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Starship Enterprise Nearly Landed In Las Vegas

By Peter V. Milo
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A concept drawing of the Enterprise in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Goddard Group / Paramount Pictures Corporation)

A concept drawing of the Enterprise in Las Vegas (Photo Credit: The Goddard Group / Paramount Pictures Corporation)

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Las Vegas (CBS Las Vegas) — In 1992, Las Vegas needed an attraction big enough to draw traffic from the strip to boost Downtown’s economy. 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 a full size 1:1 replica of Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise.  When completed the reproduction would have been as long as the Empire State Building is tall.

Gary Goddard says in a blog post about the proposal that “It would create a new ’8th Wonder of the World’ as an iconic monument that would take its place alongside other ‘must see’ monuments in the world,”

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.

Inside the he Enterprise would feature some sort of “show” for tourists, a dining area, and all of the major rooms, chambers, decks, and corridors.  The replica’s crown jewel would have been the renowned bridge where Capt. James T. Kirk would have commanded the Enterprise throughout her many adventures.

“We hadn’t gotten all the way down the line. We were working out engineering and budget,” Goddard told CBS Las Vegas. “From experience, it would have been a steel frame and a fiber reinforced plastic.”

However 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 be secured.

enterprise 2 Starship Enterprise Nearly Landed In Las Vegas

A conceptual drawing representing the scale of how big The Enterprise would have been (Photo Credit: The Goddard Group / Paramount Pictures Corporation)

“We were thinking about cables but I didn’t like it.  It looked primitive like the Hindenburg,” Goddard told CBS Las Vegas. “How we were going to protect it from the wind was to 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 endeavor as well.

It was Stanley Jaffe, the CEO of Paramount Pictures that killed the project.  When Goddard and his team walked Jaffe through the project and what it entailed, Jaffe wasn’t impressed.

Goddard said Jaffe compared the Enterprise to a bad movie.  “The next movie comes out and everyone forgets (about the bad movie),” Goddard said was Jaffe’s reasoning. But if the full scale Enterprise “is not a success it’ll there forever.”

Goddard doesn’t know if Las Vegas will 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 me.  This was the right concept.”

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