The SciFi Diner Podcast Ep. 162b –
Our Interview with Teras I. Cassidy & Larry Nemecek
From Geek Nation Tours, Bringing
You The Ultimate
Star Trek Tour.
The SciFi Diner Podcast
A 2012 Parsec Finalist
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Welcome to the Diner.
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Teras I. Cassidy & Larry Nemecek
Geek Nation Tours is proud to be a part of the positive vision of the Star Trek universe and adventures. And this year we are again teaming up with “Dr. Star Trek” Larry Nemecek to make our tour to the Las Vegas Convention a truly extraordinary experience.
For 2013, why not celebrate Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s 20th Anniversary and all of Star Trek with a tour guest-led by Larry—the noted Star Trek guru as a consultant, journalist, documentary producer and author of the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, often called upon for his vast knowledge of the Star Trek Universe and its business. He is currently researching Star Trek filming sites, and that is where you and Geek Nation Tours come in…
We will be along as Larry makes the pilgrimage to filming sites of The Original Series, The Next Generation and their movies, as well as Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise. Some familiar, some obscure—but all iconic and ready for you to revisit, right on location. The journey will take us from Hollywood and surrounding Los Angeles up to Vasquez Rocks and onward to the Valley of Fire. Finally we will arrive in Las Vegas for the granddaddy of them all: Creation Entertainment’s famous Star Trek Convention.
Our journey will only be beginning when we join in on the fun at the Biggest Star Trek Convention in the World. Imaging dining with Federation staff, running into Klingons in the hallway and bumping into Borg at the craps table… But if you think it is going to be just all “Pointy Ears” and “Warp Factor 2, Captain,” boy are you in for a surprise…
You are about to visit Las Vegas…City of Fun… with a group of like-minded people that want to celebrate all that geeks them out! Excited fans that want to revel in not just Star Trek, but to explore all things Vegas as well. Meet new friends, come home with a smile on your face, and forever treasure loads of unique memories from your mission … along with the odd Romulan ale or two.
This year we have several promotions for our tour participants! Creation Entertainment has graciously offered all those on the tour a one-time $50.00 reduction on purchases of Creation Entertainment merchandise of $200.00 or more! What’s more the Robe Factory has offered a gift of one of their super cool Star Trek towels to each and every participant. Further in the spring Robe Factory has some new Star Trek merchandise for us and has offered to give all on the tour a very special deal. This is hush hush for now however – more news on the new merchandise soon…
Not enough? Well our friends at Bye Bye Robot have also joined us this year. Bye Bye creates quality art for Star Trek fans. Their art is second to none in the field! Check them out but remember that each tour participant will be getting a few of their super cool stickers to spread the love of Star Trek… Besides everyone needs a Horga’hn!
Stronghold Games, publishers of the finest games in the hobby board and card game industry, will be giving each member of the tour some promo items for their highly acclaimed board game, Space Cadets! Each tour member will be getting the “Experimental Equipment and Crystal Promo Pack” as well as the cool plastic starship miniature, “The Ship of the Line”, usable with the game, Space Cadets. And you might find the theme of Space Cadets rather familiar:
In Space Cadets, you are manning the bridge of a non-IP infringing starship with each player becoming the Officer in charge of a different bridge station. There is the Captain, the Helmsman, the Engineer, the Weapons Officer, Shield Officer, the Sensor Officer, etc. Each player must perform their duties, in real-time, cooperating to complete the ship’s current mission. (for more info check out the link below or BoardGameGeek
Ready to Trek-Out with us? Book now as we have limited space!
Day 1 – Saturday August 3rd
Tour members will be arriving throughout the day and Geek Nation Tours will meet you for a transfer directly from the L.A. Airport to our Welcome Dinner. We have something special for you this year as we will be starting our celebration of Deep Space Nine’s anniversary with a meal atCirroc Lofton’s (Jake Sisko) restaurant. We will be dinning at Café Cirroc and Sara the Wine Bar so be prepared for some good food and maybe a celebrity appearance by the hard-working owner!
