folks to blanketly say, “oh, look, those fans are just worshiping Gene.”

My advice would be for folks to stick to the facts here and not use weak cliches and labels like that. Gene was a complex man, who did great things, and who also made some human mistakes that we all make in the course of our lifetimes. Our discussion of him should be based on his life, not on trying to score points against fans who may either over appreciate Gene or under appreciate Gene.

131. George Lazenby - April 8, 2012

You would think with the popularity of Camerons ‘Titanic’ that Vegas would have built a full scale version of it and make it a hotel casino for tourists.

132. Red Shirt Diaries - April 8, 2012

#131 / George Lazenby. Or better yet, why wouldn’t one of the big cruise lines rebuild the Titanic, with better engineering and up to current technologies of course; but looking the same on the outside and in the luxury decks. Can you imagine the demand and spectacle it would create if they did this?

Here is another thought. They have tons of room for expansion still at the New Air and Space Museum Annex near Dulles Airport in DC. Why not build the full-scale Enterprise mock-up out there someday? That would be a lot classier than Vegas. Get a group of geek-Trekkie millionaires to foot the bill.

133. MJ - April 8, 2012

@131 Actually, they actually had I think about a 3/4 scale version of the Titanic moored up I believe at the Port of Ensenda, Mexico, where they filmed the movie. I expect that is scrap by now, but perhaps it is being stored somewhere?

134. Battle-scarred Sciatica - April 8, 2012

Off topic, but I found this 2010 article (under the Hindenberg article) showing the original TOS model Enterprise as it was shipped around North America in the early seventies and displayed in various places.

It even shows x-rays of areas of the model as they were concerned about stresses caused by hanging the 11 foot beast (which was never really designed to be hung).

There is one picture with the Big E in a box broken down into sections… was so sad.

heres the link for those interested or those who haven’t seen them before:

enjoy :)

135. Devon - April 8, 2012

“Gene was a complex man, who did great things, and who also made some human mistakes that we all make in the course of our lifetimes.”

REALLY?!?! Did you honestly just say that??

136. MJ - April 8, 2012

@134…very cool…thanks!

137. Red Dead Ryan - April 8, 2012

Whoever took apart the Enterprise model and shoved the pieces into the crates in such bad shape clearly showed no respect to an iconic piece of television history. While I’m glad it was able to be restored to pristine condition, I can’t help but wonder what they were thinking when they treated the model like some sort of cheap prop. Unbelievable.

As for the Titanic replica, I believe its in a museum somewhere. Not sure though.

138. DeShonn Steinblatt - April 8, 2012

Well, if Star Trek can continue its recent upsurge in popularity, who knows?

139. Reign1701A - April 8, 2012

I…almost wish I didn’t know about this. Wow, that would’ve been INCREDIBLE. Not to mention it would’ve been the best iteration of the Enterprise. 8th Wonder of the World indeed.

140. Battle-scarred Sciatica - April 8, 2012

yeah, i cannot believe that such little respect was shown for the original Big E.

It was a shocking photo.

Breaks the heart.

141. Red Dead Ryan - April 8, 2012

I sure hope the douchebag(s) who tore apart the Big E felt bad and embarrassed after witnessing the resurgence of Trek’s popularity in the ’70’s.

142. Red Shirt Diaries - April 8, 2012

#135 / Devon. “REALLY?!?! Did you honestly just say that??”

Huh? Should I recognize you or something? Sorry, but I am not getting your response here?

143. Red Dead Ryan - April 8, 2012

The same disrespect was show towards the Star Trek Experience models when they were taken down. The E-D was pretty much butchered. And yet, the people who ran the Experience had the nerve to sell the pieces at rip-off prices!

Sheesh, you never EVER see George Lucas treat his models like that!

144. MikeTen - April 8, 2012

It would have been incredible to see the original Enterprise built full scale with the ship lit up at night and the warp engines glowing. But I have to agree with some of the other people posting here, the refit Enterprise is the most practical design and if a full scale Enterprise is ever built it might be better off in a amusement park like Six Flags, Disney, or Universal Studios.

145. Gene L. Coon was a U, S. Marine. Stand at ease. - April 8, 2012

@137 “While I’m glad it was able to be restored to pristine condition, ..”

I agree that it is in a beautiful setting down in the gift shop, but it is not in pristine condition. They gave her a horrific paint job a few years ago. She is still beautiful, but the saucer, especially, looks bad. It looks like they turned a kid with a can of spray paint loose on her. She is well presented, but they should restore a proper paint scheme.

Nobody like my Enterprise blimp/dirigible idea? No wonder it never got built!

146. Jack - April 8, 2012

110. MJ, wasn’t talking to you at all, just the two posts I mentioned by number (hadn’t seen yours at that point). I was responding to the comment that said Gene would be turning in his grave to see his beloved Star Trek commercialized. The evidence shows that he wasn’t against Trek making money. calling him a TV producer isn’t an insult. Acknowledging that Trek didn’t come to him after a 40 day trek in the wilderness isn’t an insult. I don’t think I said anything personal about the guy.

And there was an earlier comment about Roddenberry’s vision and, yeah, some of this talk kind of distorts everything I’ve heard Gene say and others say about him.

I didn’t know Gene Roddenberry. Maybe he would be rolling in his grave. I didn’t mean to say anything bad about the guy, other than that he was a TV producer who created my favourite show. And did a hell of a job. And famously didn’t buckle. And made money off it. And sometimes not enough — there were lean times.

“Just an observation. It does seem to me to be a straw-man type of argument when people keep comparing Gene to God, Christ and using the term, “deification.” It just seems like a weak-minded cop-out for folks to blanketly say, “oh, look, those fans are just worshiping Gene.”

Nobody here is comparing Gene literally to God or Christ (or, at least, I’m not) or is saying that you are– all I’ve said is that sometimes he’s treated like a sage/ prophet/visionary (and yeah, I said like Christ or Buddha [and, me, I don’t consider either of them to be anything but teachers who’ve had incredible impact]) by some (not you MJ, or even anyone here today). It happens on this site. It worries me because it suggests that they’re missing the point of the best episodes of Trek.

What do phrases like “Gene’s vision” mean, exactly?

Heck, some of his shows dealt with the dangers of a cult of personality and of blind allegiance. No, I’m not going that far and accusing anyone here of anything (or saying Gene isn’t worthy of respect , admiration and thanks) — but sometimes I wonder whether people who say things like “Gene would outraged” or talk about “Gene’s vision” well, know what the heck they’re talking about, unless they knew and or worked with the guy. I wonder if they’ve really watched that much Star Trek.

And I wasn’t meaning to attack the guy who said Gene would be rolling in his grave — just that stories suggests that the guy wasn’t against making money. Saying something like, hey, this goes against the spirit of what I think Star Trek stands for , well, that’s another kettle of fish entirely.

If we were on a BSG site, would I have to watch everything I said about Glen A. Larson?

147. Red Dead Ryan - April 8, 2012


I only assumed it was in pristine condition because I knew that it had been restored. So I guess they do need a professional to do the job properly. The original Big-E deserves it. If this were the Millenium Falcon instead that was treated this way, George Lucas would fix it in a heartbeat. Of course, Lucas wouldn’t allow the Falcon to fall into such disrepair in the first place.

As for the blimp idea, well, I don’t see that happening. There was at first a lot of hype surrounding blimps, but that bubble burst after the Hindenberg exploded. Nobody wants to fly in those things. Now you only see them above football and baseball games that are shown on television.

148. Dave in RI - April 8, 2012

The Hindenberg was filled with hydrogen gas. Modern blimps use helium. Much safer.

149. Jack - April 8, 2012

Now I feel kind of lousy for starting all this.

I’ve tried to figure out why this “Gene’s vision” stuff bothers me so much… and I wasn’t meaning to insult people who see Star Trek as a shining example of a future filled with hope… I’ve thought that way as well. I still do.

I think it’s because, well, it (this is the way Gene would have wanted it) involves making a lot of assumptions. Unless Mr. Roddenberry left a detailed instruction sheet that we’re not aware of. Rick Berman has said he was doing things the way he believed Gene would have wanted. The spirit, I think, got lost along the way. I think one can lose site of the spirit of things when we focus on set-in-stone specifics based on assumptions about what we think someone else (an artist, a religious figure, a politician, a family member) would have wanted (and I’m talking, too, about things beyond Star Trek — religious dogma, dogged attachment to ideology, people living lives based on what they think others, alive or dead, expect of them).

