UNDERGROUND ‘PEOPLE MOVER’ PLANNED FOR LAS VEGAS

By JUSTIN HOPKINS, LASVEGASNOW.COM, March 6, 2019

LAS VEGAS – The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is recommending using Elon Musk’s Boring Company to build a futuristic people mover under its remodeled facility. The hope is one day tourists could zip up the Las Vegas Strip from McCarren International Airport to Downtown in a matter of minutes via underground tubes.

The first phase calls for a 1.14-mile loop under the LVCVA’s expanded conference center campus. LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill said the project carries a price tag of between $35- and $55-million, funded by the group’s bonding capacity. The Boring Company expects future expansion of the tunnel would cost around $10-million per mile.

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The twin tunnels, tentatively nicknamed “The Las Vegas Convention Center Loop” would run the extent of the campus with stations along the way. Passengers would be ferried in autonomous vehicles – potentially converted Tesla cars – possibly at speeds of 40 or 50 miles per hour, according to Hill.

The people mover promises to be much faster than above-ground automobiles or fixed-rail projects such as monorails or trams.

“It’s an express system,” said Hill. “Stations will be off-set from the main tunnel. There will be exit ramps and entrance ramps to the stations so that you can go from the first station to the last without having to stop in between.”

The Las Vegas Convention Center is currently undergoing a $1.4-billion expansion, which will add at last 600,000 square feet of new space over 200 acres. The expansion is slated for completion in time for CES in early 2021.  Hill said he hopes The Loop will be ready at the same time for passengers at the world’s largest annual consumer electronics show.

“We are really committed to innovation at the convention center,” said Hill. “I’m excited that this really shows the innovative nature of Las Vegas and Nevada.  I think it’ll be an attraction in an of itself.  It will provide an excellent customer experience, so we’re excited about that.”

Hill said The Boring Company was selected from six companies that submitted similar proposals.

The Boring Company is also working on projects in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Maryland.  The hope is the Las Vegas loop in conjunction with the LVCVA will be able to sidestep some of the bureaucracy and red tape that has stymied other projects.

Hill said he knows Las Vegas could be a model for future underground people movers.

“It’s new,” Hill said. “Both The Boring Company and the LVCVA recognize that. We’ll have to work through this being the first real commercial application of this technology, but we’re really excited about it.”