LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Resorts World has opened its Las Vegas Loop station, the first step in wider use of the tunnel project that will eventually include more than 30 miles of tunnels and 55 stops stretching from downtown to Russell Road.
The Las Vegas Loop began as a project designed to serve conventioneers, but has quickly expanded. And tourists were hopping in and out of the Tesla cars on Monday as reporters gathered for a question and answer session with Resorts World President and CEO Scott Sibella and Steve Hill, CEO and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).
The station is accessed from inside Resorts World, down an escalator near the entrance just off the Strip at Convention Center Drive.
While rides between stations at the convention center are free, riders will pay $1.50 one-way or a day pass for $2.50 to go between Resorts World and the convention center.
Safety was among the topics Sibella and Hill were asked about.
“Safety is the No. 1 priority when you do something like this because it’s never been done,” Sibella said.
“It’s extremely safe,” Sibella said. “As you know, these electric cars … there’s no emission, there’s no gas, there’s exiting in case a car does break down. It’s easy to get a car out.”
He said excitement for the project has been building. “We were working on this since the day we broke construction,” Sibella said. Resorts World opened on June 24, 2021, more than six years after construction began. Sibella said the station was a good fit in the underground garage below the resort.
Construction on the Las Vegas Loop is starting to accelerate as the project prepares to add more stations. The LVCVA’s Hill wouldn’t divulge which station might be next to open.
“We are turning in applications for the next three or four phases of the system, connecting the Wynn, connecting all the way south from the convention center, connecting to the Westgate,” Hill said. “The City of Las Vegas just a few weeks ago approved the land use agreement in the city.”
Among the destinations coming in the Loop’s future: stops at resorts along the Strip, connections to downtown, a loop that goes to W. Flamingo Road and south to Russell Road, and a stop at UNLV. A route to Reid International Airport is a goal, but no agreements are in place yet.
Hill said the connection to Resorts World was probably the biggest challenge for the Boring Company, billionaire Elon Musk’s company that is digging the tunnels for the project. Hill likened one section of the tunnel to “a corkscrew.” Digging through caliche — hardened clay — made the tunnel particularly difficult and took extra time.
The ride from Resorts World to the exit in the Las Vegas Convention Center West Hall parking lot takes just over a minute, with the Tesla hitting about 30 mph along the way.
“We think this is a transformative transportation project for Las Vegas, and to see it make real substantial progress is pretty gratifying,” Hill said. He remarked that Las Vegas is one of the only places in the world with billion-dollar projects like this going on all the time.
Hill noted that the Las Vegas Loop project is unique because passengers don’t have to stop at every station on the way to a destination.