How do Las Vegas community leaders feel about Elon Musk’s proposed tunnel transit system? In short, they dig it.
Musk’s Boring Co. received unanimous Las Vegas City Council approval Wednesday to construct a leg of its proposed Vegas Loop from the Strip into the downtown resort corridor.
The council voted seven to zero to grant a special use permit to the company, giving it the right to build a 4.6-mile counterclockwise circuit that travels north under Las Vegas Boulevard to the downtown resort corridor and back south on Main Street.
The Boring Co. would still need to return to city council for permits and licensing before construction can begin.
The Vegas Loop — which promoters say will be able to move people from McCarran International Airport to downtown in seven minutes — also brought support from the city’s resort community.
"We were very excited from the get-go,” Stephen Thayer, vice president and general manager of The Strat resort, said. “There are very few times in someone’s life that you can be part of something we think is transformational. And we think this is one of those projects.”
Jonathan Jossel, CEO of the Plaza in downtown, told State of Nevada that more transportation options are needed downtown, particularly to bring in convention visitors when tradeshows resume.
He also said the novelty of riding in Teslas traveling in 14-ft tunnels bored 40-ft below grade could be enough in itself to attract visitor interest
“At city council, I heard someone say that it will be something people will actually come to see just because it is so different,” said Jossel, who is planning for a Vegas Loop stop on his property.
Boring Co. President Steve Davis told the council the project would require “zero public dollars” and will be funded by the company and its resort partners.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority calls the Boring Co.’s system “the future of transportation in Las Vegas.” In 2019 it awarded the company a $52 million contract to build two 0.8-mile linked tunnels connecting the Las Vegas Convention Center campus.
The Plaza’s Jossel toured Convention Center project, which sits nearly finished awaiting trade shows to resume, and he says the futuristic white tunnels are far from boring.
“You see the spaceships or the Teslas that Elon Musk is involved in and it just takes very basic things and makes them look very, very cool,” Jossel said, “and this is a very cool-looking tunnel.”
Clark County officials are expected to review plans for proposed Strip-area tunnels early next year.
Jonathan Jossel, CEO, Plaza
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