Our traditional “Welcome Dinner”, is a great time to get to know each other and to talk about our plans for the rest of the week. Larry will be there to discuss the best ways to experience our filming sites and our Geek Nation Tours representative will be happy to give advice on how to get the most of the tour. Geek Nation Tours takes great pride in our evening meals and get-togethers. Past participants agree that our meet-ups are an important part of the tour experience – a time where you can get to know other Geeks and maybe hear a great suggestion or two on what to do in the following days. You can join us every night… right through the convention days in Las Vegas …. or escape to do your own thing.
After dinner we will board our private coach and head off to Griffith Observatory—a favourite of space geeks, and not just as the site of Paris and Tuvok’s shootout in Voyager’s “Future’s End”! With a stunning view of Los Angeles by day or night, we will explore exhibits old and new—including the Leonard Nimoy Theatre and its namesake’s welcome film, and other sites in the 2006 addition. If time permits, we’ll take a look through a telescope or two, of course. After visiting the Griffith Observatory we will be transferred to our Hollywood hotel…
Day 2 – Sunday August 4th
Today we will board our private coach that will ferry us on our journey. Not only will we be free to relax and enjoy the views, but if you are not sure about a particular filming area or episode we will be able to view a few clips or a full episode on the bus to get us reacquainted with the places Larry will lead us to each day.
Our morning departure takes us to two Starfleet Academies… Our first stop will be J.J. Abrams academyat CAL-State Northridge’s Oviatt Library where we will have tonnes of photo ops, climb the Library stairs and look over “San Francisco Bay”. Next we will be off to theTillman Water Plant and Japanese Garden. Here we can explore and pose with what has become the most iconic version of Starfleet Academy and HQ, as seen in many TV episodes from The Next Generation toEnterprise. Stroll through the gardens, but watch out for the Edo hedge mazes seen in “Justice” – we wouldn’t want anyone arrested!
On our way to Santa Monica Pier we will stop at WillRogers State Historic Park, where the Bird of Prey “Bounty” landed in Star Trek IV (and you thought it landed in Golden Gate Park!). Once at Santa Monica Pier we will revisit the sites where the time-trippingVoyager crew got their bearings in 1996 in “Future’s End”—and where you can enjoy beach, boardwalk, and oceanside sights on your own for photos, souvenirs, carnival rides and lunch. Who knows – you might even see Janeway and Chakotay milling about with you!
After our visit in Santa Monica we will leave the crowds behind and head back to our hotel for a free evening. You’re free to join us for dinner or to explore the famed area on your own.
Day 3 – Monday August 5th
We have another full day for you today as we beam into the Klingon prison caves of Rura Penthe… or is it Picard and Dathon’s “Darmok” moment… Ensign Ro’s Bajoran refugee camp … or the Roman planet 892-IV of “Bread and Circuses”? You might be surprised to find all those worlds and more—even the 1960s Batcave entrance!—right in Los Angeles just three miles from Paramount in Griffith Park’s Bronson Canyon. We’ll see them all, and many more, in just one stop! On our way to Paramount Studios we will also stop in Franklin Canyon Park to take a quick photo op of the beautiful area that was home toMiramanee’s Indian village in “The Paradise Syndrome”. Don’t worry about lunch this day… Geek Nation Tours has you covered with a boxed lunch brought in by our bus driver…
From there we will be heading off to Paramount Studios itself, with Larry and a studio guide. Paramount is a real Star Trek time portal! From the Nazi headquarters of “Patterns of Force” in the 1960s, to the “blue sky” tank where the Bird of Prey crashed in Star Trek IV, to the New York streets of DS9‘s “Far Beyond the Stars” and all the stages that housed the starships … get ready for a front-row, hands-on look at your favorite iconic moments of Star Trek. And we’ll visit and point out as many as we can, amid sound studios, backlot streets and sets where Hollywood magic comes to life.
