The Vegas Loop – Quick Facts
- Includes the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop (LVCC Loop)
- Total Current Cost: $52-million
- Travel Speed: 155 mph
- Estimated Capacity: 4,000 passengers per hour
- Completion Date: Unknown, but the LVCC Loop is expected to debut January 2021
- Projected Stops: McCarran International Airport, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas Convention Center, Fremont Street Experience, Slotzilla and Garage Mahal at Circa.
- Loop-style transportation, versus Hyperloop
- Dec 16, 2020: A Las Vegas City Council meeting declared that the Loop will use autonomous Tesla vehicles and now extend with an additional 4.6-mile circuit that will run north under Las Vegas Boulevard to the downtown resort corridor and then south on Main Street.
- Dec 15, 2020: Boring Company is posed to buy the Las Vegas Monorail after it declares bankruptcy due to COVID-19.
What Is The Boring Company?
If you haven’t heard of Elon Musk’s The Boring Company and the Vegas Loop, we guarantee you will in the very near future. Appropriately named, The Boring Company does just that – bores tunnels below major cities to move people quickly, safely and in a way that doesn’t kill the environment. Okay, we’re sold.
So, what does that have to do with Las Vegas? The Boring Company has been working on a “Vegas Loop” to connect parts of Las Vegas that are generally congested with traffic and people. In fact, the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop, which is part of the larger Vegas Loop, is now complete and ready for use!
The company had anticipated launching the new people mover system for the Consumers Electronic Show (CES) on January 21, 2021. Unfortunately, the tradeshow has recently been moved to a virtual convention due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company was pleased to meet the tunnel completion date but has stated that they will delay using the underground tunnels until a convention is being held to show how effective the innovative system works.
A Look at the Las Vegas Loop
The new tunnel system is often referred to as “The Loop” because it will eventually loop all Las Vegas areas together. The tunnel system currently consists of two one-mile-long tunnels underneath the Las Vegas Convention Center. The tunnels will operate by moving visitors to the opposite side of the property using driverless Tesla vehicles at speeds upwards of 155 mph. This will reduce the time it takes to get from one side of the property to the other to less than two minutes.
Elon Musk, the founder of the company and avid traffic jam hater, has recently received approval from the government to continue the Loop to include several other Las Vegas areas. It is anticipated that the final version of the Loop will include stops at McCarran International Airport, the Strip, and downtown Las Vegas.
Musk anticipates that eventually, there would be a tunnel that connects Las Vegas to Los Angeles. However, the focus is on connecting all the areas of Las Vegas first using high-speed vehicles in the tunnel.
Environmentally-Friendly Construction and Use
One of the benefits of using the tunnels to move around Las Vegas will be the speed at which visitors are whisked away to their next destination and how much it will reduce the impact of people on the environment.
The Tesla vehicles that will be used in the tunnels are all-electric vehicles. This means that there will not be any emissions while in use. If people chose this transportation over using surface vehicles, the positive impact on the environment would be tremendous.
And if that doesn’t sound good enough, Boring has found a way to use the muck and dirt it removes from the tunnels in an environmentally friendly way. Unlike other tunneling ventures that remove the dirt then transport it to other areas for disposal, Boring has found a way to use this muck to create stone pavers and bricks. These pavers and bricks can be used to pave the tunnel’s interiors, and extra bricks will be donated to help construct affordable housing.
The company has also stated that the Loop platforms and stations will be much smaller and use less power than other public transportation options. This will reduce the power and land use needed to operate the people mover.
The Impact of the Loop on Downtown Las Vegas
Blueprints of the planned Loop show that the stations will extend out as far as Fremont Street Experience and connect with Las Vegas Strip hotels and casinos and the airport. For the first time, Las Vegas visitors can effortlessly move around the city using just one mode of transportation without having to worry about driving.
What will a station in downtown Vegas mean for the businesses here? A significant increase in visitors. Many people who may not have gone into the downtown area from other casinos and hotels will now have easy access to this area. This will also increase the number of people who come directly from the airport to downtown.
Visitors will expect to have more hotel room specials, entertainment venues, and tourist experiences available to them in the downtown area. With the debut of the newest Las Vegas resort and casino, Circa, we expect a lot of new faces on Fremont Street. The opening of the Vegas Loop will change how people enjoy and experience downtown Las Vegas.
When Will the Vegas Loop Be Complete?
The completion date for the whole Vegas Loop still remains unknown. Boring still need to jump through several “loops” to get the necessary permits to dig their tunnels and implement their driverless vehicles for a full people mover system. However, it is anticipated that this system could be in place within the next two years.
Everyone in Vegas is currently waiting to launch the first phase of the Loop under the Convention Center. Once this happens, everyone is optimistic that the rest of the project will quickly move forward towards completion.