And, somehow, I think it’s kind of insulting to Roddenberry and everyone else involved in Trek to create all this mythology and to let that trump what he (and the others) actually made. It belittles the amount of work that went into all this…

But to say that, as a fan of Trek, we think Star Trek should, ideally, be about more than just selling movie tickets and making money for Paramount — well, that’s absolutely fair. Trek connected initiatives (by Paramount, by us as fans) to encourage science, to fund scholarships, to push for exploration and for equal opportunities for people of all races — well, that’s what Star Trek’s about to me.

150. Red Dead Ryan - April 8, 2012


I know that. But I was referring to the perception created by the Hindenberg disaster. The hype surrounding blimps abated after that, and few people today dream of flying in a blimp.


Perhaps we should refer to “Star Trek” as “Gene’s idea” rather than “Gene’s vision”, which makes it sound like Gene Roddenberry was a prophet, a seer, or a god. “Gene’s idea” has a much more down-to-earth, and human definition which lends better to the fact Roddenberry was a creative (if sometimes flawed) genius.

151. Vultan - April 8, 2012


You might want to check out some of the new concepts being explored in blimps and airships these days. Not saying they’re going to make a comeback, but companies and organizations such as Lockheed, Boeing and NASA are still showing interest in their possibilities.

Check it out:

152. Vultan - April 8, 2012

Not sure why an airship disaster from 1938 would still frighten people away from airships. How many plane crashes have happened since then? And the Titanic! Cruise ships are more popular than ever… though, it would be wise to stay off the Italian ones… Captain with two glass eyes and all—ARRRR! (That was for you, British Naval Dude!)

153. Vultan - April 8, 2012

Oops, the Hindenburg disaster was 1937, not ’38.

The ’38 airship disaster occurred over Hollywoodland.

154. MJ - April 8, 2012

Jack, thanks for the thoughtful posts. Really, I don’t think we are all that far apart then, especially if we take RDR’s advice and term Trek as “Gene’s idea” rather than vision — that works for me!

155. Gary Goddard - April 8, 2012

I appreciate everyone’s comments and thoughts. Because this blog has created SUCH interest, I thought I might take a moment to answer some of the interseting issues raised by others.

But to be clear, I have been doing this for a LONG time. Meaning, creating attractions that push the envelope and hearing “it can’t be done” by so many others. You should understand, if it were up to the suits- and in some cases even fellow designers – there would have been no Terminator 2/3D, certainly no Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man 3D ride, no Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace — its a long list. Doing the seemingly impossible has been something I have made a career of. I found some of the comments interesting, and some I felt were just the glib one liners — taking a shot at something just to be witty — but I’m taking the time to provide some additional information and comments here for those who care. On some of the main points– made by well-intentioned people I know — here are some additional facts, background and comments to consider:

1. For those concerned with the Economics: The project WAS economically viable because of a very unique situation. The downtown casino owners were going to finance the attraction. Whether it made money or not was not their primary concern – they would make their money back in their hotels and casinos. (It was they who spent about $65,000,000 on the “The Fremont Experience” and there was NO return on that possible – its a big digital projection screen that covers the street and shows some videos with blasting music – and its “free”.) So understand, the economics of this attraction were quite unique. The project was vetted by an outside economic consultant as well, who confirmed this would an absolute 100% home run. If you do the math – trust me it works.

2. For those who think this was only for TREK fans: This project was much larger than one for Star Trek fans alone. Remember, I am IN this industry, I create attractions — The Forum Shops draws 18,000,000 people a year. The money is made in the shops and stores. But the people come to take their photos in the “night sky” that happens every 2 to 3 hours. The STAR TREK ENTERPRISE was on a scale — take this the right way – with Mount Rushmore, with the Statue of Liberty, with the Effiel Tower. It was to be a magnificent man-made monument on a colossal scale. It would be something that would become magnetic – a “must see” for people who are Trek Fans or not. On a relative scale of the people who visit these attractions, only a percentage go into the Statue of Liberty, or up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. But people FLOCK to see these man made wonders. the STAR TREK ENTERPRISE would have drawn people from all over Vegas — and would still be drawing them today. And remember, that was the first and foremost goal — get traffic (people) off the strip and BACK to the downtown area. I think ENTERPRISE would have done even more than that — I think ENTERPRISE would have been a destination for a high percentage of Las Vegas visitors (meaning that they are already intending to visit the ENTERPRISE even before they get to Vegas. It would be one of the “must see” destinations in Vegas.

3.For those who compare the “shelf life issue” to Star Trek- The Experience: Comparing this to STAR TREK; THE EXPERIENCE is not in the cards. And I did STTE so don’t get me wrong – that was a hell of a great attraction and I am very very proud of it. But it was – ultimately – a very cool attraction inside a casino. And attractions like that DO need updating when repeat visitation is a major part of the equation. STTE was a truly great attraction — but it was not a frigging 28 story high, 4 football field-long stand-alone MONUMENT to an international mythology. IMAGINE this thing – day or night, sunrise, sunset, nighttime — whether you are on the ground looking at up it, or on the main deck looking out — its something you really have to SEE to believe. The magnetic power of the Starship Enteprise would be — I beileve – quite strong. This is the point – it was first and foremost a MONUMENT – something on a scale that fires the imagination. The “show” within it was important – but the real draw would have been the ship itself. And I disagree with everyone that thinks it would lose its appeal — the Disneyland Castle(s) don’t lose their appeal — The ENTERPRISE would be as strong a draw today as it would have been the first five years. Think about this – there are very few projects that would find major international press at ALL of these occasions: Announcement of the project. Revealing the Design Model. Ground Breaking. Previews. Opening Day. And then annual celebrations thereafter for spcial events. Live broadcasts from the site, and so on. The magnitude of this concept is quite different than STTE – though again, I am proud of both but you can’t compare them. They are very different attractions built with very different goals.

4. For the “architects” who say it could not be done: For you “experts” I say “ye of little faith” – and I banish you from and future projects of epic imagination. We have done projects around the world – over and over – for which certain “architects” always said “it could not be done.” But then we find an architect or engineer who says “you know – with a few changes, this CAN be done.” (Obviously we prefer the latter architects to the former.) For the record, this project was being engineered by no less than Ken Ball and a team of engineers (ex Disney engineers who – unlike these guys with their comments here — were trained to always say “how can we do this” rather than “this is not possible”) and yes, there would be some compromises to the design, but nothing that was not solveable — and by that I mean being able to solve the engineering issues in ways that would not destroy the ship’s design, lines, and aesthetics. I know to go to these guys because of EXACTLY people like the “architects” who commented on the seeming impossibility. It as NOT impossible. Challenging yes, but do-able.

5. The Financial Viability: The project – because of the unique source of financing – made possible by land being given for free by the city, and the casino operators providing the capital without necessarily requiring a profit (though I believe over ten years it would have returned the investment – but the cash flow from “the attraction” part of this was to provide, first, payments to Paramount under the licensing deal, and 2nd to the operating and marketing costs for the attraction – anything left over would go to the “bank” which were the casino owners ) So this would have been a big financial success for the licensee (Paramount) without any financial risk on thier part, and it would have been a success for the operators, whomever that turned out to be – we never got that far. (Remember — the project that was done in place – FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE cost about half of what the ENTERPRISE was going to cost and its FREE – so there was never any hope of recouping cost from the attraction itself, yet it was built.)

6. Lastly, for those that think as NEW Starships were designed, this one would be obsolete – I disagree. We picked this model for very specific reasons. I don’t need to go into that here, because you are all fans – so you KNOW the place that his ship hold in the Star Trek legacy. And, in success, perhaps another park in Europe or Asia would take on the next generation design, or a Romulan Ship, or whatever. Ground Zero would always have been Vegas.

I hope this helps to let everyone know that the issues raised in many cases are understandable given the fact that my blog was a condensed version of the events. But we did not go bold forward as blind men. We were being tasked by EVERYONE at the time regarding “who, what, how, when, why” and every one of the issues raised here had to be answered. The point of all of this – BECAUSE we did our homework and had the answers — we found ourselves IN THE ROOM — with all of the principles — with the land, the city, the financing, the licensing agreement agreed to “in principle” — and everyone (except ONE as it turned out) WANTED this to happen. Each for their own reasons. The RARITY of getting all of the parts working together on a project of this magnitude in five months time – is quite staggering. So – when it was shot down by the one person in the room who did not do his homework, who made his decisions based upon fear, and who lacked any kind of understanding of his own property (Star Trek) I consider it tragic. It was a great personal, creative and emotional loss for me – I can tell you that.

