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November 28, 2014

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Starship Enterprise in holding pattern over Neonopolis

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Las Vegas Sun

Rohit Joshi, checking out the scene outside Neonopolis.

The once-optimistic plans to open phases of Star Trek Experience at Neonopolis in concert with the new “Star Trek” movie on a single date -- May 8 -- have been beamed to some far-off galaxy. The Experience won’t open until 2010 at the earliest, Rohit Joshi, head of the development company that owns Neonopolis, confirmed today. He added that the exhibit will not open in phases, but as a single entity. A few hours later, the wily entrepreneur also confirmed that Galaxy Neonopolis 11 movie theaters are closing as of Friday, and that he would reopen the cineplex, often as vacant as the sparsely inhabited planets favored by Captain Kirk, once it has been remodeled.

Joshi has not yet said why the theaters need to be renovated starting on the very day the “Star Trek” film is set to open, or who would manage the remodeled theater complex when (or maybe, if) it reopens. One published report indicated that Galaxy was pulling out of Neonopolis because bills for the complex’s centralized air conditioning system went unpaid, and Galaxy was unwilling to continue reimbursing customers’ parking fees by validating tickets from the Neonopolis garage. But Joshi’s account is that the theaters are to be remodeled as part of Neonopolis’ grand renovation project, which could be finished in a matter of months or maybe eons, when “Star Trek XXX: Grandson of Spock” hits theaters.

Regardless, what was to be a triumphant week at Neonopolis with the arrival of the Star Trek brand (in the form of a restaurant/tavern and gift shop) in tandem with the heavily attended premiere of the new Trek film is instead another dull weekend at the retail and entertainment complex. For the foreseeable future, Neonopolis will be absent a movie theater and without any semblance of its Star Trek attraction. Customarily, Joshi promises “great stuff” from the Star Trek Experience but can’t specify what the stuff will be or how it will be shaped. It will be huge, he says. There will be a new concept, he claims.

A spokesman for CBS, which owns the Star Trek title licensing rights, today said in an e-mail that no solid opening date has been set because the exhibit is still in development. Sort of like Neonopolis itself, where progress is not quite measured at warp speed.

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