From here we head straight to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and walk Hollywood Boulevard to see as many Star Trek related “stars” as possible. We will pass by Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and its famed forecourt to view the concrete autographs of The Original Series cast. See if your hand print will be the same as Spock’s or Scotty’s! Take your time to look at other autographs in the cement – the cast of Star Wars, for instance, or a galaxy of famous stars from the past. Today’s tour will end as we see our last Star Trek related star but as always you will be able to head off on your own or join us for a beverage and something to eat. We will most likely be headed off to Buffalo Wild Wings (right on Hollywood Boulevard) to eat and then maybe to Universal City to see a movie.
We will then return to our hotel for our last night in Los Angeles…
Day 4 – Tuesday August 6th
Today we travel into the American “Undiscovered Country” – well, outside the rarefied cityscape of L.A., anyway. Each day on our travels Larry will have a trivia contest to get you in the mood—can you claim Star Trek expert status by the end of the tour? If time permits we might even watch some Trek on the way to our first destination—perhaps Star Trek’s most famous on-location site of all.
If the sight of those tilted rocks at Vasquez Rocks County Park isn’t enough to stir your memories of Kirk battling the Gorn Captain in “Arena”—what about meeting none other than the Gorn himself? Yes, you can see him in Las Vegas, but how many get the treat of meetingBobby Clark, the performer who wore the hot Gorn suit in 1966, and hearing his memories and taking their pictures with him right where it all began? Vasquez Rocks is the site of many more moments from every series but DS9, plus Star Trek IV and the 2009 Star Trek film—not to mentions scores of westerns and other TV/film highlights.
From here we will head off to the Q Continuum—otherwise known as the “Club Ed” Movie Ranch— to visit the lonely site from Voyager’s “Death Wish” that’s been our only real look at that realm. We also have a have a special “surprise” Trek related stop that we are currently working on. No hints yet but as soon as we have the details straight you will be very happy indeed.
From there we will head off on the road to Las Vegas! But that is not the end of our tour by a long shot. We have one last iconic destination for your prior to the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention…
Day 5 – Wednesday August 7th
Today we will be headed off in private cars to explore Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park and the final resting place of Captain James T. Kirk… We will see where Star Trek: Generations was filmed and where Dr. Tolian Soran attempted to destroy Veridian III’s star in order to alter the direction of the Nexus ribbon. We will see where Captains James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard thwardted his plans but where James T. Kirk was killed and put to rest.
Not only that you will see one of the coolest spots in Nevada (well it will be hot AND cool) – Valley of Fire State National Park was once the spiritual centre of many Native Americans. We will see Indian petroglyphs and other priceless artifacts plus some of the stangest and most wonderful rock formations in the world.
What’s more Geek Nation Tours received some great news in January 2013. When we head out to the Valley of Fire we will be accompanied by Michael Westmore. Mr. Westmore is an accomplished make-up designer, supervisor, and artist that worked on a multitude of Star Trek projects. He also happens to be one of the few people that were on the set when Star Trek Generations was filmed. He will give us a depth of information and knowledge on how the battle on Veridian III and Kirk’s death were filmed.
We will have one more free night in Vegas prior to the convention so join us for something to eat or head off for some free time to enjoy Vegas in all its splendour. If you like, tag along with our Geek Nation representative after check-in and head off to the “Strip”. If you need to find him later he will always be in touch and will be “checking in” via Facebook Places regularly.
If you would like to just hang out at the hotel you could even pre-register for the convention…
Day 6 – 9 Thursday to Sunday August 8th to 11th
It’s show time…you now have four days to completely Geek out! Your room at the Rio is part of the package, but you are on your own to experience the Star Trek convention itself. Lost with no one to hang with? Don’t worry – you’ve just bonded with lots of great fans for four days, and you need never be alone. Or you can always find your Geek Nation Tours representative to deal with any questions or concerns that you may have. … always available via Facebook “Places” or phone texting.
See the tour is not over yet! The convention days and nights are yours, but each night we will have an optional Star Trek tour get-together to regale our experiences, compare who we met and saw, and share other convention “war stories”. We’ll see Larry again, too, so join us every night or do your own thing—it IS Las Vegas! Geek Nation Tours wants you to have the freedom to “Geek Out” as much as possible. A safe bet for our group every night is the multitude of lounge choices at the Rio. We may even head off to the Las Vegas Strip one night – so fun will be had by all.
