Tourism Authority to Buy Las Vegas Monorail for $ 24 Million
The idling Las Vegas monorail is bought by the local tourism authority, which plans to stage the system’s second Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 16 years.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority on Tuesday approved, by a series of 12 to 1, spending $ 24.26 million to acquire the 3.9-mile elevated train system from the non-profit Las Vegas Monorail. Co., The Las Vegas Review- Journal reported. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman voted no.
The Clark County Elected Commission also approved the decision.
The system, which cost $ 650 million to build, was shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It makes six stops north-south, including the Las Vegas Convention Center and several casino hotels east of the Las Vegas Strip.
Officials said management and operations would change after the purchase by the authority, which also owns and operates the convention center.
The monorail’s workforce of around 120 has been reduced by time off to around 15. The Review-Journal said it was not immediately clear whether current management and staff would be involved once the buyout is complete.
Tourism authority chief Steve Hill told the tourist board the system could be obsolete over the next decade, but the purchase gives the authority a non-compete agreement on the east side of the Las Vegas Boulevard tourist corridor.
Elon Musk’s Boring Co. is scheduled to begin testing an east-west underground transport vehicle this month designed to transport conventioneers between showrooms at the existing convention center and an expanded facility.
Musk also got the go-ahead from county officials to expand his loop system using driverless cars from the Convention Center to Encore from Wynn Resorts and the Resorts World project which is nearing completion across the River. street on the Las Vegas Strip.
Hill said the tourism authority will put aside proposals to build a new monorail station near the Sands Expo and Convention Center and the Venetian and an extension of the MGM Grand to the Mandalay Bay complex and Allegiant Stadium. .
The monorail began operations in July 2004. But it stopped two months later due to problems, including falling parts of the overhead track. It resumed operations in December.
Ridership has never reached builders’ projections, peaking at nearly $ 8 million per year before the major recession that began in 2007. In recent years, ridership has fallen to less than $ 5 million per year.
The company reorganized after filing for Chapter 11 protection in 2010 and came out of bankruptcy two years later.
Hill said on Tuesday that convention guests have asked the tourism authority to keep the monorail in operation because of its convenience, the Review-Journal reported.