Step Aboard the Titanic – Las Vegas Style

by Ray Setterfield


Event Date: April 8, 1999
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Plans were announced on this day for one of the most astonishing – and, some would say, most tacky – casino development in the history of Las Vegas. The idea was to create a replica of the Titanic liner which sank after hitting an iceberg on her maiden voyage to New York in 1912, claiming more than 1,500 lives.

Guests would be able to stay in the ship itself or in the Iceberg Hotel, which would have been attached to it. They could gamble in the Iceberg Casino, visit Ice Cave tunnels and travel on an underwater glass people-mover to see the underbelly of the “iceberg”, here lined with shops.

They could also “peer through mammoth-sized portholes to get a glimpse of the Titanic in her watery grave and explore the ship as she sleeps below the depths”.

Anybody feeling this might seem a little tasteless could discuss their feelings with fellow passengers in – where else? – the “Club Icebreaker.”

The plans were presented to investment bankers and travel writers by local businessman Bob Stupak, who, three years earlier, had opened the iconic Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas. He said the Titanic project would cost about $1.2 billion.

Mr Stupak said that at 400 feet (120m), his Titanic would be more than twice the length of the ship that sailed in 1912 – and much wider. The suites would be even larger than the original ship’s accommodations “to give it that certain Las Vegas flair.”

His “ship”would be more than 1 million square feet with 1,200 cabins and suites and a public area designed to offer themed tourist attractions. The bottom portion, below and above the waterline, would actually be floating in water.

Directly across the street a multi-level parking garage would be constructed to resemble the Titanic's home port of Southampton, England, Mr. Stupak said.

He added: “The parking structure will be connected to the main deck of the ship by a walkway which will span the Las Vegas Strip and be designed in a 1912 style reflecting the history of that gilded era.”

The project was rejected by Las Vegas City Council and after 67-year-old Mr Stupak’s death from leukaemia in 2009 it sank without trace.

Published: March 6, 2017

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