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UNLV could get station on Boring Co.’s Vegas Loop

Updated August 28, 2021 - 10:26 pm

The Elon Musk-owned Boring Co. has approached UNLV to gauge the university’s interest in a possible Vegas Loop station there, which would expand the underground transit system outside of the resort corridor and downtown Las Vegas.

Boring engaged UNLV leaders in June about the possibility of adding a station at the school’s campus. UNLV President Keith Whitfield is scheduled to provide information at the next meeting of the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents on Sept. 9-10.

This marks the first known engagement by Boring with an entity outside of tourist and convention hot spots.

Backup material for the meeting reveals that the school is evaluating where a potential station could work on campus. It’s also noted that the UNLV-owned 42-acre plot of land on Tropicana Avenue, just west of the Thomas & Mack Center, known as Trop 42, is being considered for a possible station site.

If UNLV and Boring decide adding a stop at the school would be mutually beneficial, the discussions would then turn to negotiating terms and conditions of a potential deal, the material states.

“Discussions on this topic are still very much preliminary, but we’re always open to exploring partnerships with innovative industries and finding new ways for the community and visitors access to UNLV’s physical and intellectual resources,” the university said in a statement.

The Vegas Loop is a planned 15-mile dual tunnel system that will run underneath portions of the Las Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas, connecting resorts and other places of interest like Allegiant Stadium along the way.

As of now the only operating Boring loop system is the $55.2 million Convention Center Loop, which includes three stations at different expo halls at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The loop opened in June and has served multiple shows thus far. Work to connect that system to nearby Resorts World is underway.

The loop system shuttles passengers between various stations in Tesla model vehicles in a point-to-point system, allowing customers to travel straight to their destination without having to stop at each station along the way.

Boring is in the midst of the entitlement process with Clark County in regards to the Vegas Loop, with eventual approval by the Board of County Commissioners required before any work can begin.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steve Hill said in July the hope is to have a portion of the Vegas Loop up and running in the next couple of years.

The briefing paper notes that UNLV and Boring also entered into an agreement to host the “Not-so-Boring Competition” on the Trop 42 site this year. Not further details about the event were provided. The competition involves 12 teams trying to develop new and faster ways to bore tunnels. Winning categories include: fastest to complete a tunnel, fastest to complete a tunnel with driving surfaces and most accurate guidance system, according to Boring’s website.

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

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