weather icon Partly Cloudy

Long-term fix for Convention Center parking may be underground

Updated January 14, 2020 - 7:32 pm

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority voted for a temporary fix for an upcoming parking problem. But a long-term solution for the Las Vegas Convention Center could be right under board members’ noses — about 40 feet underground.

The authority board approved a lease agreement Tuesday negotiated with the World Buddhism Association Headquarters for parking during March’s ConExpo-Con/Agg construction equipment trade show.

In a unanimous vote, the board authorized $65,000 to use the 12.2-acre parking lot just east of the Sahara and the Las Vegas Monorail station.The lot will accommodate 1,150 vehicles and will be used by LVCVA staff, laborers and show business officials.

ConExpo-Con/Agg, which arrives in Las Vegas every three years, fills most of its parking lots with construction equipment displays during the show. The LVCVA will need access to the association’s lot from March 8-16.

The World Buddhism Association bought the acreage in July 2018 for $17.5 million but has yet to develop it.

Tuesday’s vote spurred a discussion about the lack of parking, particularly at big trade shows that use lots for outdoor exhibits.

New parking garage?

In response to a board member’s question about the possibility of building a parking garage at the Convention Center, LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill said the people-mover system being built beneath the Convention Center, if expanded citywide, could provide a solution to the lack of parking — that, and the tens of thousands of parking spaces that already exist up and down the Strip.

“Building a parking garage costs almost as much for a spot in the parking garage as it does to buy the car that’s in the spot,” Hill said in an interview after the meeting.

Hill believes a potential solution lies with the Boring Co.’s $52.5 million people-mover — a system that could be expanded with a network of tunnels connecting resorts to the Convention Center and even McCarran International Airport.

“I think it ought to be one of the considerations as we look at all different kinds of things that can provide solutions,” he said.

Hill noted that normally, parking garages adjacent to the city’s resorts aren’t filled to capacity. If a Boring tunnel could be connected to resorts and their garages, there would be no need to add parking at the Convention Center.

Hassle-free transit

He said people attending trade shows who are parking at resorts would probably be interested in using a transit system that could deliver them directly to the Convention Center in minutes with no traffic hassles.

In addition to ConExpo-Con/Agg, three annual trade shows use all of the LVCVA’s parking lots for exhibits: CES, World of Concrete and the Specialty Equipment Market Association. So, for about 12 dates a year, parking at the Convention Center is a big problem.

The Boring people-mover is designed to provide point-to-point transportation to destinations. That means a person who parks at, say, Bellagio, could order a ride through a tunnel directly to the Convention Center without stopping at any other Strip locations.

Putting on his hat as chairman of the Las Vegas Stadium Authority, Hill said that the people-mover concept could be a solution also for Allegiant Stadium parking.

The Convention Center people-mover tunnel boring machine has chewed through 2,160 feet of dirt from the east end of the system and was roughly beneath the LVCVA board room at the time the meeting was conducted.

Hill said in early February that the machine would reach the tunnel end point near the front door of the $980.3 million West Hall expansion. At that point, the machine would be extracted from underground and returned to the starting point to dig a second parallel tunnel.

Tunnel images

The LVCVA released photos and videos of the tunnel. Images show pipes lining the tunnel wall that run water and air to and from the boring machine. A temporary track on the floor of the tunnel is for a traveling muck bin that transports dirt and debris.

“I think, over time, we’re going to need to diminish the number of individual cars with individual passengers in it to address congestion and air quality issues,” Hill said.

“What I would like is for everyone to pause before they think about building a parking garage,” he said. “Over a period of time, certainly the period of time that that parking garage is going to be around, it probably will not be necessary.”

