Starship Enterprise Nearly Landed In Las Vegas
Las Vegas (CBS Las Vegas) – In 1992, downtown Las Vegas needed an attraction big enough to draw traffic from the strip to boost the area economically. One designer came up with an idea that would have gotten people to come from the strip and beyond.
The proposed project by the Goddard Group was to build the starship of dreams, the NCC-1701 Enterprise from Star Trek in its full size. It would have been as long as the Empire State Building is tall.
“It would create a new ’8th Wonder of the World’ with an iconic monument that would take its place alongside other ‘must see’ monuments in the world,” Gary Goddard said in a blog post about the proposal.
The ship would have cost a total of $120 million to make in 1992, with $80 million for the structure itself and $30 to $40 million for the interior and the attractions.
The Enterprise would have had some sort of “show” for tourists, a dining area, and all of the major rooms, chambers, decks and corridors. Of course, the giant replica would most definitely include the renowned bridge where Capt. James T. Kirk would have commanded his ship in the heat of battle.
“We hadn’t gotten all the way down the line. We were working out engineering and budget,” Goddard told CBS Las Vegas about the construction of the ship. “From experience, it would have been a steel frame and a fiber reinforced plastic.”
Building the Enterprise would have been a daunting task, especially for the saucer section of the ship. Las Vegas is notorious for the amount of wind shear challenges and the disk would have needed to have been secured.
“We were thinking about cables but I didn’t like it, looked primitive like the Hindenburg,” Goddard told CBS Las Vegas. “How we were going to protect it from the wind was sort of make it look like it’s in a dry dock,” as if the ship was parked for repair and upgrades.
When the plan was proposed, it seemed like it was a sure thing. Goddard said on his blog that all the major players were on board. People from Paramount were excited about the project and then Mayor Jan Laverty Jones backed the project.
However, the project came to a sudden end when the Goddard Group met with Stanley Jaffe, the CEO of Paramount Pictures. Goddard and his team walked Jaffe through the project and what it entailed. Jaffe ultimately rejected the plan.
Goddard said Jaffe compared the Enterprise to a bad movie.
“The next movie comes out and everyone forgets (about the bad movie),” Goddard said Jaffe told him. But if the full scale Enterprise “is not a success, it’s there forever.”
Goddard doesn’t know if Las Vegas would revisit the idea, but after he put up the concept on his blog, the disappointment and excitement about the project is palpable.
Goddard feels good about that.
“With all the attention that this has gotten, this vindicates to me that this was the right concept.”