Elon Musk’s ‘Vegas Loop’ Could be Years Away

Posted on: June 12, 2021, 01:06h. 

Last updated on: June 12, 2021, 06:00h.

A plan to connect the Tesla transit system from the Las Vegas Convention Center to resorts on the Strip might not become a reality for years, according to a report.

Tesla people mover
A Tesla vehicle is on display in a tunnel at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Plans are in place to extend the tunnels to casinos. (Image: CNET/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is working with the city and county on permits to extend the underground system beyond the Convention Center to area hotel-casinos and other sites, CEO Steve Hill told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The major resorts on the Strip are outside Las Vegas city limits, under Clark County jurisdiction.

We’re hopeful that within the next couple of years that we can have at least part of that system up and running,” Hill said.

The people-mover system was put to real use for the first time this week during the World of Concrete trade show at the Convention Center. The $52.5 million project was developed by Elon Musk’s The Boring Co. Its 1.7-mile tunnel system is intended to turn a long walk across the Convention Center campus into a two-minute ride. 

The only people allowed to ride in the vehicles were conventioneers with badges. Convention staff members also were permitted to use the system.

The LVCVA has touted the Tesla system and new $1 billion West Hall at the Convention Center to attract conventions to Las Vegas.

Since 1999, Las Vegas Strip casinos have made more money off conventions and hotel amenities, including entertainment and food, than from gambling, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Beginning with the March 2020 onset of the coronavirus pandemic, however, there have been no major conventions or trade shows in Las Vegas until the World of Concrete event this week.

Valentine Valentine, president and CEO of the Nevada Resort Association, said convention and trade show delegates spend more money than leisure visitors. This is especially true during the slower midweek days, “when we need it most,” she said. The association is the casino industry’s lobbying arm.

‘Vegas Loop’

In an arrangement with local governments, The Boring Co. is planning to build a 15-mile “Vegas Loop” beneath hotel-casinos on the Strip and other sites in the area. The plan calls for the loop’s tunnels to connect with McCarran International Airport and Allegiant Stadium.

The airport is on the east side of the Strip, near the Tropicana, MGM Grand, and other major hotel-casinos.   

Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, is just west of the Strip, behind the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.  

Drive Time Reduced

Hill told the newspaper the Tesla transit system will be “particularly important” once it extends to the Strip, the airport, and downtown Las Vegas.

“It’s an express service, so the rides are very quick,” he said. “You don’t have to stop at every station along the way. You can get from Mandalay Bay to here at the Convention Center in five minutes.”

The normal drive time from Mandalay Bay to the Convention Center is about 15 minutes, according to Google Maps. Mandalay Bay is at southwestern end of the Strip. The Convention Center is about six miles north of there, on the opposite side of the resort corridor.