Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority to acquire Las Vegas Monorail for over $24 million

Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority to acquire Las Vegas Monorail for over $24 million

The Board of Directors of the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has approved the proposal to spend more than $24 million to acquire the Las Vegas Monorail Co., the nation’s only remaining privately-owned public transportation system.

The LVCVA Board of Directors voted 12-1 in favor of the proposal acquire the transportation system for $24.26 million. The privately-owned seven-stop, 3.9-mile monorail has for a long time operating in losses, piling up huge debt. It has not been running since the mid of March shutdown of Las Vegas casinos due to the deadly corona virus pandemic.

The only dissenting vote came from Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who is also a member of the LVCVA Board of Directors. She argued that it is not the right time to spend money on the monorail, particularly because the transportation system manufactured by a company that is no longer in business. Moreover, experts have warned that the system could require to be dismantled in less than a decade.

Opposing the proposal, Goodman said, “We have $1.8 billion of debt, no conventions booked, no room tax income, and we have over 335,000 unemployed people, some close to being homeless. This [monorail] was originally supposed to go from the airport to the Strip, then downtown. It should be a private entity and not the LVCVA.”

But, LVCVA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Hill tried to ease the mayor’s concerns by stating that the government agency had a different mission than the private sector players who would invest in the monorail just to make profits. Stressing on the importance of the monorail, he added that the transportation system would help ease congestion by carrying as many as five million tourists annually. He further added that it would be very bad for the city if lacks the monorail for the next 8-10 years.

The government-owned LVCVA has the responsibility to keep the Sin City busy with national and international tourists and conventions. In the present-day scenario, that is not an easy task as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to discourage tourists from visiting the Sin City due to various travel restrictions. In July, Las Vegas gaming revenue slipped 39 per cent year-on-year to $330 million.

The LVCVA, which was founded in 1955 by the Nevada Legislature, is a government agency & the official destination marketing organization for Southern Nevada. It operates the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Field, as well as advertises campaigns for the Clark County, Nevada area.