What’s up with Neonopolis?

Neonopolis hasn’t become quite the hit that was expected.
Photo: Ryan Olbrysh

Las Vegas Rocks, but does Neonopolis?

That’s the name of a new showroom/dinner club project by longtime Las Vegas singer and syndicated entertainment show host Tony Sacca. It is the latest, and sometimes only, sign of life at the notorious retail and entertainment center on the corner of Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. Sacca and business partner, chef Josette LeBlond, have fashioned a neat little lounge and neat quite-large restaurant into the 20,000-square-foot space where Jillian’s once stood. Sacca and a three-piece band are the headliners in that space.

But the stylings of Sacca represent the only noteworthy positive news to emanate from Neonopolis over the past year. Rohit Joshi, head of development team Wirrulla Hayward that owns the big and largely vacant mall, has been saying for nearly a year that the Star Trek Experience is coming to Neonopolis.

Initially it was reported that segments of the new Experience, late of the Las Vegas Hilton, would be in place by May 2009, to coincide with the opening of the then-new Star Trek movie. Not so. The entire concept remains on hold, raising doubts in the neighborhood that the Experience might never open in Neonopolis. (Downtown Cocktail Room owner Michael Cornthwaite, whose club sits kitty-corner from Neonopolis, has said he’d bet his bar that it won’t open.)

What is certain is that there are plans to sell off some of the assets left over from the Las Vegas Hilton’s version of the Experience that won’t be needed in its new locale, wherever it is. A spokeswoman from CBS, which owns all Trek licensing, reiterated that the company continues to work with partners at Neonopolis to develop the Experience.

If that’s true, at least one person has a bar nearby he’d like to sell you.

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