Frankly I am surprised that so many “fans” of Star Trek don’t see what could have been. I just ask that rather than be a naysayer in hindsight — just take a moment, and THINK about the sun rising on THE STARSHIP ENTERPRISE, or the Silhouette a night as the sun sets, with the lights going on throughout the ship. Think about it at night, lit up and glowing like a beacon — I am telling you — THIS was a home run. On every level. And it is one of the great disappointment of my life that it did not happen.

So, hope this provides a bit of additional insight. We do not approach any projects we do lightly, nor did we approach this one without fully comprehending what it was we are intending to create. On every level.

Challenges yes. Impossible, a resounding no.

156. MJ - April 8, 2012

@154. Wow, that is a really interesting take. I would disagree with you on the starship design selected though. I do think you could do the classic Enterprise — that one is iconic and would stand the test of time. But I do see that later Enterprise’s would get dated over time.

And definitely keep any idea of a life size TNG Enterprise for Europe — that butt ugly ship can go to Europe and stay there. LOL

Thanks again for sharing this great info. You nearly have me convinced of what might have been.

157. Battle-scarred Sciatica - April 9, 2012


Thanks for that Gary.

It would have been frigging AWESOME!

I would have walked from NZ to go see a monument of such magnitude!

Give me the TOS Enterprise over all the rest though.

Thanks again for taking the time to speak to the fans of Trek.

Why don’t you come and build it in my back garden. You might have to find the money elsewhere though…I might have a couple of bucks lying around somewhere…LOL ;)

158. Thomas - April 9, 2012

155. Gary Goddard

Thank you for additional insight into what happened. As an admitted naysayer, I have to say the additional information has changed my thinking on this whole thing. Thank you very much.

159. Shilliam Watner - April 9, 2012

If nothing else, were the project to happen and money became an issue, they could have simply leased the engineering section to a brewery!

160. Buzz Cagney - April 9, 2012

#155 I very nearly didn’t come back onto this thread because, frankly, I was so disappointed by some of the doubters comments. I just didn’t get their problem. Its not like they were being asked to give up a kidney to help fund it! However, given Gary’s comments i’m really glad I did come back.

Gary, your comments are fascinating and I share your disappointment at the failure to get this project off the ground. Like you I am certain it would have been a smash hit. And I also think your choice of ship to be good. Besides, to the untrained eye Trek ships are fairly generic looking, it just so happens that the 1701 refit is probably the very best looking.

The big question remains, though, Gary, is there any chance that this could happen in the future at some point? Do you still have an interest in making it happen?
I can imagine laser beams being ‘fired’ out of the saucer now.. *sigh*… if only…

161. Nick Cook - April 9, 2012

129 MJ. Sorry I wasn’t trying to imply anyone here was trying to deify him. I was simply pointing out that I didn’t before anyone accused me of same. Please don’t read any sort of criticism into my comments that simply isn’t there.

162. Nick Cook - April 9, 2012

130 Red Shirt Diaries.

“Gene was a complex man, who did great things, and who also made some human mistakes that we all make in the course of our lifetimes.”

If you actually read what I said, I made pretty much the same point.

163. - April 9, 2012

Thanks Gary.

I wonder if this story coming out now will lead to other offers from around the world.

I hope so.

164. Amish Electrician - April 9, 2012


That post should win a Wherlitzer Prize

165. Gary - April 9, 2012

Someone give Mike Bloomberg a call. A full size Enterprise would be perfect for the unused Governors Island in NYC.

166. Jay - April 9, 2012

I think this could work if it was done as a resort. If built to full scale, you should be able to make it a hotel/resort, and since it’s in Vegas, the saucer section could be a casino.

I think this could definately work, but you can’t do it as a one day attraction that people in vegas just go out and see. You need to make it a destination. Like Disney World.

Maybe incorporate a couple rides in it… not sure how you could do that though.

But mainly as a hotel/resort with all of the hotel employees in Star Trek character. The rooms would be decorated as crew quarters (albeit nicer than portrayed in the movies) with neat Star Trek “things” in the rooms. Have a couple of restaraunts on board.

Maybe have the Bridge be a simulation of some space battle where people go in in groups and “ride” through a simulated space battle with actors playing the main characters on the bridge.

I think you could definately make this work, but I think you need it to be something people spend several days at.

167. Jay - April 9, 2012

If you are going to Vegas for a week, and you love Star Trek, wouldn’t you stay at the Enterprise Hotel/Resort for the week?

168. Jay - April 9, 2012

#155 Mr. Goddard, I think you will notice if you spend any time reading the posts on this blog, that most of thost that take the time to post, do so in order to complain about something Star Trek related. Whether that be the current film in production or whatever. Just seems that they want to complain about anything being done with Star Trek if it isn’t exactly as they think it should be.

As for the Enterprise attraction, was there any intent to make it a hotel? Or was it just going to be an attraction? It just seems that at full scale, it would be plenty large enough to be a hotel. Or was the economics of building a hotel so different from building an attraction that it wasn’t considered?

169. Fueled by Armus - April 9, 2012

I don’t think Trek is popular enough for a theme park. I also don’t think the fans are agreeable enough to make such an endeavor successful. Regardless of what the actual results would be, I find the fanbase to be incredibly opinionated and full of bickery.

As we’ve seen in this thread, you can’t be critical (or have a realistic view of Roddenberry) without someone jumping down your throat. Most people would see that and think “Well, I don’t agree with that but oh well.” It probably hurts ST that it’s original “creator” is dead as now there are all these interpretations of what is or isn’t Trek that are irrelevant *because* the man is dead and gone. We have no Lord Lucas to tell us what is and isn’t “right” – instead the fans conjecture and argue.

I think it leaves many afraid that if they get a detail wrong, it’ll be a DISASTER and no one will be interested. The stereotype of a Trek fan sadly isn’t that far from the visible reality and I do honestly think it hurts the future of the franchise to some extent.

Fans argue over which series was the best, which captain kicked the most butt, etc. There is no cohesion where a fan of *just* DS9 would be interested in seeing a TOS-era attraction. There is no way this project would have succeeded without other attractions to lure in ALL Trek fans and make it worth everyone’s time and money to visit.

Anyone who hasn’t should read Inside Star Trek: The Real Story before you go around slinging insults.

170. Jay - April 9, 2012

#169 Yeah I agree with alot of that.

I still think if they made it a hotel/resort it would work. When people decide to go to Vegas for a week, or a long weekend, they always have to choose what hotel/resort they want to stay at. I think if the Enterprise were a hotel that alot of people would stay there. Especially if it was a complete experience with employees in character, etc.

You could do so many things that incorprate The Experience as part of it. But you could also have the “normal” kind of resort things. Just make them Star Trek themed.

One of the nacels could be a night club with great views of the city. Swiming pool.

You could have a water slide modeled after the 2009 engine room scene with Scotty.

I think you could make money with that if it was done right. People always need a place to stay and I think they would flock to that for the experience. They could still go out and visit all the Vegas attractions during the week as well.

171. SoonerDave - April 9, 2012

I think this would have been awesome. It would have made me infinitely more likely to ever have gone to Vegas.

You overcome the architectural issues on the saucer simply by backloading it across that dorsal shaft, and using that dorsal to conceal a steel superstructure for the saucer. You then put most of the “to be visited” elements in the aft half, make the forward part of the saucer almost entirely cosmetic. The much bigger issue structurally IMHO would have been wind loads *underneath* the saucer, esp. considering the curvature of the underside. You’d have some pretty interesting aerodynamics there. Would have been a fascinating project to work on from an engineering/design side!

172. Paul - April 9, 2012

That would of been one heck of an experience for trekkie fans, but if you built one Enterprise, you would then have to build attractions based on the other Trek Series and any other Trek Adventure thats still to come in the future, so i guess it would be better to have an attraction that incoporates all the Trek Universe and not just one small part of it…

173. Jay - April 9, 2012

I don’t think it would take away from the look or experience if you had some support structures for the saucer and nacels that went to the ground. You could find clever ways to conceal them.

Another idea for the hotel/resort theme…. they could have a nightly light/laster show underneath the saucer section. LIke that one hotel that has the amazing water fountain, the Enterprise could have the light show that is projected down from the underneath side of the saucer.