Traditionally “The Crown” has a Friday night Star Trek costume party and dance and most participants will want to go hang out (costumed or not) at what is a very excellent night. Geek Nation Tours will be headed out for the party and we hope to see you there.
Sunday night post-convention we will be off to downtown’s Fremont Street to see the famous light show. Here we can listen to music, watch the crowd, dine, drink, zipline (yes, right down the street) or even hit “Insert Coin,” the computer gamers’ lounge.
Geek Nation Tours will offer some additional options throughout the weekend for those that may want to add a bit to their stay in Vegas. For instance, we can visit the Atomic Testing Museum – or if you want a good era theme you can check out the Beatles at the Mirage. Or if you just want to “slip out” of the convention to do some exploring, our representative will be there to help.
Day 10 – Monday August 12th
All good things must end, of course, and today we return to the airport and depart for home from Las Vegas. The photos, memories and friends you picked up, even before hitting the convention, are yours to keep forever!
Tour Only Pricing: $2699.00 CAD based on double occupancy
Depost: $350.00 final due June 15th
Don’t have a friend to get the double occupancy rate? That is what Geek Nation Tours does! Book as a double occupancy and we will match you up a roommate… This way you get the best of both worlds – someone to BS about Star Trek with – and more cash to spend!
Air and Tour Price: Not sure how to get to the tour from your origin city? Geek Nation Tours can arrange flights from any city worldwide. Geek Nation Tours will be happy to take care of all your transportation needs. Whether you would like to travel by bus, air or train we would be happy to arrange this for you (prices vary). Airfare not included in tour price.
This tour has space for 35 conventioneers. Space is limited, so book now to secure your spot.
Single Supplement: For those who would like a room to themselves we also offer a single supplement for an additional $950.00.
Hotel: We will be staying at the extraordinary Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Yes you read that right – rooms at the Rio are huge at over 600 square feet each…What’s more, the Star Trek Convention is held right there, so no running from hotel to hotel! We will be right in the heart of the convention itself.
Includes: Star Trek Expertise from Co-Guide Larry Nemecek, All hotel nights including 6 Nights at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Motor coach transportation, Entrance fees to most venues, “How to get the best out of your tour” exclusive Welcome Dinner, All breakfasts while in Los Angeles, Lunches on Day 3 and Day 4, Paramount Studio tour, Valley of Fire tour, airport transfers to and from the hotel(s), tour guide service,Commemorative (and stylish) Hollywood2Vegas bowling shirt, Star Trek Towel, Creation Entertainment discount voucher, and all taxes and fees (Some resort fees may not be included).
Event Tickets: All levels of event passes can be purchased directly from Creation Entertainment…Geek Nation Tours wishes to give our clients the most freedom possible when picking how to enjoy the convention. We do of course recommend that you purchase the very best ticket possible to get the most out of your experience. Currently that is the “Gold Weekend” ticket… We will be keeping everyone informed about other ticket options as Creation releases them…
Geek Nation Tours also welcomes those that have already purchased their event passes and those that have reserved their hotel space. Please contact us to discuss details.
Non-Geek Spousal Argument: Does your reluctant significant other need to hear, “But think of the shows and the night-life…”? Well, don’t forget Geek Nation Tours “Parallel Universe” department: we can arrange a whole gambit of non-geek fun for those non-geek spouses that don’t want to hang out with us when we Geek Out….Cirque du Soleil, the Liberace Museum and a multitude of spas only just touch the surface as suggestions.
Additional Options: Don’t forget that “what happens in Vegas – stays in Vegas”, so you can continue the party after the convention and travel home later. Geek Nation Tours can also arrange to have friends or spouses fly in and meet you to get a taste of a non-Star Trek Vegas.
*Geek Nation Tours is not affiliated with Creation in an official capacity.
Note: Remember that this is a Filming site mission and as such please note that some stops may be altered by production filming crews, construction and other access restrictions. If there is filming taking place or we are denied entrance access may be limited or cancelled altogether. Geek Nation Tours cannot be held responsible for these instances but will try to re-schedule as well as possible to similar areas.