After spending millions of dollars on years of R&D, Elon Musk‘s The Boring Company has finally ‘invented’ the tunnel.
That’s right, the company that was going to solve traffic by building an underground mass-transit system that conveyed vehicles on a futuristic sled system at high speed… has finally finished digging the tunnels for its first commercial project: a “people mover” in Las Vegas.
Elon Musk’s Boring Company is already looking to dig more tunnels in Las Vegas, Nevada, after it finished excavating the first two under the city’s convention center last month.
Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom tweeted a map last week that shows a proposed set of tunnels that would run west from the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) to the Wynn and the Encore, hotel casinos owned by Wynn Resorts. This week, Wynn Resorts announced that, working with The Boring Company, it had submitted a land-use application for that project. Resorts World Las Vegas, a new complex being built just northwest of the Wynn and the Encore by Malaysian resort conglomerate Genting, says it has also submitted an application for a similar connector to the LVCC.
Much like the LVCC project (known as the Convention Center Loop), people would be transported through these tunnels in Tesla vehicles. It would turn a walk of about a mile into a two-minute ride in each direction.
Wynn Resorts and The Boring Company want to dig a 0.6-mile tunnel that would run from a the Encore to the Silver Lot #2 parking lot at the LVCC, with no stops in between. The proposal says the boarding area in the LVCC parking lot would remove about 25 parking spaces. Passengers at the Encore would stage at the existing bus lane outside the hotel casino, and both boarding areas would be above ground.
Resorts World and The Boring Company are proposing a 0.4-mile tunnel running from the new hotel casino to one of the parking lots currently being built for the LVCC expansion, with no stops in between. The passenger platforms at both ends would also be above ground. Elon Musk’s Boring Company finishes digging Las Vegas tunnels. The projects differ from the Convention Center Loop in that those rides won’t be free. Steve Hill, the president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, told CNN that each trip would cost between $3 and $5. That’s either at or slightly cheaper than the cost of a ticket for the Las Vegas Monorail — which connects the LVCC to a number of hotels and casinos that line the Las Vegas Strip but doesn’t reach the Wynn, the Encore, or Resorts World. The new tunnels would also have to be financed by the companies, as opposed to the $52.5 million Convention Center Loop, which was paid for by the Convention and Visitors Authority. Both Wynn Resorts and Resorts World say that they’re still negotiating the terms of their agreements with The Boring Company, according to the proposals filed with Clark County. (Wynn Resorts and Resorts World have another connection beyond both being located off the path of the monorail. Wynn Resorts sued Resorts World in late 2018 because the hotel casinos Genting are building bear a stunning resemblance to the Wynn and the Encore. The lawsuit was settled last year.)
Hill has said that the Convention and Visitors Authority want to expand The Boring Company’s tunnel system to other parts of the city, and the two new proposals from Wynn and Resorts World represent the first step toward that goal. They could also inflame tensions with the city’s taxi authority and the Las Vegas Monorail company, since they would be the first of The Boring Company’s projects that compete directly with those transportation options. The Convention Center Loop is slated to open in January 2021, in time for the next Consumer Electronics Show.