Maybe an outdoor pool area or party area for the light show in the area on the gound underneath the saucer.

So many things you could do to make it appealing to spend a week there.

174. T'Cal - April 9, 2012

I miss Star Trek: The Experience. I brought my family to it a dozen times with the last one being in ’08 when my wife and I renewed our vows on the Bridge just a few months before it closed down. Other than the addition of the Voyager/Borg ride, the place had little to no updating throughout its life and it showed. We loved Quark’s but it was far from inexpensive and the Experience would’ve benefitted from having a family restaurant. In addition, they rarely brought in new things at the stores. The stuff they had was good but they could’ve expanded so much more. I had hoped for an attraction based on 2009’s Star Trek but that didn’t happen obviously.

As for the ship, I would’ve loved it!

175. Hankster - April 9, 2012

Any chance this could be pitched again or are we way past that point? I know 1992 was probably the peak of Trek popularity, but if the folks in Vegas wanted something unique then this would be it. Maybe change the design to the 2009 version??
Perhaps this has been discussed, why is this coming out 20 years later? How could this remain a secret for so long? At first I thought this must be a April Fools joke…just a few days late.

176. LizardGirl - April 9, 2012

They could do this now and it would be fantastic. If they wanted they could have different floors dedicated to different Star Trek franchises so everyone’s happy. But I cant get over that picture! It’s so beautiful and sparkly! I think if they were to do this now they should definitely go with the Enterprise D version. They could spruce it up if they want but that one is my favorite ship.

177. Jefferies Tuber - April 9, 2012

Count me grateful that our beloved ship did not literally lay down and get in bed with Las Vegas. Imagine the merchandise, and the CSI episode. I really hate that place.

178. Lt. Bailey - April 9, 2012

Too bad, I think it would have nice to see that.

Vegas has plenty of space to build on still. As for cost of $150 million back then or even now?? City Center cost over 1 Billion, a ST attraction like this would be a bargin.

179. Jay - April 9, 2012

#178… Yeah, that’s why I question what exactly it was. That’s too cheap to be a hotel, so it seems it was originally suppose to just be an attraction. But looking at those artists concepts, it seems to be as large as one of the Vegas resort hotels, so I don’t understand why making it a hotel wasn’t considered. That seems to be the best way to keep it viable.

You could come up with so many things both in the “ship” and surrounding it to make it a complete resort centered on the Star Trek experience. Having the hotel be a full size Enterprise would just make it amazing.

Certainly you could have areas in the hotel that were life size mock-ups of the interior of the ship – engine room, bridge, sick bay, transporter, etc. But also have areas like a night club, restaraunts, shops that are Star Trek themed but not necessarily suppose to be in the “ship”. If you know what I mean.

I would definately go if there were such a thing.

180. NCM - April 9, 2012

Jack, you may at times relentlessly render dust from the long dead horse, but you’re the furthest thing from a troll.

Now we’ve heard ‘real expert’ testimony, but I hardly think the case has been made that fans who doubt the brilliance of this vision are shortsighted or unimaginative. They might as easily and with as much respect suggests their counterparts are chasing a pipe dream.

181. Phil - April 9, 2012

If I read this right, the ship would basically be a shell with displays for the more well know stuff, and rides and other attractions. Can’t help but think this would have had some huge cost overrruns when structural problems cropped up, and outside of the Trek fan base, I can’t help but this this would have been a clossal failure. ST:TE hung around for about 10 years, but it was on life support for the last few years of it’s run.

182. Red Shirt Diaries - April 9, 2012

@173 “I don’t think it would take away from the look or experience if you had some support structures for the saucer and nacels that went to the ground. You could find clever ways to conceal them.”

Bushes? :-)

183. porthoses bitch - April 9, 2012

A few thoughts…..
Its 1992 Paramount is just coming off ST V…..I dont blame any exec for balking with paramount money.

When I first saw those pics I thought they plopped that sumbitch in lake mead.

Im thinking that the whole complex is in the engineering section and the rest of it is just appearence… think of the original Estes rockets Enterprise and klingon cruiser.

How much does it resemble jjs enterprise when kirk looks at it being built ,,,

Lastly does anyone have the link for the painting from a few years ago of the big e being rebuilt in an earthbound drydock. Most of the ship was below ground……. oh and how the hell did the jjpise ever get to orbit….?. Always wonder if the scene was written.

184. Jay - April 9, 2012

#182 lol…. no, but it wouldn’t be hard. It’s not like people really think it’s a real space ship. I’m sure there are some creative engineer and architech types that could come up with something that didn’t take away from the asthetics.

185. dmduncan - April 9, 2012

155. Gary Goddard – April 8, 2012

Thanks for the commentary, Gary. And I had no doubt at all that it was possible.

But why NOT put something like this outside Riverside, Iowa? I’m sure if I dig I’ll find folks who thought Disney was nuts for wanting to build an amusement park in the Florida boonies, too. I have no doubt of it.

I also have no doubt that wherever you put this thing, people will come to see it. In droves. In Riverside there seems to be plenty of space. For other ships as well if the first one is a home run. So there’s plenty of room for expansion.

I love the idea, and there’s no structural support issue that at last can’t be resolved by the structural supports of a drydock that the ship sits within, making compromising the original design unnecessary.

Is the project really dead? How dead is it? There’s a new sheriff in town at Paramount.

186. Red Dead Ryan - April 9, 2012

With all due respect to Gary Goddard, I still don’t think this project would have succeeded in Las Vegas. Even with casinos chipping in, it would still have been a hit-or-miss proposition, since the Enterprise attraction would have needed hundreds of fans to visit it every day just to keep the operation afloat. And for the non-fans, there are too many other options for them to spend their money on. People in general don’t go to Las Vegas for the attractions, they go there to gamble or visit exotic strip clubs. Or to visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop to meet the “Pawn Stars” :-)

I would think it would be better to put a Trek attraction in a place with little competition. Riverside, Iowa would be perfect, since it is the (fictional) birthplace of James T. Kirk. It would put that town on the map. Trekkies would definitely go, and non-Trekkies might want to check it out since it would most likely generate more buzz as a big fish in small pond as opposed to a small fish in a big and crowded lake.


I agree with everything you said.

187. dmduncan - April 9, 2012

I think Gary is right that this would definitely NOT be a Trek-fan only attraction. Something this big, this spectacular would draw anybody who goes on vacation. We really are talking about something that inspires awe all by itself, whether you are familiar with the series or not.

Something this big is probably too big to be ignored.

188. MJ - April 9, 2012

@ “Its 1992 Paramount is just coming off ST V…..I dont blame any exec for balking with paramount money.”

That is a scary thought — this implies that Shatner indirectly blew this big chance for this project with his awful ST V movie…wow, what a though!

189. MJ - April 9, 2012

@186. Agree in general, but Riverside, Iowa is just too much of a pain in the ass to get to. Put it at a major air and space museum near a big city or as the next upgrade to Epcot Center.

190. Lt. Bailey - April 9, 2012

Vegas would be the best spot, lots of people go there regardless to gamble or not. Some do go to see the headline acts…

Even non Trek fans would see that thing and womnder what it is like to go inside. I cannot tell you how many people I ran into in Quarks down in the Experience that were not fans but went in to STTE to look around. they saw the bar with the great drinks and food, maybe they took a chance on the rides after having a Romulan Ale or a Mind Meld. None ever said they wasted their money.

As for the citizens of Vegas having a star ship in their skyline…. well all our friends who live there say they can put up with just about anything since they have a pyramid, Eifel Tower, a castle, lots of Roman towers, etc… so whats the big deal about having another unique item in their skyline. We all knwo we would flock to it if it was built.

191. Vultan - April 9, 2012

In 1992 Paramount was just coming off TUC in ’91, which got a much better reception than FF. TNG was nearing the end of a successful run on TV and DS9 was in the works. So it’s understandable that someone thought up this Trek Mecca idea for Vegas.

It’s also understandable that Paramount would balk at the idea. Trek can be either hit or miss with the public, and (to put it politely) “guts” are in short supply in corporate Hollywood.

Even more today. Just look at the movies they’re making.

192. T'Cal - April 9, 2012

I took my family to Riverside for Trek Fest back in 2004; it was their 20th anniversary. It’s a very small town with very nice people. We loved the town sign that reads: “Riverside – Where the Trek Begins!” There’s even a silhouette of the town on the sign with the Enterprise whooshing over it. And, there’s the sign that reads, “Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk.” Very cool!

