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Latest Monorail expansion update -- no airport for you

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Nevyn, Nov 16, 2015.

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  1. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    At this stage it seems likely that Uber and Lyft will beat them to it.

    http://www.reviewjournal.com/business/monorail-mccarran-still-too-expensive-executive-says

    Bullet points:

    • To extend to the airport, they would have to take monorail underground due to height restrictions near runways.
    • Cost to expand to airport would be 500 million
    • Debt service on that amount would require them to get business from 30% of flyers.


    Other tidbits:

    • There is a proposal to expand to MB (which would cost 100 million and ironically come darn past the airport.
    • They are negotiating with LVS (V/P) to add a stop there (again).
     
  2. Aces and Eights

    Aces and Eights VIP Whale

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    I wonder if they would ever consider having a stop at PH. I don't take the monorail because the distance to walk to a station from PH is rather far. I have to go out the front of PH, then walk down to Bally's, then walk all the way to the back of Bally's and down a hallway to the right. But even if they have a stop at PH, the station would probably have you walk through half of the Miracle Mile shops.
     
  3. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Monorail never really saves most people much walking, it just lets you walk in air conditioning. From PH, you go across to Paris, and through it to the monorail stop.
     
  4. Darvin

    Darvin Tourist

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    It is probably quicker to walk from Bally's to MGM than take the monorail and the associated walks to the stations, but if you need to get to SLS or Westgate or convention centre (canadian spelling sorry) it is very handy to have the monorail service. I agree it doesn't do much getting to the properties on the west side of Las Vegas BLVD. I would think the parent company of Mandalay Bay and Luxor would subsidize getting the trains across the BLVD and making their properties easier to visit for the mid-strip hotel guests. I have only ever stayed on the east side of the BLVD but will be at Caesars on my upcoming trip. A station at V/P would also increase usage.
     
  5. Guy_

    Guy_ Low-Roller

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    There are TONs of people who don't even know about the monorail.

    I often ask others on tables I am at about it and I would say 50% of the people either say "we have heard about it but never really found it" or "is that the train that takes you from Mandalay Bay --Luxor--Excalibur?"
     
  6. VegasDave

    VegasDave Addicted

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    So the 30% is hard to calculate, would need to know what percent of people incoming stay at the properties the monorail directly connects with. Then you would need the percentage of the people staying at the hotels that the monorail gets close to (PH, V/P, Ballys, etc). After that you could still take a small percentage of the people staying at the hotels across LV BLVD, I know I would use it every time to avoid taxis. If it extended to the airport, not only would they gain a huge percentage of incoming travels, those travelers would then know that it existed and where to find it which could increase business overall.

    Anyone else think that the monorail would grab 30% of travelers? Further, those travelers likely would not just buy a 1 day pass, they would buy the 3 day or week pass depending on how long they were there. I may even adjust the places I stay if they actually made that thing convenient for people, would really be nice for it to hit both sides of the strip, but one can dream right?

    Taking it all the way down to MB sounds like the wrong move, how much do they expect one hotel stop on its own all the way at the end of the strip to help vs. the airport? It would be hard to expect MB adding even 20% the business as the airport would (based on the cost).
     
  7. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    I did not mention it in the bullet points, but from the article you need to recall that a lot of the people counted in the 42.9 million travellers to McCarran is that some are just on connecting flights, and some flat out live in las vegas. Figure that into the 30% calculation.

    What I DON'T think they are accounting for is the number of people who would do multi day passes and/or ride it far more often if they caught their first ride from the airport.

    On the other hand, it is probably tougher to raise funds for, considering the troubles they had with the initial build, and considering it is only down one side of the street. This would be a disproportionate boon to CET props, Westgate and SLS, compared to what it would do for Mlife. That would make getting backing tougher.
     
  8. tvon

    tvon VIP Whale

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    BS. Underground? that wasnt the plan originally and no one had problems with that. This reeks of the city saying.. "ok, we have to allow uber/lyft.. but for your troubles we'll make up stuff to block the monorail"
     
  9. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    A lot of people think that the monorail should be extended to the airport, that it makes sense and would be great and all that, but in Las Vegas I don't think its going to work. A few thoughts:

    - A monorail to the airport would be a good idea in most cities, but that doesn't mean it would be a good idea in every city. In the case of Las Vegas most airports are 15-20+ miles from the main city center, in Las Vegas its only about 2.5 miles. In most cities a monorail at the airport saves people time and money on the cost of a taxi - in Las Vegas because the main part of city, The Strip, is so close its not going to be much of a time or money saver.

    - Las Vegas has lots of taxis and lots of taxis at the airport. In some cities you get out to the taxi stand and there might not be any taxis right away or there are some, but not enough to meet the demand when its really busy.

    - In Las Vegas it wouldn't be cost effective to take the monorail. When somebody comes on here and asks about the airport shuttles a standard reply is "If there are two or more of you, just take a taxi!" and its going to be the same thing with the monorail: if its going to be around $20 to take a taxi to most hotels on The Strip, for two it will cost $10 to take the monorail - not a very big savings for the convenience the taxi offers.

