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CES 2019 to bring 180K attendees, traffic woes to Las Vegas next week

Mix a couple hundred thousand convention attendees with the crowds from three Golden Knights games and what do you get?

A traffic nightmare.

More than 180,000 people are expected to converge on Las Vegas this week for CES, the city’s largest annual convention, clogging the already crowded roads near the Strip.

In addition, the Knights have three games at T-Mobile Arena this week — on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday — adding to the traffic woes.

The traffic tangles are expected to start easing Friday after CES closes shop.

CES events will take place between Tuesday and Friday and are spread out across multiple sites in the city. The bulk of the action will take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Sands Expo and Convention Center, with various Strip properties hosting smaller events.

For those who must travel between the Las Vegas Convention Center and the resort corridor, transportation officials urge motorists to plan ahead.

Heavy traffic is expected “along the Paradise Road corridor, as a result of CES,” said Tony Illia, Nevada Department of Transportation spokesperson. “While many conventioneers and exhibitors will utilize taxis, the monorail or a ride-sharing service, motorists are still encouraged to avoid the area and use alternate routes, if possible. If travel through the corridor is unavoidable, however, please budget additional travel time during convention days.”

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada doesn’t count the number of cars on valley roads during events, but it does have data on roads that are most affected by CES.

Any roads that directly connect to the Las Vegas Convention Center area, downtown and Strip hotels and McCarran International Airport will be busy all during CES, said Brian Hoeft, director of the RTC’s traffic management center.

“Historical data shows that travel will be busiest between 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m,” Hoeft said.

Busy north-south corridors include Paradise Road, Swenson Street, Joe W. Brown Drive, Koval Lane, Las Vegas Boulevard and Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra drives.

The busy east-west corridors include Tropicana Avenue, Harmon Avenue, Flamingo Road, Spring Mountain Road, Sands Avenue, Twain Avenue, Desert Inn Road, Convention Center Drive and Sahara Avenue.

Interstate 15 interchanges at Flamingo Road, Spring Mountain Road and Sahara Avenue are also expected to be busy.

To avoid the extra traffic congestion the Knights games will present, the RTC suggests visitors use the Strip and Downtown Express (SDX) bus route. The SDX will start service at 7 a.m., two hours earlier than normal, from Tuesday to Friday. The Las Vegas Monorail is another option for convention attendees, the RTC said.

For locals planning on attending Knights games, there is always the option of using the RTC’s Golden Knights Express bus from four different areas around the valley.

Here is a list of transportation service options for attendees traveling between the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Sands Expo Center and other locations:

Hotel shuttle service

Complimentary hotel service is available from Monday through Jan. 11. The 10 routes stop at 26 hotels located up and down the Las Vegas Strip and downtown.

The shuttles run all day from 7:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m Tuesday-Thursday and from 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Jan. 11. Select split day routes are also offered during the duration of CES including from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday.

Express venue shuttles

— C Space Shuttle

The C Space shuttle runs from the Las Vegas Convention Center to the Aria and CES keynotes at Park Theater at Park MGM, Monday through Friday.

— Tech Express

This express shuttle will run every 10 minutes Tuesday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and on Friday from 7:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m. between the Las Vegas Convention Center and Sands Expo/Venetian. Boarding locations: LVCC, curbside near C2 entrance; Venetian, curbside on Sands Avenue.

Las Vegas Monorail

The Las Vegas Monorail connects the Las Vegas Convention Center to various hotels on the Strip, including MGM Grand, Bally’s, Flamingo and Harrah’s. Service is available every 4-8 minutes between 7 a.m.-midnight Monday, 7 a.m.-2.a.m Tuesday through Thursday, and 7a.m.-3 a.m. on Friday.

The Monorail does not service Sands Expo Center/Venetian and taking the Tech Express shuttle to and from the LVCC and Sands/Venetian is recommended.

The Monorail is offering discounted tickets to CES attendees starting at $13 for a 24 hour pass.

Ridesharing options

Uber, Lyft and other transportation network companies operating in Las Vega are slated to be a major factor in the transportation needs of attendees.

Pickup locations:

• Las Vegas Convention Center, bronze lot

• Sands Expo, main porte-cochere

• Venetian, valet area in parking garage

• ARIA, North valet

There are also other nearby options that riders may select near the Las Vegas Convention Center including the Westgate, Renaissance and surrounding hotel and restaurants. Most hotels have designated pickup areas to meet your driver.

Taxi

Taxi lines are located at the front of the Las Vegas Convention Center, North and South Halls and at all other show venues.

Taxi lines tend to be long, especially at the close of the show each day. To save some time and hassle, show organizers suggest considering taking one of the free CES shuttles or the Las Vegas Monorail to avoid the crowds.

If taking a taxi is an attendee’s preferred method, CES urges attendees to download the Bandwagon app to decrease taxi line wait times at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Matched parties get to skip the line for priority access to departing taxis.

Navigating the Las Vegas Convention Center

Getting around the Las Vegas Convention Center can be a trek in its own right. To help save attendees a few steps a pair of motorized vehicle services are provided.

— LVCC Shuttle Loop

A shuttle service is available every 10 minutes Tuesday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. and Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. from five locations around the perimeter of the LVCC.

— LVCC Golf Cart Service

A golf cart service provided by Yamaha is available every 10 minutes Tuesday to Thursday, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. from South Hall 1 near Booth #20258, South Hall 2 near Booth #25352 and Central Hall near Booth #16744.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates the Sands Expo &Convention Center.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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