I just learned that there’s a casino/resort in Riverside and I’m taking my wife there soon for a show. It’s only 4 hours from Chicago. I wonder if the casino/resort becomes the Shipyard Bar by the 23rd century…

193. dmduncan - April 9, 2012

The reason why we got Disney WORLD in Florida was because the Anaheim Disney LAND had limited space for expansion. Potentially the same problem the Enterprise project might have being located in Vegas.

But out in a place like Riverside — plenty of room for what could amount to a Star Trek FLEET of ships.

194. dmduncan - April 9, 2012

190: “As for the citizens of Vegas having a star ship in their skyline…. well all our friends who live there say they can put up with just about anything since they have a pyramid, Eifel Tower, a castle, lots of Roman towers, etc… so whats the big deal about having another unique item in their skyline. We all knwo we would flock to it if it was built.”

Oh I’m sure the citizens of Vegas wouldn’t care. You probably wouldn’t be living there if that were the sort of thing that ticked you off.

But I would be more concerned about the visitor experience, about the visitor encountering this ship in a context that preserves not only a sense of its reality but of the ideals it represents — like James Kirk first encounters the Enterprise in ST.09. And that just seems less likely to happen in a place like Vegas where it’s sitting near a Pyramid, a Statue of Liberty, and an Eiffel Tower, in a town where people go to throw money away.

And also just to have some room to grow. It could turn into a Starfleet ship yard near Riverside.

195. Dani01 - April 9, 2012

I have been dreaming of exactly this for years – a 1:1 Enterprise, built in Las Vegas as an attraction, hotel and place where you could experience life in Trek future. I cannot believe that this has come so far to being a reality and yet failed because of one guy without visions. Really sad, that would have been totally awesome.

We could make this a Kickstarter project ;)

196. Reign1701A - April 9, 2012

Here’s the bright side: had they built it then, we nerds probably would’ve found it to be too inaccurate. “The nacelles are too fat!”, the “the hull is too grey and not white enough!” and what not. If they built it today, it’s more likely to be screen accurate, what with computers and all. Just take for instance the old ERTL kit compared to the Polar Lights kit or the Art Asylum sculpt.

197. jr - April 9, 2012

You could always down-size the project… how bout USS Voyager.

198. draderman - April 9, 2012

What about that Star Trek/Paramount resort thats being built in Jordan. The budget for that place is $1BIL, so a $150MIL 1:1 Enterprise would be doable. Gary should maybe contact that trekkie prince and see if hes interested.

199. Battle-scarred Sciatica - April 9, 2012

And here is the scale for you all; for comparisons

again I say: it would have been AWESOME!

200. Harry Ballz - April 9, 2012

Hmmmmm, 200 posts about something that was never built!

201. Greenberg - April 9, 2012

It’s a shame this didn’t happen. If they build one now, it’s guaranteed to look like the retarded ’09 version.

202. Battle-scarred Sciatica - April 9, 2012


203. Newman - April 9, 2012

Mr. Goddard you are the man. Thanks for providing the additional insight.

Also – sweeeet I knew I was right about the economics of it!

204. Buzz Cagney - April 9, 2012

My god people are still arguing the toss about the viability or otherwise of this! I ask again, are you people sure you are fans? Do you not want to see this? I mean, its a FULL SIZE ENTERPRISE! For the love of god its not our concern as to how much it cost. Its just down to us to go and see it. It would be a World Class Attraction. A reason to go to Vegas. Hell, possibly, for many, the only reason to go to Vegas. But go they would.
Forget the costings. Forget the setting. Forget how to build it- thats not your worry.
All you need do is picture yourself standing under this. A real, life size, Enterprise.

205. Buzz Cagney - April 9, 2012

Harry, I prefer to think of it as 205 posts about something that should, definitely, be built. ;-)

206. Harry Ballz - April 10, 2012

And those of us with a different opinion will be known, from this day forward, as a BUZZKILL?

207. Gummitale - April 10, 2012

I’ve been following this discussion, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I can think of one other possible alternate location for this proposed attraction that has not yet been brought up. What about — Kennedy Space Center, FL…?

208. Fueled by Armus - April 10, 2012

#204 Well, I can answer that. No, I probably wouldn’t go see it if it’s just the ship. I’d also have to know things like just how handicap accessible it would be. And before anyone comments, yes, everything has to be now but that NEVER means the experience is the same for able-bodied folk. Frequently at attractions you’re put through back passages and whatnot which aren’t themed as well as the main attraction. Would there be things to do other than investigate the ship? How about the food offered? How much would it cost? Would there be better options out there for my money? Would I have to provide my own transportation?

The other thing with ST is that most fans are content to watch it on tv. It isn’t like Disney or other properties that have had real-world representations for years. I can see Dumbo fly in the movie and I go fly with Dumbo in the parks. I see Kirk get buried in Tribbles and I’ve never been able to go somewhere and be buried in Tribbles so I don’t particularly even think in that direction of “Wow, that’d be fun to be buried in Tribbles.”

I think it’s overly simplistic and rather ignorant to just say “Yes, I’d go” without knowing any of the other details. Sure, some people might have that ability but the majority of people in the U.S. do not possess a large amount of disposable income and would have to think carefully about any vacation – no matter how much of a fan they are. If the ONLY thing in Vegas is the ship people would NOT come JUST for the ship. Unless it has AT LEAST a few days worth of attractions there is just no way most people would justify the time and expense if they’re not interested in anything else Vegas has to offer.

I certainly wouldn’t be able to turn it into a vacation with my other ST fan friends – I’m the only one who really likes TOS. The others like TNG and DS9 far more.

I really think part of the experience would be killed if it isn’t isolated from other buildings because it would destroy the illusion. Kind of like “Here I am in front of the Enterprise…ignore the other stuff.”

I’ll add this in, too, I’m really not that interested in touring the ship. As cool as standing on the bridge would be, I would be far more interested in attractions built around episodes and planets that they visited. The stories are what made Trek, not the ship. At the end of the day, the ship would be interesting for a day or two and since I don’t live anywhere near Vegas I would not be making the hypothetical trip.

209. Buzz Cagney - April 10, 2012

#208 well i’d go just on the strength of the artist impression. And why it is ignorant to say that? I would go. No question.

Harry, I simply do not and will not get the detractors. It defies all good sense, to my way of looking at it, to not wish to see this.
Seriously, I thought Trek fans were supposed to be imaginative thinkers. Sadly, it would appear not. I find it rather depressing tbh.

210. Harry Ballz - April 10, 2012

Buzz, I was just kidding around with you. I’d like to see a full-sized ship as well.

All aboard!!

211. Fueled by Armus - April 10, 2012


I’m pretty sure I covered why it’s ignorant, but I’ll add some more details anyway.

It’s ignorant simply because unless you’re independently wealthy or already live within a reasonable distance of Vegas, you cannot say with any amount of reasonable certainty that you would be able to afford such a trip/vacation. Perhaps it’s because I do have bills to pay and I have dealt with such things as terminally ill relatives that I am able to easily see that things could easily happen which would prevent me from going through with such a vacation. I can see how someone without the need to budget or who possibly has a lot of disposable income and few to no obligations could easily make such a frivolous promise.

Or perhaps it’s easy to say “I’d go” because it doesn’t exist and such an assertion is fairly meaningless in this scenario.

And honestly, the attitude that because some fans think that it isn’t a viable idea means that said fans aren’t “real” fans or are “unimaginative” is asinine and insulting. I find it rather “depressing” that a ST fan could be so judgmental of those who simply disagree with their opinion.

212. John Russo - April 10, 2012

I have never even entertained the idea of going to Vegas. Not my thing, but if this plan would have happened, I would have been there ASAP and made it a yearly trek. What a great idea, should have happend. This would have been a world wide attractions.

213. P'Tooie - April 10, 2012

The reason Star Trek icons become dated is because Star Trek DATES them. Every iteration sees a radical transformation of the iconography (even I couldn’t pick the current Enterprise design out of a lineup), updating according to contemporary (and fleeting) style trends, whereas properties with a more timeless iconography are aesthetically consistent and boldly independent. There’s no Han Solo Blaster MK IV, or Millennium Falcon-D. And the overall production design, wardrobes, sets, etc., don’t even try to look “futuristic,” because that’s the one sure way to plant something in its era.

