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November 12, 2018

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Las Vegas Monorail

Navigating convention season via the Las Vegas Monorail

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Conventions are big business in the valley.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reports that from January to November last year, 19,767 conventions and meetings were conducted for more than 6 million attendees. They contribute billions in annual revenue to Clark County and help support a tourism industry that employs 44 percent of Southern Nevada’s workforce.

“The convention industry is a critical part of our tourism mix, so providing a great experience for delegates is important; that includes getting them to and from their events efficiently,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA.

If you plan to attend any upcoming events, follow these tips to streamline travel and maximize your itinerary.

Transportation between convention sites

When traveling to and from conventions, mass transit is one of your faster and cheaper options. When considering mass transit options in the city, you can take the Las Vegas Monorail or city buses.

The Monorail has seven stops, many of which include convention sites such as MGM Grand, Bally’s/Paris, Flamingo/Caesars, Harrah’s, the Las Vegas Convention Center, Westgate and SLS Las Vegas.

To improve convenience for convention travelers, the Monorail has partnered with some convention organizers to integrate Monorail tickets directly into convention badges. Riders can scan their badge at the fare gates and go. When registering for your convention, check to see if this option is available.

Similar to other mass transit systems, the Monorail recently launched a mobile ticketing solution that allows riders to purchase and scan passes from their cellphones, forgoing the need for physical passes available at station fare gates. If you’re attending a convention that doesn’t offer an integrated transportation system with registration, using mobile ticketing is another good option.

For convention sites not located on the Monorail line, buses, shuttles or ride-hailing/taxi services also are available.

The importance of responsible travel

As Las Vegas continues to grow, so do its mobility demands. Having convenient, cost-efficient and environmentally responsible transportation options are important for visitors and locals.

The Monorail is a private, nonprofit company and does not use public subsidies to operate. Comparable transit systems across the country rely on an average 71 percent of public subsidies to cover operating expenses, according to the Federal Transit Administration. The Monorail carries millions of passengers, many of whom are convention travelers, and does so without using taxpayer dollars.

Because of this, government transportation subsidies can be directed to other transportation systems in the valley, diversifying options and improving movement across the city, not just the resort corridor.

The benefits of using mass transit include reducing traffic congestion and lowering carbon emissions. Consider the Monorail, local bus routes or contact the event organizers/specific properties to see if shuttles are available. If you prefer to take a car, consider using a ride-hail carpool or riding with a group of fellow convention attendees.

Routes connecting convention centers

The Monorail is planning an expansion that extends its current route to Mandalay Bay, linking the major convention facilities with one mass transit option. This would connect 7 million square feet of convention space and 35,000 hotel rooms, increasing the competitive stance of Las Vegas as a prime event location.

“The Monorail’s expansion to Mandalay Bay will improve access between resorts and venues, including the convention center and the future NFL stadium,” said Debra DeShong, senior vice president of global corporate communications and global industry affairs at MGM Resorts International.

Large upcoming conventions

As CES 2018 wraps up, here are some of the other upcoming conventions to keep an eye out for:

• Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show

Jan. 23-26

Sands Convention Center

• Adult Entertainment Expo (AVN)

Jan. 24-27

Hard Rock

• MAGIC Marketplace Spring Show

Feb. 12-14

Mandalay Bay convention centers

• International Pizza Expo

March 20-22

Las Vegas Convention Center

• Nightclub & Bar Show

March 26-28

Las Vegas Convention Center

• National Association of Broadcasters

April 9-12

Las Vegas Convention Center