Owners of every seedy hotel in Las Vegas must be kicking themselves; they could have been charging tourists to look out the window.
Crime scene tourism is on its way to the MGM Grand, one of the biggest and most famous resorts on the planet.
The upcoming attraction, "CSI: The Experience," is based on the popular CSI television series and is licensed by CBS Products, which also licensed the now-defunct "Star Trek: The Experience" exhibit at the Las Vegas Hilton.
"It really fits well," Anthony Curtis, publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor guide, said about installing the CSI attraction in a major Las Vegas resort. "It fits better than Star Trek, really."
Not only are the myriad CSI series among the most popular programs on television, the original version of the show is set in Las Vegas. It was created, written and co-produced by Las Vegan Anthony Zuiker.
"That’s the home of the show," said Maryann Martin, director of licensing for CBS Consumer Products, which licenses the exhibit. "We always thought it would make sense to open a CSI exhibit there."
The exhibit was first developed in conjunction with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and was launched as a touring show in 2006.
The Las Vegas exhibit will be in the Studio Walk mall at MGM Grand. General admission tickets will cost $30. No opening date has been set, but CBS officials expect it to be ready to launch before summer ends.
The attraction presents visitors with several crime scenes and clues they can use to crack the case without leaving the comfort of MGM Grand, a nice touch for tourists unwilling to tolerate oppressive Mojave desert heat to pick through real crime scenes in the Las Vegas area.
One scene called "A House Collided" has a car crashed through a living room with a man slumped in the driver seat. In the room are muddy footprints, drops of blood and a stain near the sofa and a bloody handprint on the hood of the car.
The second scene, "Who Got Served?" presents a young woman found dead in an alley behind a Las Vegas motel. Clues include a tire tread mark on her abdomen, a handbag and a torn photo of the woman.
The third scene is called "No Bones About It" and shows a hiker who has stumbled across a partially exposed skull in the ground. Clues include a hole in the cranium and remnants of a coat and possibly a backpack.
After visiting the crime scenes, guests will go to a replica of the office of former lead CSI character Gil Grissom, where they will use touch-screens to answer questions in an attempt to solve the crimes.
CBS Consumer Products will license the intellectual property behind the attraction to EMS Exhibits, a division of a company based in Vienna, Austria, that is the official international booking agent and promoter of a touring, European version of the exhibit.
EMS has also promoted a National Geographic exhibit on Egyptian King Tutankhamun, a Leonardo Da Vinci show and a Barbie attraction.
Curtis says he doesn’t think the grim theme of the exhibit will dissuade Las Vegas tourists.
He compared it to "Bodies," an exhibit featuring preserved human cadavers, without skin, preserved in various poses, that was open several years at the Tropicana and Luxor.
"I don’t think macabre is a problem," Curtis said. "’Bodies’ wouldn’t have lasted so long if that were a problem."
Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3861.