I don’t think a project like this, though, would necessarily be subject to dating. Something so big in and of itself could transcend the inspiration — the Enterprise could have become a part of the fabric of Las Vegas 1st, and a Starfleet vessel 2nd. Heck, the permanence of a structure like this might have been GOOD for Star Trek.

214. dmduncan - April 10, 2012

Oh come on. Gary Goddard is an attraction designer by trade! Give the man some credit that he’s solved or can solve basic low level gripes like handicap accessibility, dining, etc., etc, for crying out loud.

And you think he’d have left out toilets because we never saw them on the show? Come on.

And this would not be a Star Trek attraction only. Give me a break. The DEAD would dig their way out of the grave to visit this thing.

215. Azrael - April 10, 2012

@211. Independently wealthy? Now that is ignorant. I live over 1600 miles from Vegas and have been to the city multiple times. I got there by driving, in my own car, and my room for the week cost me 25 dollars a night average (at one of the larger Hotel/Casinos). Total cost for the trip was under 1000 dollars. Clearly you don’t know the first thing about Vegas economics.

216. DLope - April 10, 2012

A lot of people on the thread suggesting this would work better as a theme park attraction… I wonder why Paramount doesn’t have a park like Universal does. Seems like Universal Studios’ theme park’s are pretty successful.

Paramount could do something similar with Star Trek as it’s anchor.

217. Vultan - April 10, 2012


Well put.

I’d also like to reiterate my idea of having tech shows centered around this Trek attraction or something like it (an engineering set perhaps). It would be good for tech developers, good for Star Trek, good for Vegas or whatever city hosted it, etc., etc.

Win-win all around.

218. Vultan - April 10, 2012

Think of a World’s Fair with a Star Trek theme….
(Hey, a guy can dream.)

219. Battle-scarred Sciatica - April 10, 2012


the fact that you ” find it rather “depressing” that a ST fan could be so judgmental of those who simply disagree with their opinion.”

isn’t helped by your statement …” I think it’s overly simplistic and rather ignorant to just say “Yes, I’d go” without knowing any of the other details.”

Hello Pot….have you met Kettle?

anyway, like i said before it would’ve been AWESOME and i would have gone.

Hell, I don’t have much of a disposable income (who does these days?) but my wife and I are starting to (microscopically) save up for what is sure to be the greatest event of all…the 50th year celebration of Star Trek.

There is bound to be something MASSIVE over there to celebrate this occasion in the US, and by buggery-bollocks we will be there to join in!

Peace out, TrekLovers.


220. Scotty - April 10, 2012

Outdated? No? The enterprise is an iconic shape no matter what decade it was from..are you telling me you wouldn’t visit it because its not the very latest enterprise!? GIMME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

221. Scotty - April 10, 2012

Thats the problem with this country..we’re too scared and cheap to dream big any more..

222. Scotty - April 10, 2012

Why didn’t they make it into a full blown Enterprise HOTEL?!! So you can actually live in a crew quarters ect how friggin cool it could have been

223. Fueled by Armus - April 10, 2012


There is a huge difference between saying that I think it is ignorant to make assumptions without more facts( …which is ignorance after all, right?) and essentially making the statement that fans who wouldn’t visit the attraction are unimaginative. I didn’t make any statement about the *people*, just the *action*. Big difference.

#215 I know that Vegas can be done on the cheap. I do not think the ship would be cheap to visit. If the ship is the only “draw” for a fan, I’m not sure all that goes into planning and paying for a trip would be worth it for multiple trips out thus making it an nonviable idea.

224. Azrael - April 10, 2012

@223. You are missing the point mentioned by the designer above. After this was shot down by the moron at Paramount Vegas decided to create the “Freemont Street Experience” in its place. The Experience is FREE to all at all times, so far as I can tell this attraction would have been no different. You also completely ignored the facts that the attraction itself was never expected to make money on its own, it was supposed to draw people to the downtown Vegas area so they would spend their money at the casinos, the Experience does this, and this idea would have blown the Experience out of the water and off the planet.

I also used to live in Vegas so I do in fact know whereof I speak. I have even seen Jefferson Starship playing at the Experience, and I can only imagine how cool it would have been to see them playing on the “Recreation Deck” of the Enterprise. Shows and events like the Starship concert, BTO concert, and Eddie Money concert (all of which I was at) and so on that take place at the Experience are almost always FREE or minimal charge ($5.00), and that is what I meant by you don’t understand Vegas economics, for god’s sake the city has more tourists every day than there are people living in the state of Wyoming. This attarction would have been, like the Experience, very low cost if any.

225. dmduncan - April 10, 2012

I think Paramount and CBS both suck at marketing Star Trek probably because nobody wants to get tagged for making the wrong decisions involving it. Their philosophy seems to be “better no decision than the wrong decision.”

You just can’t tell me that there is something inherently wrong with Star Trek such that it can’t compete with MICKEY MOUSE!!! — who has TWO theme parks devoted to him and his cohorts!

226. Battle-scarred Sciatica - April 10, 2012

oooh that rascally rodent!!

Damn his eyes!


227. EAGLEMAN1969 - April 10, 2012

Build it. And they will come. Needs MAJOR traffic though, not tiny Riverside, Iowa. Needs to be a hotel, museum, ride, theater, etc.

Visited The Experience a number of times. STAYED at the Excaliber but didn’t gamble or eat there, did it at STTE! Cool Star Trek slots, future history museum.

Cracked up a Ferengi actor by explaining my little one’s “binky” was a universal translator/communications device. Must have made his day, he gave me an Official Star Trek Communicator Badge.

228. EAGLEMAN1969 - April 10, 2012


Steve Wynn is no wallflower. With today’s Vegas, maybe the STRIP hotels & casinos could use a real boost. We all know that President Bam Bam told people not to go there any longer. The Enterprise could be built anywhere.

Those properties that do choose to participate get to provide FREE tram service to the reduced fare (or free for their guests) attraction. OH, did I mention, the trams are replicas of the Enterprise Shuttlecraft.

229. VZX - April 10, 2012

Here’s a thought: a cruise ship built in the shape of the Enterprise! It will float and move through the water like any ship, but be in the familiar shape!

Possible? Maybe. Amazing? Absolutely!

230. Baroner - April 10, 2012

I personally would have given a body part to be able to hang out in a full scale replica of the freakin’ Enterprise.

231. Red Dead Ryan - April 10, 2012

Yeah, I agree that CBS/Paramount need to do better marketing. Paramount actually did a good job in this respect during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, but since 2000 it seems like they’ve been phoning it in. The marketing of the J.J movie should have been so much better and far reaching, especially overseas.


But what happens if the ship hits an iceberg? Or is captained by a drunken idiot? I think you’d need a real life Captain Kirk to command it. And have it be able to seperate the saucer :-)

232. Phil - April 10, 2012

@224. ST:TE was not a cheap ticket. And unlike TFSE, which just requires some periodic maintenance, this would have been a substantially higher cost, basiclly maintaining an amusement park type setting downtown. Vegas had it’s run with amusement parks and most of them are gone now, basically because they cost a ton of money to maintain. I get the entheusiam, the kid in me would love to see it, too, but I have Disneyland close to home, and I only hit that every five years ago because of cost. The novelity of the Starship Enterprise would wear off fairly quick.

233. dmduncan - April 10, 2012

232: “I get the entheusiam, the kid in me would love to see it, too, but I have Disneyland close to home, and I only hit that every five years ago because of cost. The novelity of the Starship Enterprise would wear off fairly quick.”

Okay but Disneyland is still running despite your infrequent visits, so I’m not sure that supports your case that this would fail.

In addition, calling it a novelty that would wear off quickly does, I think, underestimate the scope of this project which once finished would have been something far above mere novelty.

The sight of this thing would have inspired awe, not “Eh, when you get a moment, take a look over here, Margaret.”

234. Phil - April 10, 2012

@233. Disneyland is in a universe all by its self. The first thing I saw when I hit the department store in Dubai a couple of years ago was Disney merchendise. Like it or not, Star Trek does not have that kind of reach. Vegas has plenty of re-creations of architectural marvels, and wrapping a 21st century amusement park in the shell of the good ship Enterprise would end up being just another novelity on the strip. Mr. Jaffe needed to make a business decision, and it would not have been good if the USS Enterprise was getting blown up after a few years to make room for a more viable project…

235. Vultan - April 10, 2012

Maybe the Enterprise isn’t possible, but I’m sure there’s some enterprising young junkyard dealers out there who would be happy to build a full-sized Borg cube!

