Bankruptcy judge approves LVCVA’s $24.26 million purchase of the Las Vegas Monorail Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · November 25, 2020 at 7:40 am The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will soon take possession of the Las Vegas Monorail. A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge on Tuesday approved the sale of the 3.9-mile elevated transit system for $24.26 million. The LVCVA considers the monorail as an important transportation option for when the market is at full-strength. The system runs along the east side of the Las Vegas Strip from the Sahara at the north end to the MGM Grand at the south with stops along the way, including the Las Vegas Convention Center. The system moves nearly 5 million people annually, many of whom attend events at the convention center. “We are pleased the U.S. Bankruptcy Court today approved the sale of the Las Vegas Monorail Company’s assets to the LVCVA and look forward to the close of the transaction in the coming weeks,” LVCVA CEO Steve Hill said in an emailed statement.” The LVCVA is in the process of completing a $980 million expansion of the convention center that will bring add 1.4 million square feet including 600,000 square feet of exhibit space across Paradise Road from the existing complex. The LVCVA wants to make sure the monorail system continues to operate, and the acquisition allows for other transportation options on the east side of the Strip by eliminating the non-compete area around the monorail system. The Boring Co., which is controlled by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, has spent about a year drilling the $52.5 million Convention Center people mover, which has three stations along parallel 1-mile tunnels connecting the exhibit halls and parking at the sprawling conference facility east of the Strip. Last month, the LVCVA and Musk announced plans for the “Vegas Loop,” an underground transportation system starting in downtown Las Vegas and run beneath the Las Vegas Boulevard resort corridor to the Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raider – a distance of about 7 miles. The concept includes a loop of about 15 miles near the Las Vegas resort corridor with roughly 50 stations where passengers would board self-driving electric Tesla vehicles. Bankruptcy Court Judge Natalie Cox said Tuesday she would sign the order that would enable the LVCVA to acquire the monorail, with most of the money generated from the sale going to pay off creditors. The coronavirus pandemic has decimated Las Vegas visitation in 2020. The LVCVA said Tuesday visitation to the market is down 54.2% for the first 10 months of the year. Capacity restrictions under COVID-19 health and safety guidelines have crushed the city’s meetings, conference, and tradeshow business. Convention attendance is down 69.6% through October with the city attracting zero convention and meeting visitors since April. New capacity restrictions that began Tuesday requiring casinos, restaurants, and bars to limit admissions to 25% capacity, down from a previous 50%. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.