LVCVA’s purchase of the monorail is an investment in future modes of travel on the Las Vegas Strip


The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s $ 24.26 million purchase of the Las Vegas monorail is not an investment in the future of the long-struggling mode of transportation. It is an investment in the future of mobility in the resort corridor and beyond.

The tourism agency’s board of directors and Clark County last week approved the deal, which will allow LVCVA to work towards removing the monorail’s non-compete clause in its deal. franchise, which prevents competing transit systems from operating in the resort corridor.

Since its inception, the 3.9-mile monorail system running from near the Sahara to the MGM Grand – but behind the Las Vegas Strip – has failed to meet ridership expectations, leading to financial problems. The only time the system is at or near full capacity is during major conventions.

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company is in the process of completing its Convention Center Loop, which will go live when the planned Las Vegas Convention Center expansion opens to the public next year. The loop includes a pair of tunnels with autonomous Teslas that will transport passengers between convention halls.

Planned expansions for Encore and Resorts World have already been approved and are expected to be completed next year as well.

But Musk’s plans don’t stop at the pair of properties north of the Las Vegas Strip. Plans call for the underground people transporter to eventually haul the Stripgoers down Las Vegas Boulevard, stopping at the majority of resort properties along the way.

Both the LVCVA and the Las Vegas Raiders have confirmed their interest in extending the Las Vegas Loop to Allegiant Stadium early in the 2021 NFL season.

“I know the Boring Company is working on it,” said Steve Hill, CEO of LVCVA. “It takes work to figure out where this road should go. “

Without the removal of the non-compete clause, Boring will not be able to extend the line it will finance, unlike the loop at the convention center which cost the LVCVA $ 55 million.

The estimated cost of the Vegas Loop has yet to be released, but it’s safe to say it will run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, with a healthy workforce needed to perform the job.

Hill said the trains in the monorail system will need to be replaced over the next eight to ten years at an estimated cost of $ 200 million. With LVCVA not intending to shell out hundreds of millions of dollars for this, it looks like it will be the end of the line for the system.

LVCVA estimates it will cost $ 11 million to decommission the monorail system, and Hill said it would take a few months to do so. The hope is to set up the Boring extension or another mode of transportation so that there is no period when a mass mode of transportation is not available for Strip visitors and conventioneers. .

“The way it’s structured right now is the no-compete zone that no one can try,” Hill said. “When we get to the point where it’s physically or financially obsolete, then we could try to replace it and there would be a gap there. It would be a problem for the city. This helps to hopefully facilitate a great thought-shifting transition over the next decade. “

So don’t look at the pending transaction like the LVCVA falling into a financial pit with the monorail. Look at it as the agency opening up the future of transport for the region.

Send your questions and comments to [email protected] Please add your phone number. Contact Mick Akers at [email protected] or 702-387-2920. To follow @mickakers on Twitter.


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