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LVCVA shortens operating agreement on Convention Center Loop

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is shortening its operating agreement with The Boring Co. to run and maintain the underground Convention Center Loop transit system.

Board members voted 11-1 Tuesday to spend up to $4.5 million for a one-year agreement with Boring from July 1 to June 30, 2023. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman cast the lone vote against approval. Goodman has a history of voting against all measures dealing with the transit system.

The LVCVA can cancel the agreement with a four-month notice.

LVCVA Chief Financial Officer Ed Finger said that when the people-mover system began operating in May, the authority budgeted about $4.25 million to maintain the fleet of Tesla vehicles and provide drivers on the mile-long subterranean system.

For the fiscal year, the convention authority ended up spending just under $4 million, Finger said. But officials are expecting more use in the year ahead as conventions and trade shows make a steady comeback after COVID-19 shutdowns.

“The system has met our expectations and our customers’ expectations,” Finger told the board.

The board approved the first Loop operations and management agreement on Jan. 12, 2021. The initial term of the agreement is from Feb. 1, 2021, through June 30, and at the time provided for an extension of one additional five-year period. Tuesday’s vote changed the five-year extension.

LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill said opportunities exist to reduce system costs if autonomous operations and contractual reductions in system overhead costs occur when Boring builds out the larger Vegas Loop. That will include 18 miles of tunnels and 51 planned stations with routes going throughout the resort corridor, to Allegiant Stadium and to Harry Reid International Airport.

Finger said he doesn’t expect the LVCC Loop system to be running autonomously a year from now when the LVCVA board may need to consider another contract extension, but, he noted, “we’ll be a lot closer.”

The LVCC Loop system is designed for 4,400 passengers per hour with three stations, while the Las Vegas Loop is targeting 57,000 passengers an hour. While the Convention Center system operates at no charge to conventioneers, the Las Vegas Loop system will run as a commercial transportation enterprise charging passengers who use it.

In other business Tuesday, the board unanimously approved spending $4.2 million to host the 27th World Route Development Forum Oct. 28-30, an event at which executives from airlines around the world meet with airport representatives to plan new flights.

Las Vegas hosted the forum in 2013 and since that time, Las Vegas has added nonstop service from 345 markets by 56 airlines, including 82 new international markets added by 35 airlines. In total, 84 new cities have been added to the Las Vegas air service route map since Routes World 2013. Annual capacity since Routes World 2013 is up 18 percent, and more than 12,000 airline seats are being added into the destination every day.

The LVCVA is expected to recoup $1 million of the expenditure in event sponsorships.

The board also voted to extend its contract with Dallas-based Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consulting for July 1 through June 30, 2025, for aviation consulting services.

Under terms of the contract, the LVCVA would pay Ailevon $615,000 a year with two potential optional one-year extensions.

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

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