236. EAGLEMAN1969 - April 10, 2012

#230, AMEN! ME TOO!!

And true that about Universal. They ate Paramount’s lunch years ago at marketing. Still fondly remember the 1970’s Cylons at the U.C. studio tours.

If Universal can make money with the “Cat in the Hat & Whoville” as well as thirty year old movies like Ghostbusters, Terminator, Indiana Jones, etc; what is the deal with Paramount? The Enterprise would knock Harry Potter right off his flipping broomstick.

Even if you added this to EPCOT, it would fit right in with the world of tommorrow. Yeah, yeah they have MGM, Pixar & Disney; BUT nobody has anything like The Big E!

CAN NOT BE in Iowa or NYC, any kind of major SNOW load would just kill that saucer! Needs the major, year round foot traffic of Vegas or Orlando anyway.

237. Gummitale - April 11, 2012

(CAN NOT BE in Iowa or NYC, any kind of major SNOW load would just kill that saucer! Needs the major, year round foot traffic of Vegas or Orlando anyway.)

Which brings me back to my original post, #207 —
(What about — Kennedy Space Center, FL…?)

Mr. Goddard originally targeted Las Vegas because…
A) They needed the redevelopment and,
B) It seemed like an ideal spot at the time.

However, twenty years later, there is now the possibility of foreign “Trek”-themed attractions (Spain & Jordan have been mentioned). Riverside, Iowa, has been mentioned. Appropriate, but a possible ‘life changer’ for a small midwest town…and there is also the possibility of midwest tornadoes. Hollywood theme parks have also been discussed as a possible locale (this is, after all, a large-scale media attraction). Construction engineers would then have the task of making this full-size starship earthquake-proof. And even in Florida, you’d have to weather the occasional hurricane. How would such a massive construct stand up to such constant exposure to the elements?

Again, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m surprised that nobody has tossed out the proposed dimensions of this full-sized starship. (Although, of course, they should be well known to most of those reading this, anyway.) Exact figures vary slightly, but according to one source…we are looking at a free-standing structure measuring —
Length: 1000 feet
Width: 465 feet
Height: 224 feet
Decks: 21
And that’s NOT counting the surrounding ‘Drydock’ scaffold! The saucer alone sports a two-deck thick edge, and it’s eleven decks thick through the middle.

Obviously, a challenging design project, as Mr. Goddard has already stated. I put forth Cape Canaveral because, despite the weather issue, it seemed like an appropriate venue for a model spacecraft. Here would be the life-sized representation of the fictional inspiration for many of today’s real-life astronauts.

Any further thoughts on possible alternative locales, and the pros and cons of such…? And a question for Mr. Goddard: You’ve stated that the starship project was originally funded at $150,000,000 back in 1992. That was then… Any estimate as to how much such a project would cost to construct today…?

238. Mark Lynch - April 11, 2012

I’m telling ya Boys and Girls, if this was built, I would come. Anywhere in the World. I might only see it once but damnit, it just would have to be done.

(I never thought I would get to visit New York, but I will be on my third visit, sometime after the Enterprise arrives that is)

Unfortunately, I don’t think there is anyone with the Ballz (sorry Harry!) to stump up the money for this kind of thing. Unless there is a mega rich Star Trek fan out there?

Aren’t Bill Gates and Richard Branson Star Trek fans? We need their help…

239. dmduncan - April 11, 2012

237. Gummitale – April 11, 2012

Yes it can be in Iowa or anywhere else if you place it in the context of a ship being built inside it’s drydock. The drydock structure eliminates any support issues.

The Vegas deal is dead so we are free to imagine building the ship in ways other than the original context and concept called for.

Hence the drydock structure.

In Iowa.

The project is so enormous that yes, people WILL come to visit it no matter where it is and as it happens, Riverside, Iowa is within driving distance of CHICAGO, and it’s not much farther than a host of other metropolitan centers like Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Kansas City, etc. Putting it in Riverside also puts it at about the same distance from New York City as Orlando, another theme park city.

Riverside Iowa is a fine location with LOTS of elbow room.

240. dmduncan - April 11, 2012

234: “Vegas has plenty of re-creations of architectural marvels,”

I just don’t think you’re getting it Phil. This would not have been a mini Statue of Liberty or mini Eiffel Tower.

This would have DWARVED the REAL Statue of Liberty, and have been almost as long as the Eiffel Tower is tall.

That’s way beyond fan appeal only territory.

Jaffe simply didn’t have the imagination Another suit with pistacchio nuts hanging who didn’t want to be blamed for anything.

241. Red Dead Ryan - April 11, 2012

Whether or not we think this should have happened, I think we can all agree that its NEVER going to happen now.

Plus, you have to ask yourself this: Why hasn’t George Lucas built a full-size replica of the Millenium Falcon?

If George Lucas can’t see any feasible reason for doing something like this, than I doubt any arguments in favor of a full-scale Enterprise would sway Paramount. “Star Wars” is the ultimate sci-fi franchise, and if the Millenium Falcon (which is tiny in comparision to the refit-E) wouldn’t be a huge moneymaker, than what does that say about the Enterprise attraction’s prospects? “Star Wars” is ten times more popular than “Star Trek”.

242. dmduncan - April 11, 2012

The Millennium Falcon IS tiny by comparison and would totally lack the awesome scale of a full sized Enterprise.

Lucas could put out another 3 Star Wars sequels and those would make money too. But he isn’t doing that either.

There’s no way you can infer how THIS project would turn out from what George Lucas has NOT done with the Millennium Falcon.

243. Vultan - April 11, 2012


Not to mention the obvious success of doing… say an animated or live-action young Han Solo series or an animated Indiana Jones series. I mean, what SW or Indy fan wouldn’t go nuts over that? And yet Lucas keeps clinging to the Clone Wars, Annie and Jar Jar Binks.

His creative judgment hasn’t exactly been the best in the past… 15 years or so. A full-sized Falcon attraction could—COULD—bring in tons of sightseers, which is why he won’t do it.

As much as he was a creative rebel back in the ’70s, Lucas has become another plain, old, simple Stanley Jaffe.

244. Vultan - April 11, 2012

There’s even one European artist I know who wants to make an animated Indy series. Check it out. It’s professional stuff:

245. dmduncan - April 11, 2012

Maybe Lucas is all Star Warsed out. He’s unhappy that the fans gave him so much grief over the prequels. Maybe he won’t even do the planned TV series.

246. T'Cal - April 11, 2012

To #205 who suggested the Kennedy Space Center, I agree as I suggested the same thing after having spent a couple of days there last summer and attending Star Trek: The Tour. This is the perfect place as so many people who are interested in science fact are interested in science fiction. Also, with the budget cuts for NASA and the loss of the shuttle program, the appeal to visiting KSC has lessened. A Star Trek area would help draw people to the Center. As for the ideas here, I love many of them. I too can imaging a full sized ship that contains hotel rooms, restaurants, and shops. The I addition, why not take the best of The Experience and add in some rides and exhibits? I can imagine also a theatre for live performances as well. I know the KSC has an IMAX theatre but why not move it into the saucer section? As for the ship on which this is all based, I’m tossed. I love the idea of the refit Constitution class 1701-A but can imagine a tie in to TNG and the new Abrahms films. Still, the Defiant isn’t huge so why not have one of the aforementioned huge ships for the hotel, exhibits, and rides and place the theatre and museum in the Defiant or in Voyager?

I miss The Experience so much and realized long ago that Star Trek has a huge following but such an undertaking should be part of a bigger theme park and not a stand alone thing. Someone else came up with the idea of adding it to Disney World so that Star Trek and Star Wars would be together, what a phenomenal idea! Whatever; just frakkin’ do it!

247. Vultan - April 11, 2012

Maybe so.

At least Roddenberry was ‘wise’ enough (forgive the pun) to step back and let others take a crack at his creation.

248. Azrael - April 11, 2012

@232. I was comparing this concept to the Freemont Street Experience, not the Star Trek Experience. Freemont is the fitting project to compare to since it was the city’s backup to this plan and took both the physical location the big E would have held and the role it would have filled in Vegas businesswise. The Star Trek Experience was built by 1 casino, not all of them like the E would have been and Freemont was, so it is a vastly different financial situation. Aside from that we will just have to agree to dissagree.

249. NuFan - April 11, 2012

I watch Clone Wars. I would not watch Han Solo or Indiana Jones unless they updated it as well as they updated Kirk and Spock.

