Friday, August 7, 2009

The Las Vegas Monorail

As infrequent visitors to Las Vegas, we've now taken our first rides on the Las Vegas Monorail and are impressed. It was built by Bombardier Transportation, starting from a free monorail running between the MGM Grand and Bally's, It opened in 2004 and it's one of the largest non-government public transportation systems in existence. Between riders and corporate sponsors, it's apparently making a profit, not surprising since it's located in an ideal location for 24-hour riders without any single peak period.

There are seven stops on the system, with plans afoot to extend it to the airport at some future point (2012?).

We were leaving our Hilton cocoon to see Lance Burton at the Monte Carlo. We watched his show on a previous visit and enjoyed it so much we decided to return. He really is a Master Magician. Indeed! Before his show starts, we get to watch a video of his escape from the chains holding him to the rails of the world's largest roller coaster. Wow!

Back to the Monorail... We bought a day pass for $13 each and rode over in the morning for some sightseeing, getting off at the MGM stop, the end of the line.

We walked through the MGM, across an elevated pedestrian walkway to New York New York, doing some gawking along the way. We walked through NYNY, out the other side, and strolled about one block in the heat before entering the Monte Carlo.


Late in the afternoon we returned for the actual show, dropping a few bucks at each of the casinos along the way.

Needless to say, the air conditioning in the monorail cars is a great feature too.

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