The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) Board of Directors today approved and authorized the LVCVA to pursue an acquisition of the assets of the Las Vegas Monorail system for up to $24.26 million, to preserve a key transportation solution for business and leisure travelers in Las Vegas.
The acquisition, if successful, will ensure the protection of the 3.9-mile elevated Monorail system, which averaged nearly 5 million annual riders over the past five years. Many of the Monorail’s passengers use the system while attending meetings and shows at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) or to conveniently move around the Las Vegas Strip at one of the route’s six additional stops: SAHARA Las Vegas, Westgate, Harrah’s/The LINQ, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Bally’s/Paris and MGM Grand.
The transaction would also eliminate the non-compete area around the system, allowing for additional transportation options to be introduced throughout the resort corridor. Already under construction is the Convention Center Loop, an innovative underground tunneling system designed by visionary Elon Musk, which will connect the Las Vegas Convention Center’s (LVCC) West Hall expansion with the existing facility, moving thousands of convention attendees throughout the campus in all-electric Tesla vehicles.
Clark County leadership has also approved land-use applications with the tunneling company for two additional connector tunnels and passenger stations to transport Wynn and Encore and Resorts World guests from those resorts directly to and from the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and there is potential for further expansion throughout Las Vegas.
“The board’s action today was significant as it is the first step toward keeping this very important transportation system in the heart of the resort corridor,” says Steve Hill, LVCVA CEO and president. “Convenient and efficient transportation around Las Vegas is an essential aspect of the visitor experience.”
As part of the process and earlier today, the board of the Clark County Commission unanimously approved the transfer of franchise rights and obligations contained in the Clark County Monorail Franchise Agreement to the LVCVA, along with $6.7 million of escrowed decommissioning funds from the franchise agreement.
As a next step, the Las Vegas Monorail Company will commence a proceeding under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code before the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada, where the LVCVA’s agreement serves as the bid and offer.
The Monorail, which began operations in 2004, is currently owned by the Las Vegas Monorail Company, a private, 501(c)(4) not-for-profit corporation. The Monorail suspended operations March 18, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has not yet reopened.
If successful in the acquisition and upon closing on the purchase, the LVCVA will contract with an outside firm to manage and operate the Monorail system.