250. Vultan - April 11, 2012


Update Indy and Han? How exactly? One is set in the ’30s, the other in a futuristic galaxy far, far away.

251. Jason - April 11, 2012

249. Er, with younger, hot actors?

PS. If this proposed ship was accurate to what was on screen/the model, down to the tiniest detail (no visible exhaust fans, air conditioners, wires, no obviously plastic/concrete/wooden parts, no strobe lights or lasers, no fog machines, no anachronisms like Coke signs or staff wearing nikes/listening to iPods, no emergency exit stairs coming from engineering, no visible garbage dumpsters behind or loading docks for supply trucks) well, maybe… I’d hate it to have that sad look of some former Navy ships that have been turned into (kind of cheesy) museums. This could be amazing, but it would have to exceed Disney-theme-park level production values.

What if it was partially below ground level and domed in a spacedocky/spruce goose kind of massive building (like some of the concept art of the Trek 09 spacedock), so the ship itself is protected from weather, birds, vandals and you can more easily integrate all the building maintenance etc. elements into the larger structure… so the ship itself is, well, ship like. Would such a big dome be possible?

And, yeah, I still love the idea of doing the 60s TOS version.

252. dmduncan - April 11, 2012

246: “This is the perfect place as so many people who are interested in science fact are interested in science fiction.”

Yeah, but not everybody who is interested in Star Trek is interested in science. And this site proves it.

253. NCM - April 11, 2012

238. Mark Lynch – April 11, 2012:

“I’m telling ya Boys and Girls, if this was built, I would come”

Did that come out the way you meant it to?

254. NCM - April 11, 2012

253 posts about nothing, as Harry might say.

Imagine, when we have something to talk about…!

255. dmduncan - April 11, 2012

What do you mean, NCM? 253 posts about what would have been the biggest thing in Trek history ever.

256. Xplodin_Nacelle - April 11, 2012

I agree with Viking’s first post……I think I would’vealso moved to Vegas, for a chance at a job working inside of my dreams!!! Wow.

257. T'Cal - April 11, 2012

I actually considered Vegas as a retirement spot just so I could work at the Experience part time. Oh, and the weather isn’t bad nor are the taxes. But the Experience was the real draw. And now it’s dead! Waaaaaaaah!!

258. NCM - April 11, 2012

255. dmduncan – April 11, 2012

“What do you mean, NCM? 253 posts about what would have been …”

Okay, 258 posts about ‘what would have been.’ Sorry for seeing a glass half-empty:]

259. dmduncan - April 11, 2012


260. Red Dead Ryan - April 11, 2012

Well, at least we do know that no full-scale replica of the Grissom would be built. That would be kind of awkward, as the only way between the top and bottom would be through the nacelle pylons, which are really thin and curved. Plus its a pretty ugly ship. I suspect even the birds would refuse to shit on it!

261. Trekboi - April 11, 2012

There is no doubt if done right this could have been a Hit.

This would have been an international attraction, so outlandish non trek fans would go just to see a real live “Spaceship” on earth.

They would not have had to continually update the ship as they were sticking to an ere- the most popular era already “Outdated” by the bland next gen with far less cultural significance- like the universal Psycho House & Jaws ride, they are classics people travel the world to see.
Although hey could have possibly opened a JJ-verse version somewhere else with the response to the new movie.

262. Trekboi - April 11, 2012

The reason “The Experiance” died was it was not unique enough it was just a museum with a ride inside the Hilton- bland- but a full scale Starship housing these things- totally different “Experiance”.

263. Trekboi - April 11, 2012

Please note, the much less interesting “Freemont Experience” is still there- 20 years later.

264. Red Dead Ryan - April 11, 2012

The Star Trek Experience I hear was a total load of crap and waste of money.

265. NCM - April 11, 2012

@259: Glad to see you’re still enjoying this thread, dmduncan. I actually would never suggest this community go quiet whenever we have little or nothing to discuss–we’d rarely fire up. I appreciate our ability to thrive on crumbs and to sustain ourselves on less, and also Anthony’s recent efforts to offer up whatever he can. All of this waiting will prompt euphoria when we get some Trek Movie news.

266. dmduncan - April 11, 2012

@265: Hey, I love big ideas. And this was huge.

267. EAGLEMAN1969 - April 11, 2012

To “BOLDLY” go. Says it all does it not?

Sorry, Kennedy Space Center is no good. Lots of rain, occassional hurricanes, and the CRAPPY outfit running their tours these days (Delaware North?) SUCKS!

We missed a good portion of our last KSU tour due to the buses coming along whenever they felt like it, leaving half empty or trying to overload.

And, it is quite a drive from Orlando, the center of the action in that area.

Nope, Vegas is busy, constantly improving, good air transport, close to LA, has the financial big boys available and millions upon millions of visitors.

268. EAGLEMAN1969 - April 12, 2012

That’s KSC, not KSU (went to Kent State)!

269. MJ - April 12, 2012

@242 “The Millennium Falcon IS tiny by comparison and would totally lack the awesome scale of a full sized Enterprise.”

Well there is that ship called the Death Star! Now, that would be a BIG attraction! I would say build that in Meteor Crater, AZ, with the crater walls supporting the bottom of the death star. Can you imagine the nightly light show with that baby firing lasers in the desert!


270. Mark Lynch - April 12, 2012


I was kind of throwing two movie phrases together for the double entendre!

“I tell ya boys and girls, whichever one of you gets it out of him is going to wind up with the single most important interview since… God talked to Moses!

“If you build it, he will come”

I have an odd sense of humour. None at all, if you listen to my other half.

271. Mark Lynch - April 12, 2012

For sure we will never get the ST 2009 Enterprise built full scale as an attraction. Thank God.

How long is it? 2379.75 feet (725.3478 metres) according to the Blu-Ray
And where are the deck plans? ;)

272. Woulfe - April 13, 2012

The ST 09 Enterprise would be bigger then all of Downtown Vegas, if we’re to take ILM’s word for the scale of the thing
( the size changed every other day it seemed like )
Might as well build an entire city inside a single building while your at it

Even a 1:1 TOS Enterprise would of been huge in the location they were going to put this thing in, and it would of been a major undertaking

Meanwhile in some other country, they’ll build this anyway just to prove to the US that it can be done, but we did it before you could, so there

273. Lt. Atkins - April 13, 2012

When I was about 11 years old in 1975 after watching an episode of Star Trek with an older cousin of mine he turns to me and says, “Yeah know, they have a full size version of that ship out in California. No, it;s true. You can walk around inside of it and everything.” I was stunned to say the least. Even though after about a minute or so I figured he was Bull-S-ing me, it got me to thinking how you could actually build such a thing. I finally decided that it would have to be underground in order to support the saucer section. It is one of those little fantasy projects like a full scale Jupiter 2 or Disney’s Nautilus that I keep floating around in me head since I was a child.

274. Spacecraft Guy - April 13, 2012

Candlestick Park in SF is beign demolished.

Build a full scale Enterprise. house it in a building with 4 transparent sidewalls and a holodeck grid celing and have a Starfleet Academy /Space Camp Experience at the site.

Is this doable? It’s already been done at tThe Alabama Space and Rocket Center.. They have a 365 foot Saturn V lying horizontally in its own building, another standing vertically in its Roclet Park and a full scale shuttle orbiter with ET and SRBs in its own plaza. With Space Camp and a Space Museum.on site.

The Enterprise, on displ;ay in her home port, with the opportunity to go abord her and go on a mission? With NASA Ames, Apple, Google and all of Silicon Valley a half hour away on 101 South, and Lucasfilm/ILM 20 minutes away at the foot of the Golden Gte Bridge in San Francisco, please don’t tell me that this won’t make money. Apple could pay for it by itself.

Scaling up to full scale Enterprise size is just 3 times bigget than the Saturn V. The holodeck celing will allow a Trek Universe solution to changing out the Refit for whatever version is popular.

All it would take is money and someone with the guts to push it through.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Lucasfilm folks aren’t doing feasibility studies about doing something on this site, they just got denied permission to expand in Marin County.

275. Goosenecked Fan - April 14, 2012

Candlestick Park? Why? So that when the Big One comes, it can collapse like a house of cards? Nah.

I like the idea of Riverside Iowa…or even better, here’s an idea — Houston!!!

276. kenny - April 22, 2012

i want some one to get a hold of them and build the ship. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.