Just last month Star Trek The Experience closed its gate at the Las Vegas Hilton for the last time, but now there is new hope. Back in July when CBS officially announced the closure they hinted they were working on bringing it back, and it appears that they may have succeeded in finding a new home for Trek’s premiere attraction.
The first word came this morning when Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman mentioned in passing at a press conference that a deal was in the works to move The Experience to the Neonopolis entertainment and shopping complex in downtown Vegas. The Las Vegas review Journal confirmed the statement with Rohit Joshi, the developer who owns Neonopolis, who stated there are "very serious negotiation" going on. Originally built in 2002, Neonopolis has struggled since its inception. Joshi purchased the development in 2006 and has since been trying to find ways of turning it around and he sees the Trek attraction as a way to do that. If the deal does go through then Cedar Fair (the current owners and operators) would not be involved, a spokesperson confirmed that their arrangement with CBS ends this year.
When contacted by TrekMovie, CBS would not comment on the deal. However sources have confirmed that the deal looks like it will go through and that material from The Experience is already being transferred from the Hilton over to Neonopolis. No confirmation yet on when The Experience would re-open but hopes are that it would be before the premiere of the new Star Trek movie in May of 2009.
Details are sketchy on what will be retained, but apparently the licensing deal covers everything that was in the Hilton, including all the rides and Quark’s bar. However, that does not mean that everything will be the same, only they would have that option. In addition, the staff and cast are likely to be given the opportunity to move to the new location. There is no word on if there will be any additions to The Experience. As noted in the TrekMovie ‘farewell review,’ Star Trek The Experience is showing its age and due for an update. This is especially true with the new movie coming out. As the new images released this week show, the new Star Trek has a new look that is not reflected in The Experience which is focused primarily TNG-era of Trek.
This is a developing story, so keep checking back with TrekMovie for updates, but for now things look good for a comeback for Star Trek The Experience.
UPDATE: More from Vegas press
Ben Spillman of the Las Vegas Review Journal has an update which makes the project sound even more likely to happen, but still no details yet. The article also quotes me discussing my recommendation that any renewed version of Star Trek The Experience should be updated to encompass the whole franchise, including the new movie.