LVCVA is in talks to acquire the Las Vegas monorail


The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is in early talks to acquire and operate the Las Vegas monorail.

In a brief report to LVCVA’s board on Tuesday, President and CEO Steve Hill said the organization is exploring options to acquire the 3.9-mile transit system that is currently not functioning. not due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had a slight touch on the subject in late January or early February,” Hill said after the meeting. “We sat down and said, ‘Hey, what do you think? And then the virus hit.

Hill said his conversations took place with Las Vegas Monorail Co. president and CEO Curtis Myles.

Now, with the system dormant, tourist numbers dwindling, and no indication of the return of conventions and meetings at the Las Vegas Convention Center, talks have resumed and Hill has indicated they could move quickly.

“It’s at the start of this conversation, although the conversation could evolve quite quickly,” Hill told the board. “The current state of market shutdown due to the virus has certainly hurt all organizations and Monorail is no exception, so it has moved the conversation forward at a rapid pace.”

Hill called the seven-stop monorail, which debuted in 1995 as a free two-stop shuttle between Bally’s and MGM Grand, and then as the Las Vegas Monorail Co. in 2004, “an important transportation option” for the corridor of the seaside resort.

System expansion

Representatives from Las Vegas Monorail Co. acknowledged the discussions with the LVCVA on Tuesday evening.

“Like many other businesses, the system closed on March 18 due to the impacts of the pandemic and remains closed, and we are forced to face this economic reality,” said Monorail spokeswoman Ingrid Reisman, in an email.

“As a result, we are exploring ways to be able to open the system at the right time and help the recovery of the tourism economy, while ensuring the future viability of the system,” she said.

Over the past few years, the management of the Monorail company has discussed adding a stop on the system line to the MSG sphere under development at The Venetian – a stop that would also serve the Sands Expo and Convention Center. . The company also hopes that the line can be extended from its southern terminus at MGM Grand to a station between Mandalay Bay and Luxor. This expansion would not only bring people to events at Allegiant Stadium, but also connect to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, effectively connecting the city’s three major convention centers.

Hill said an acquisition of the monorail would require further approvals for this to happen.

“The conversation includes (Clark) County, but I think that’s probably the easiest part, but it also includes bondholders,” he said. “Reaching an agreement if we can with the bondholders is also part of the process. We have to go through this conversation.

One of the important aspects of an acquisition would be the potential removal of a Monorail non-compete agreement that could slow the development of the city’s underground transportation system from The Boring Company, an idea generated by the quasi -completion of a three-stop People mover system serving the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“As you know, and as we shared at our last board meeting, there is a no-compete zone on the current monorail system which, through a trade, should this happen , would be eliminated, ”Hill told the board.

“This acquisition, if successful, would also allow other transportation options on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard,” he said.

Ultimately, the Monorail could generate cash, he said.

Underground passenger transportation to the Las Vegas Convention Center, known as the Convention Center Loop, is expected to be completed in late September with system testing and security checks scheduled until December for the system’s debut at the CES convention. January.

Elon Musk’s Boring Company has previously considered expanding the system citywide with stops along the Strip. Agreements have already been made for underground links to the Convention Center from Encore Las Vegas and from the Resorts World Las Vegas project under construction.

Goodman opposes role of LVCVA

Board members did not ask any questions about the proposed transaction, but later in the meeting, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, a board member, said she would not be able to support an acquisition and instead suggested that MGM Resorts International acquire it.

“Over the years since its inception, it (the monorail) has been a bottomless pit,” Goodman said at the meeting.

“I would be absolutely opposed to LVCVA participating in its financing and the reason is that it does not go to the airport (McCarran International) and that it does not go downtown,” she said. declared. “It largely serves the properties of MGM who were considering purchasing it to transport the monorail to Mandalay (Bay) to serve the Allegiant Stadium. It would be my recommendation after more discussion, research and information to all of us that it be a private purchase instead, at MGM.

Representatives of MGM Resorts International declined to comment on Goodman’s statement or the plan proposed by LVCVA.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of the President and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates the Sands Expo and Convention Center. The Sphere is a project of Madison Square Garden and Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at [email protected] or 702-477-3893. To follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.


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