Could, shoulda, didn’t happen. According to the Goddard Group’s blog, in 1992, instead of the Fremont Street experience, there was another winning proposal of a life-size or at least a really large USS Enterprise attraction in sin city. This was going to be a “destination attraction” to revitalize the “ghost town” that was downtown Las Vegas, yet since it was going to be paid for by the other hotels and casinos, it could not be a hotel or casino.
Now, imagine this – out of many ideas, the starship Enterprise was the winning concept. The Mayor of Las Vegas AND the licensing department of Paramount Studios was in on green lighting this project. The only person that needed to approve this project was the head of Paramount Stanley Jaffe. Jaffe denied the project the green light because he did not “want to be the guy that approved this and then it’s a flop and sitting out there in Vegas forever.”
It would have been amazing to see a real replica of a ship that we only see in film or television, and just revel in the scale of it. I can even imagine how it would over time evolve, for example when the 2009 J.J. Abrams film came out, reworking the attraction to look like the new Enterprise, and even seeing if other destination places would try to out do the Enterprise – A and make a real size Enterprise – D from The Next Generation, which is much larger.
Somehow, knowing that eventually Star Trek fans ended up with “The Star Trek Experience” in Vegas was a poor substitute for what could have been.