Elon Musk, who already has a stronghold in Northern Nevada via the Tesla battery factory, will be making his presence felt at the southern end of the state.
On Wednesday the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board members voted to name Musk’s enterprise, called The Boring Company, the winning applicant to build an underground people mover system to transport conventioneers across the Convention Center’s burgeoning campus. Only Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, who raised concerns regarding safety, voted against the selection of Musk’s company.
The Boring Company, which has no experience building such systems, prevailed in the selection process over experienced transportation companies. A panel of LVCVA officials and several board members unanimously selected The Boring Company, according to Hill.
The LVCVA will make payments to The Boring Company at various points of the construction, with the opportunity to recoup the money if the project fails.
“As we make those milestone payments, and we certainly don’t expect this, but if the system does not provide its certificate of occupancy which the county provides for the structural integrity as well as the operational safety of the system, then we would receive all of the money we have paid to The Boring Company to that point back,” Steve Hill, CEO of the LVCVA, told board members.
The LVCVA will issue $52.5 million in municipal bonds to cover the costs of the project.
Hill says cost was the deciding factor in choosing The Boring Company for the project, which is expected to be completed in about a year and a half.
In March, Hill disclosed The Boring Company is hoping to expand the underground transportation system beyond the Convention Center and charge riders for trips along the Strip. The plan could exacerbate bus ridership declines attributed to competition from services such as Uber and Lyft.
“Transportation is an industry that’s going through a lot of changes and I think it’s incumbent to work together and be responsive to those changes. We’re going to have to be a little bit more nimble along those lines,” Hill said, but he maintains the underground people mover is meant to augment, not replace, existing modes of transportation such as buses and the Las Vegas Monorail.