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November 26, 2020

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Wynn, Resorts World plan tunnels to link to Las Vegas Convention Center

Musk boring

The Boring Company via AP

This undated conceptual drawing provided Elon Musk’s The Boring Company shows a high-occupancy Autonomous Electric Vehicle (AEV) that would run in a tunnel between exhibition halls at the Las Vegas Convention Center proposed for Las Vegas.

Updated Tuesday, June 9, 2020 | 10:50 p.m.

Two Strip resorts plan to dig tunnels to whisk passengers to and from the Las Vegas Convention Center, which is already building an underground people mover.

Wynn Las Vegas and the under-construction Resorts World Las Vegas announced today they are seeking Clark County approval for projects linking to the Convention Center transit system, which is expected to be finished early next year.

“This is a great step to take this from the Convention Center campus out into the community,” said Steve Hill, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “We’re talking to resorts throughout the community. It’s more than two that want to do this. These are the first two that make sense.”

Tesla vehicles would transport passengers underground from Wynn Las Vegas and the adjacent Encore to the Convention Center in less than 2 minutes, officials said. The trip from Resorts World would take about the same amount of time.

“The connector is an important step for Wynn as the resort continues its investments in the future of eco-friendly meetings and conventions in Las Vegas,” a statement from the company said.

Earlier this month, Wynn and Elon Musk’s Boring Company submitted a land-use application to the county for the project’s design, officials said.

The Boring Company is building the shuttle, which will be 40 feet beneath the ground, at the Convention Center to carry people between exhibition halls.

Each Tesla shuttle will be able to transport up to 16 people per vehicle, and up to 62 vehicles could be in service at any given time, LVCVA officials said.

The $52.5 million Convention Center tunneling project, part of a $980 million campus expansion, is expected to be complete by January. As of June 1, the total project was 85% finished, LVCVA officials said.

Scott Sibella, president of Resorts World, said the innovative transit system is a perfect match for the new resort, designed to be “at the forefront of progressive technology.”

“Convention guests would no longer have to worry about long walks or gridlock traffic around the Convention Center,” Sibella said in a statement. “They could take the tunnel shuttle to Resorts World for lunch or a meeting and get back to their conference or expo in minutes.”

Pending approval from the county, construction on the tunnel extension to Resorts World could begin sometime later this year, officials said. Resorts World is scheduled to open next summer.

Hill said the greater vision for the underground transportation system is to eventually have stops at McCarran International Airport, Allegiant Stadium and downtown Las Vegas.

Agreements for those extensions would still need to be worked out, LVCVA officials said.

“When we originally talked about this system, the idea was to allow our guests to get where they want to go in a seamless, fun and innovative way,” Hill said.

The underground shuttle could get people from the Convention Center to Allegiant Stadium, where the Raiders are set to begin play this year, in less than five minutes, Hill said.

“That’s going to make the game-day experience for everybody in the corridor much easier. You could park here and go to the stadium, but it also ties the parking garages up and down the Strip together,” he said.

Hill said LVCVA officials have been in contact in recent days with downtown Las Vegas casino operators about possibly expanding the underground system there.

One obstacle for a tunnel system that would take riders to additional stops along the Strip is a noncompete clause with the Las Vegas Monorail for the area in operates within the resort corridor.

An exception to the agreement is transportation systems that carry passengers from point to point without a stop, Hill said.

The LVCVA is in talks with Monorail officials about how to “best preserve the Monorail’s operation,” which he called an “important transportation link” in Las Vegas.

“I think we all realize we’re going to need a variety of transportation solutions to handle the movement of our guests,” Hill said.

The Boring Company eventually would like to link Las Vegas and Los Angeles.