LVCVA plans to buy Las Vegas monorail for improved mobility


Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority President and CEO Steve Hill surprised people this month when he publicly informed his board that he had made some initial proposals for the LVCVA to take control of Las Vegas Monorail Co.

The Besieged Monorail, the 3.9-mile transit system that connects the Sahara to the MGM Grand with stops at Westgate, Las Vegas Convention Center, Harrah’s Las Vegas and Linq Hotel, as well as Paris Las Vegas and Bally’s, remains a work in progress.

It has never lived up to its potential and is especially useful whenever there’s a mega-convention in town. In recent months, there have been conversations about how it might be more relevant if the monorail line were extended a mile south to Mandalay Bay, where the new end of the line would be 10 minutes walk from Allegiant Stadium, a nice stadium. event transit option.

There have also been discussions about building a station near the corner of Koval Lane and Sands Avenue that could move passengers to and from the Sands Expo and Convention Center and the future MSG Sphere at the Venetian.

In October, the Monorail secured $ 33.6 million in funding for the planned Sphere station – but not the extension to Mandalay Bay. Without this expansion, the Monorail once again seemed below its potential.

So why would LVCVA be interested in acquiring and operating the monorail?

If the LVCVA, in better days, could somehow accomplish the Mandalay expansion, then the monorail would connect the city’s three largest convention centers – the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Expo Center and the Mandalay Bay Convention. Center. But there are other, smaller convention centers right away that many overlook.

The new Sphere-Sands Expo stop would be in front of the Wynn Convention Center, which opened in February. The Monorail’s Harrah’s-Linq stop is next to the Caesars Forum, the new convention space that was about to open when the pandemic hit.

And, perhaps because it’s been around for a while, people tend to forget about the MGM Grand Conference Center, the three-story facility located just steps from the MGM Grand Monorail station. The Westgate also has a conference area.

While LVCVA’s mission is to attract visitors to southern Nevada – and that includes the more than 6 million people who come here each year for conventions – it is also dedicated to ensuring that they can get around once you get here. After all, there are restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and other attractions to visit once they arrive for their stay.

While the monorail is only one part of the Las Vegas Tourist Corridor transit solution, there is another that could be even more important for long-term mobility.

This is Elon Musk’s The Boring Company system.

Some still believe that the LVCVA threw the dice when it entrusted Boring with the construction of an underground transporter to quickly move the congressmen. After all, the system is the first of its kind.

The Boring Company’s overall plan is for the Convention Center system to prove the concept works, then burrow under the resort hallway with tunnels to important destinations.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Genting Group’s Resorts World Las Vegas have already accepted the idea of ​​having a drill tunnel connecting their respective properties to the Convention Center.

Hill spoke of the potential of drill tunnels connecting underground properties to important destinations, including Allegiant Stadium and McCarran International Airport.

The great thing about the Boring system is that every destination is point to point. It’s like traveling in an underground carpooling system. It’s not like the Monorail, which stops at every station on the route.

There’s just one problem: The Las Vegas Monorail Co. has a non-compete clause in its franchise agreement, which means that a rival mass transit system, like the one envisioned by The Boring Company, wouldn’t be. authorized to operate.

But if LVCVA became the owner of the Monorail, this non-competition clause could disappear.

Hill was very frank that it was an advantage to own the monorail. This was one of the first things he mentioned when he briefed LVCVA’s board of directors on the proposed acquisition.

The idea that LVCVA owns the Monorail is not as crazy as some people think.

This would give LVCVA the advantage of connecting several conference sites. It would allow The Boring Company to function.

But more importantly, it would provide new mobility options for the millions of people who visit Las Vegas every year.

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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