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Vulcan is the Star Trek Capital of Canada

Travelers Today       By    Karen Fredrickson

Updated: Aug 26, 2013 11:41 AM EDT

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The Canadian town of Vulcan, in Alberta, has a unique welcome sign that greets visitors in three languages, only two of which most people can likely read, according to NBC News. The welcome sign is in English, Klingon and Vulcan.

The city has a population of less than 2,000 people who share the name of hometown with the home planet of the "Star trek" character Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy in the original television show.

The town has embraced the name, using it to boost their tourism industry. It has a "Star Trek" museum, a replica of the Starship Enterprise and an annual Spock Days Convention.

Nimoy, as well as Walter Kroenig, who played Chekov and the son of the creator of Gene Roddenberry, the creator of "Star Trek", have visited the town.

"It's a great attraction for tourists, Howard Dirks, the mayor of Vulcan, told NBC News. "Prairie towns are prairie towns and without some kind of a hook to bring the tourists in, such as 'Star Trek,' you really don't have a tourist trade."

Prior to its embrace of "Star Trek," Vulcan, which was actually named after the Roman god of fire, wasn't doing well.

"Our town was dying," Pat Wisener, the owner of the Vulcan Funeral Home, who has also played a role in working to revitalize the community, said. "During that time, a lot of people were closing up businesses.

"The hotel on Main Street was boarded up because the owners had just walked away," Wisener continued. "Main Street was looking pretty desolate."

They soon noticed that visitors would pose with the sign that read "Vulcan" at the town's entrance. After realizing that they were "Star Trek" fans, they decided to try to lure more of them, though not everyone jumped on the bandwagon immediately.

"Our community was not in that head space," Wisener said. "They were in the farmer head space and so when we mentioned this futuristic science fiction thing, they were not totally in support of it."

Nonetheless, officials went forward with the plan. In 1992, they began hosting an annual convention. In 1995, they put a replica of the spaceship at the town entrance and in 1998 they opened the Vulcan Tourism & Trek Station shaped like a spaceship. The town was declared the Official Star Trek Capital of Canada in 2009.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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