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Julie Moraine November 25, 2020 3 min read
Bankruptcy Court Approves the Las Vegas Monorail Sale
The sale of the Las Vegas Monorail to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) was approved by a judge Tuesday, enabling the tourism authority to acquire the elevated transit system.
LVCVA Approved the Monorail Purchase
In September, the LVCVA approved the $24.26 million purchase of the 3.9-mile train system from the not-for-profit Las Vegas Monorail Co. The Clark County Commission also voted in favor of the purchase of the system which cost $650 million to build and was shut down in March due to the virus outbreak.
US Bankruptcy Judge Natalie Cox enabled the tourism authority to acquire the train system for the proposed amount, most of which will go towards creditors of the troubled operator company. LVCVA’s primary interest in the purchase is related to a non-compete agreement on the east side of the Las Vegas Boulevard tourist corridor.
“We are pleased the U.S. Bankruptcy Court today approved the sale of the Las Vegas Monorail Co.’s assets to the LVCVA and look forward to the close of the transaction in the coming weeks.”Steve Hill, President and CEO, LVCVA
The decision of the judge comes after a series of hearings since September 11 as the LVCVA participated as a stalking-horse bidder. It was not until the October hearing that the LVCVA was determined as the sole qualified bidder and had its path to acquiring the monorail system opened.
The World Buddhism Association, which is planning to build its headquarters at a vacant parking lot near the northern terminus of the monorail line across Paradise Road from the Sahara, filed objections to the sale, but Judge Cox ruled against them.
MGM Refused to Compete for the Monorail
During the hearing Tuesday, it was revealed that MGM Resorts was approached and offered to buy the monorail by Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, but the casino operator did not show interest in buying the system which makes six north-south stops including at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The LVCVA interest in the monorail which could very well be obsolete in the next decade is related to the expansion of the Las Vegas Loop planned by Elon Musk’s The Boring Company, to build a competing underground transit system on the east side of the Las Vegas Boulevard.
Musk’s company will now be able to develop 15 miles of tunnels for a new transportation system which will use Tesla vehicles to move visitors to various locations including McCarran International Airport and Allegiant Stadium.
LVCVA insists on the system to continue to operate, as soon as the virus outbreak subsides, despite trains for that type of system being no longer manufactured by Bombardier Inc, the Canadian company which developed it. The tourism authority has not stated any long-term plans for the monorail and only hired a minimum amount of employees to keep it operational and secure.