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Monorail, Boring contracts up for approval when LVCVA board meets

Updated January 8, 2021 - 11:05 am

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority executives have acknowledged that moving visitors around efficiently is an increasingly important part of the Vegas experience.

So it isn’t too surprising that conventioneers will soon have more ways to move when they get back to the city.

The LVCVA is preparing to transport conventioneers around town later this year thanks to a series of management agreements with the Las Vegas Monorail and the Boring Co.

When the LVCVA’s board of directors meets Tuesday, it will consider an agreement of up to $45 million through June 2023 on the Monorail and up to $6.25 million through June 2022 with Boring to maintain and operate the respective transportation systems.

The LVCVA board approved the $24.3 million purchase of the Monorail system in September and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the transaction in late November.

Conventioneers aren’t expected to return to Southern Nevada until health leaders and the state government issue guidelines for safely meeting in large groups later this year. LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill has said he is hopeful conventions will return by spring.

When they return, conventioneers potentially will have the Monorail and Boring’s Las Vegas Convention Loop to move them around the resort corridor and the Las Vegas Convention Center campus.

Here’s what the LVCVA board will consider next week:

— For the Monorail, a new operations and management agreement with Western Management Group not to exceed $45 million and in effect from Feb. 7 to June 30, 2023. Western and the LVCVA agreed to an interim agreement Dec. 9 that expires Feb. 7 for maintaining and operating the 3.9-mile elevated electric transit system. Under terms of the agreement, the LVCVA would pay Western $250,000 a month as a management fee and $1.25 million a month for operations and maintenance. The agreement has options for two three-year extensions and gives the LVCVA the discretion to set fares and decide when to resume or pause system operations.

— With Boring, the new agreement would pay the company to operate the $52.5 million, mile-long underground people-mover system that will be free for conventioneers to use. The agreement, which would run Feb. 1 through June 30, 2022, would compensate Boring with a $167,000-a-month management fee until the return of convention activity. A base operations and maintenance fee would be scaled based on show size after conventions return and be at a maximum $30,000 a day for the largest shows and would lease the Tesla vehicles used by the system. The management fee includes Boring providing one car and driver for all days the convention center is open.

— A second agreement with Boring gives the company underground easement access on a tunnel connecting Wynn Resorts Ltd.’s Encore property with the Convention Center. The tunnel will run beneath Paradise Road and the Convention Center’s Silver Lot with a station in front of the Convention Center’s Central Hall, just south of the Convention Center Loop’s underground Station 2. The Encore-Convention Center tunnel project will be funded, built, operated and maintained by Boring, which also will build and maintain an emergency exit shaft.

LVCVA officials say that in a normal operating environment, the Monorail system generates $21.5 million a year in fare and advertising revenue and costs about $19.25 million to operate. The agreements the LVCVA are considering will enable it to sell advertising on the Monorail and its stations and at the three people-mover stations used in the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop and the station for the Encore line.

The Encore tunnel line could be extended and provide additional connectivity to Boring’s planned Vegas Loop project, a 15-mile resort corridor system under review by Clark County that would serve downtown Las Vegas, the resort corridor, Allegiant Stadium and McCarran International Airport.

The Monorail, a key transportation system for conventioneers going to the Las Vegas Convention Center or to the MGM Grand Conference Center, has become even more useful now that the Caesars Forum conference center is ready for business.

Hill has said that, once in place, the Boring system has the potential to be a tourist attraction on its own. That’s similar to what the Monorail started out as when it first began operating in 1995 as a point-to-point system between the MGM Grand and Bally’s and reopened in 2004 as the system is today.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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