Las Vegas Monorail Expanding From Airport To Convention Centers

Las Vegas MonorailThe Las Vegas Monorail expansion would include the Sands Expo Las Vegas, linking all four major Las Vegas convention centers.

Las Vegas Monorail system expansion plans are in the works to help relieve traffic congestion along the Las Vegas resort corridor, including a hookup with the airport down Swenson Street and new stations that will link all four of the Strip’s major convention centers for the first time.

The Las Vegas Monorail’s plans, which are still being worked on, include adding at least five new stations as well as a series of connections that would link the Las Vegas Monorail to properties on the west side of the Strip, Las Vegas Monorail Co. President Curtis Myles said.

With the new stations, the monorail will link more than 6 million square feet of exhibit and meeting space, including for the first time the Sands Expo and Las Vegas Convention Center, the Mandalay Bay Convention Center and the convention facilities planned at Boyd Gaming’s Echelon Place, enhancing Las Vegas’ role as the convention capital of the country, he said.

The Las Vegas Convention Center already has a monorail station, Myles said. 

“Our future is going to be getting the airport connector and connecting the system to more resorts,” Myles said.

Any relief from the Las Vegas monorail for traffic problems along the Strip will be limited, partially because at least 25,000 added hotel rooms are likely to be built in the next four years, generating another 53,000 trips a day through the resort corridor, a 25 percent increase over the 225,000 cars that travel along the resort corridor now every day.

Add the 75,000 to 80,000 Las Vegas condominium units that are also likely to be built in the area, and traffic could actually double from its current level.

The connector will run along Harmon Avenue, down Paradise Road, across Tropicana Avenue and down Swenson. It is planned to include stops at the new W Las Vegas hotel , Hard Rock Hotel, and the Thomas and Mack Center, Myles said.

Talks are also in the works for a likely station at Boyd Gaming Corp.’s $4 billion Echelon Place on the Stardust site north of the current Sahara monorail terminus, Myles said.

There are talks are also in the works to integrate the monorail with the three unconnected tram systems at the MGM Mirage properties on the west side of the Strip: one from Mandalay Bay to Excalibur, one from Monte Carlo to Bellagio, which has been closed during construction of the $7 billion Project CityCenter, and a third connecting the Mirage and Treasure Island.

Now, the monorail runs along a short, 4-mile route from the Sahara to the MGM Grand Las Vegas, with stops at the Las Vegas Hilton, the Las Vegas Convention Center, Harrah’s/Imperial Palace, the Flamingo/Caesars Palace, and Bally’s/Paris Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Monorail Co. has not determined how its expansion plans would be funded. However, in the past, casino operators kicked in around $20 million per station.

Analysts, who declined to comment until they see how any bond financing is structured, anticipate stronger support from the airport and from MGM Mirage, once arrangements are finalized.

The goal is for the system to carry 15 million to 20 million riders a year by 2016, Myles said, which will amount to about 10 percent of the rapidly increasing visitors moving about the resort corridor. Source: LV Review Journal

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Las Vegas Monorail expansion linking McCarran International Airport to all Las Vegas convention centers.

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