Garry Goddard & Landmark Entertainment’s Plan Would Have Put a Full Scale Starship in Las Vegas
Krypton Radio Newswire
The Freemont Experience stands in Las Vegas today because it is said to have won the 1992 Downtown Las Vegas Redevelopment Competition. Now, after 10 years, it is revealed that was only second place.The real winner was the Star Trek spacecraft designed by Gary Goddard and his team at Landmark Entertainment. It would have put a life-sized Federation starship – the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701A, to be exact – in the middle of downtown Las Vegas.
The problem was that over the years most of the business had migrated from downtown Las Vegas to the Las Vegas Strip, where all the hotels were. The downtown area was in danger of becoming a ghost town. Something had to be done to revitalize it, and it couldn’t be another hotel. The point was to keep customers coming back to Las Vegas, but not to compete directly with the hotels themselves.
“What if we built the STARSHIP ENTERPRISE – FULL SCALE – on the land at the end of the street. Imagine that…” says Goddard on his blog. He was hoping this project would be not only just what Las Vegas needed, but that it would be big enough to be the Eighth Wonder of the World.
The ship would have featured all the interiors from the movie that had just come out, as well as areas for fine dining and special visitor experiences – and would even have featured turbolifts to move visitors both vertically from deck to deck but horizontally within the ship as well. The proposal was made, and was the hands-down favorite of all the ideas submitted. But it all came down to Paramount’s approval.
And Paramount said “no”.
“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,” said Stanley Jaffe of Paramount Studios. ” 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….” And that was that. Jaffe’s short-sighted proclamation cost the world a starship.
With the Starship Enterprise off the table, Vegas developers went with the second choice, the Fremont Street Experience.
“This project was one of my greatest disappointments because we had come so CLOSE,” says Goddard. “We were in the room. Financing was there. Land was there. Everyone involved wanted it to happen. And one person entered the room and killed it. The fact is, had Mr. Jaffe approved the project, it would have been the most memorable project in his life, it would have been a financial boon to Paramount, still paying the Studio to this day. And it would have been a great part of his legacy, the Paramount legacy, and the Star Trek legacy.
“Albert Einstein said it best: ‘Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.’”
A classic demonstration of the principle.