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
Boring Company could provide a solution to parking problems - VIDEO
LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill believes a potential solution for parking problems is the Boring Company’s $52.5 million people-mover -- a system that could eventually be expanded citywide connecting resorts and even McCarran International Airport to the Convention Center.
The Blackstone Group has partnered with MGM Resorts to acquire more properties - VIDEO
A few months after the Blackstone Group bought the Bellagio for more than $4 billion, it has partnered with MGM Resorts on a deal to acquire two other Las Vegas Strip properties. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Young Innovator Award winner explains ReDawn - VIDEO
Sofia Ongele explains ReDawn, which uses a Chatbot named Dawn to help users find resources after a sexual assault. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: MedWand ties for title of Last Gadget Standing - VIDEO
Dr. Samir Qamar of Las Vegas presents MedWand, a medical device that allows physicians to examine patients remotely anywhere in the world, at CES 2020. (Elizabeth Page Brumley /Las Vegas Review-Journal) @elipagephoto
CES Flying Taxis
Bell Nexus EX4 and Hyundai SA-1 flying taxi prototypes from CES 2020. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020 attendees rides in autonomous BMWs - VIDEO
BMW is pitching its reconfigured i3 Urban Suite, which holds a single passenger on a lounge-style seat, as the possible future of chauffeured rides at CES 2020. (Mick Akers/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Small appliances unveiled in Las Vegas - VIDEO
The small appliances on show at Sands Expo at CES 2020 in Las Vegas include a Keurig cocktail maker, autonomous cooking system, nitrogen coffee ampules and more. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: The scooter that will remind you of Wall-E - VIDEO
Segway unveiled the egg-shaped S-Pod Scooter at CES 2020 that’s a seated version of their original scooter that can reach 24mph. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Before the floor opens at Sands Expo on Day One - VIDEO
CES 2020 opened its doors at 10 a.m. Tuesday, welcoming more than 170,000 attendees to the annual electronics show. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: A suitcase that follows you, video games to heal you at Pepcom's Digital Experience - VIDEO
Get a glance at Pepcom’s Digital Experience! a showcase of products that will be at this week’s CES convention. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Impossible Foods Inc. Debuts Impossible Pork - VIDEO
At a pre-CES news conference at Mandalay Bay’s Kumi restaurant Monday night, a company representative announced that the participants were the “first people in the world” to try the new plant-based product, which it provided as samples in the form of Impossible Pork banh mi, char siu buns, dan dan noodles, pork katsu, pork shumai and sweet-sour-and-numbing meatballs.
CES 2020: Impossible Foods debuts Impossible Pork in Las Vegas - VIDEO
Before a packed press conference at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Impossible Foods executives introduced Impossible Pork, its newest product. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: The Future of Transportation - VIDEO
Many automotive companies at CES unveil their plans for the future of transportation including safer driverless cars, safety features and a partnership between Uber and Hyundai. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: What you've missed so far - VIDEO
Catch up on the tech and events presented at CES 2020. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2020: Samsung debuts 8k TV, MicroLED TV - VIDEO
2020 is set to be a major year for 8k screens, according to Samsung executives. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas resorts welcome dogs to stay
Las Vegas properties are welcoming dogs more than ever. MGM Resorts International announced a new dog-friendly program across all of its Las Vegas properties in December. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Musk 'hopeful' for 2020 completion of underground Las Vegas project - VIDEO
Elon Musk tweeted Friday night that The Boring Company’s underground tunnel project in Las Vegas will be “hopefully fully operational” within the next year. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
World Market Center celebrates topping-off ceremony - VIDEO
Las Vegas elected officials including Councilman Cedric Crear attend topping-off ceremony for the Expo at World Market Center in Las Vegas.
MSG Sphere in Las Vegas will be the largest spherical building in the world - VIDEO
The Madison Square Garden Sphere at The Venetian has now been under construction for about one year and is expected to be completed in 2021. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Aria still thriving after 10 years - VIDEO
The Aria opened on the heels of the Great Recession and managed to survive. It is now known for its art, environmental sustainability and poker. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opening ceremony of the first Chick-fil-A restaurant inside a casino
Opening ceremony of the first Chick-fil-A restaurant inside a casino at the Golden Nugget on Monday, Dec. 2, 2019. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Fire damages 7 cars at Las Vegas airport parking garage - VIDEO
Firefighters on Saturday morning extinguished a car blaze that damaged six other vehicles in a parking garage at McCarran International Airport. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Changes Everything: Grandma - LVCVA ad
"Grandma" is a new television spot from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority prepared to entice visitors to come during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. (Visit Las Vegas/YouTube)
Vegas Changes Everything: Chaos - LVCVA ad
"Chaos" is a new television spot from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority prepared to entice visitors to come during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. (Visit Las Vegas/YouTube)
New allegations involved Steve, Elaine Wynn - VIDEO
The new allegations were presented Friday in a motion that included a 2018 affidavit, alleging former hairstylist Jorgen Nielsen tried to convince a friend to say Steve Wynn raped her and that she bore his son. The affidavit also included new allegations suggesting Elaine Wynn and Nielson orchestrated the assault scandal. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fitness chain Life Time acquires former Sullivan Square site
Fitness chain Life Time has acquired the former Sullivan Square site in Las Vegas for $14 million. The southwest valley property, across the street from Ikea, is little more than a giant hole in the ground. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas in Primm outlet mall changing its name - VIDEO
Chad Dillow, co-owner of Step Right Up, is building his attraction at Prizm Outlets, which recently changed it name from Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas, in Primm. It will include 3D trick art, ax throwing, escape rooms and carnival-themed games. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
O.J. Simpson files lawsuit against The Cosmopolitan over TMZ story - VIDEO
A lawsuit filed Thursday alleges that The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas defamed O.J. Simpson when hotel employees told TMZ he was kicked out of the casino “for belligerence” in November 2017. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Phil Maloof on selling his Palms Place penthouse.
Phil Maloof sold his 59th-floor penthouse at Palms Place. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bleutech announces Las Vegas land purchase deal
Bleutech Park Properties reached a purchase agreement for 210 acres at Las Vegas Boulevard and Cactus Avenue, project spokesman Tom Letizia announced Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019 at a news conference at the M Resort. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
6 products that stood out at CES 2020

With no real breakout products, it’s difficult not to think of this year’s edition as more incremental than innovative. But here’s a look back at this year’s show.