The Las Vegas Monorail is operating again after being sidelined for more than a year during the coronavirus pandemic. The monorail’s restart is happening in time for the World of Concrete convention starting June 8.
The 3.9-mile elevated track was built behind the major hotel-casinos on the east side of the Las Vegas Strip. The route runs from the MGM Grand near McCarran International Airport to the Sahara Las Vegas at the north end of the Strip. The route also includes a stop at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The monorail arrives every four to eight minutes at each of seven stations.
Ticket prices range from $5 for a one-way ride to $29 for a three-day pass. Operating hours will remain the same, including Fridays through Sundays from 7 am until 3 am.
Monorail users are required to wear COVID-19 masks and are encouraged to maintain social distancing, according to the monorail’s website. Hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol will be available at every station.
The monorail stopped running in March 2020 at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. At that time, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) ordered casinos and other nonessential businesses to close to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Though the governor allowed casinos to reopen in early June, tourism was slow in the Las Vegas Valley for months afterwards. With the national rollout of vaccinations and stimulus checks this year, tourism began to rebound. This spring, Las Vegas saw two straights months with 2 million or more visitors. The airport also has seen an increase in passenger totals.
Vital to Tourism
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) pushed to have the monorail in operation before the June 8-10 World of Concrete trade show at the Convention Center. This is the first major convention of the year.
On its website, the World of Concrete states that the convention is “the commercial construction industry’s largest annual international event for concrete and masonry professionals.”
The convention has attracted 60,000 people to Las Vegas in past years. This event is seen as important in jump-starting the convention and trade show business in Las Vegas. Conventions are considered vital in filling up hotel towers, especially during the slower middle of the week.
To attract more conventions, the LVCVA is touting its nearly $1 billion new West Hall and a $52.5 million Tesla people-mover system by Elon Musk’s The Boring Co.
The increase in tourism has not been without problems. For several weeks, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department captain has tweeted pictures of firearms and other weapons confiscated on the Las Vegas Strip and nearby tourist areas. The weapons include a gold-plated AK-47 and numerous other rifles and handguns.
On his Twitter feed, Capt. Dori Koren said the police effort to confiscate weapons is called “Operation Persistent Pressure II.” The first crime suppression effort, known as “Operation Persistent Pressure,” came at the end of last year. After casinos were allowed to reopen in the summer, a surge in shootings, stabbings, and fights occurred on the Strip.
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