    - On that last point: there are some who will say "But a $10 savings is pretty significant!" but those people are the cheap and thrifty and its almost never a good business idea to try and build a general business around cheap and thrifty customers.

    - And on that last point: the cheap and thrifty customers who take the bus now are still going to take the bus - they are cheap/thrifty and digging in to their pockets for a way to spend a couple of extra bucks isn't what they do.

    - The current monorail hotel coverage is not very good. MGM Grand, Bally's, Flamingo, Linq, whatever the Hilton is now, SLS and Harrah's are the ones that have the best monorail coverage for hotel guests. For people staying at other hotels you are in Las Vegas, its the start of your vacation, you probably just walked half a mile at both airports already, its been a draining flight and you just want to get to your hotel, check in and start relaxing... not take the monorail, drag your luggage through a hotel, a casino and then out to the street, work your way through the often shoulder-to-shoulder crowds to get to your hotel so you can check in.

    - The monorail really only services one side of The Strip. Somebody staying at Luxor, Excalibur, NYNY, Monte Carlo or Ti would have a pretty long walk from the nearest monorail station to their hotel front desks - Aria, Bellagio, Caesars and Mirage typically aren't going to be attracting guests that worried about saving a couple of bucks but they are in the same "its a long walk" category as the others.
     
  10. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Extending the existing system isn't enough. They need something that is capable of servicing the west side of the strip and that would service more than tourists like a legit light rail system. It's never going to happen as long as this is just a private company trying to make a profit. I disagree that it can't compete with the taxi system. Folks objections to taxis are about more than cost. They don't like long hauling and it's gotten extent that some people don't trust the cab system at all. The bus system is still not really set up to support carrying people from the airport to the strip and the shuttle system is just not adequate. For people visiting from more urban places, taking a train from the airport is more natural than hopping into a cab. And from a cost perspective, with all the rate increases, is it still really $20 to get to most strip hotels? From what I've observed, the monorail is capable of running trains more regularly than it does now so it's not like you are going to get to a station at the airport and wait forever to get picked up.

    One thing I wish was being more seriously considered is an extension to downtown. That would probably be more useful that connecting to MB. I don't know the point of a move that only benefits one casino operator and not the region as a whole.
     
  11. lithium78

    lithium78 High-Roller

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    The only real value I've gotten out of the Monorail is when I've taken it to the MGM Grand to see KA. Other than that, it's pretty much useless for me because I tend to spend all my time on the other side of the Strip.
     
  12. NewOrleansSlimm

    NewOrleansSlimm Low-Roller

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    i use the monorail quite a bit, mostly when I do sema every year. a cab ride from caesars palace in traffic there and back for 4 days would be quite expensive...buy a multi day pass and ride it as much as i want...

    have also used it all the way to sls and then took a short cab ride to Stratosphere as I didnt want to walk that area at night

    I do wish it had a few more stops at some of the casinos and went to the airport for that day comes when i no longer have 7* free transportation
     
  13. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Even if it connected to the airport for free, it would be hard to maintain it.

    Who wants to drag their luggage a mile from the station to the hotel front desk? Or to the next hotel? Or across to the west side of the strip?

    Sorry... this horse has been beat to death so many times.....
     
  14. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I'm not buying the height restriction thing! I'm not an engineer but I know that type of thing can run at ground level and it would not be any higher than existing stuff that's there.
     
  15. Its Only Money

    Its Only Money Low-Roller

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    This might actually get me to go downtown. I typically stay on the other side of the Blvd and if I do stay on the monorail side it is at V/P. An airport extension would do nothing for me really. I wish MGM would take there new one all the way down to NY NY.
     
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  16. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    ...and, if they ran all the way to downtown, they would actually get more than 30%.

    The entire process with this monorail has been a fiasco.
    Am I the only one who remembers that this was supposed to (originally) be a lower rail that ran down the center of LVB?
    It was supposed to run all the way to Fremont & to the airport.
    The taxi-cab lobby effectively killed it.

    When they killed the rail-down-LVB, the talk shifted to installing a free people-mover that ran from the Tropicana to the Strat.
    Taxi-lobby killed that one too.
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  17. chef

    chef Resident Buffetologist

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    Yes, I recall this as well. You're right. The current set-up is nothing less than a fiasco. For it to work, DT and the airport need to be a part of it. That would have increased the ease of getting around tenfold.
    The simple solution would have been to shut the Strip down to vehicular traffic from Trop to Sahara and shoot the monorail straight down the middle.
     
  18. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    For some reason they weren't able to kill Lyft (and maybe Uber).
     
  19. topcard

    topcard Older than the Stardust!

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    I found this interesting:
    http://vegasinc.com/business/real-estate/2011/dec/19/how-monorails-fate-might-have-been-different/
     
    Finally have the room booked! Look for me Feb 21-23
  20. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    If you don't want people to leave, develop a complete resort. There are still folks who want to check in and stay on property till check out. But most folks want to see more than one property and the whole town looks bad when you have fewer transportation options than other major cities and you allow resorts to manipulate pedestrian traffic to force them into properties they don't want to enter.
     
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