Thursday, May 10, 2012

Las Vegas Monorail To Emerge From Bankruptcy

The massive success that was expected from the Las Vegas Monorail when it opened in 2004 never really materialized, but eight years later the transportation system that runs along a part of the Strip is still going.

There have been some rough times for the Monorail, however.  In 2010 the technically non-profit enterprise that runs the line filed for bankruptcy, signing in a new chapter of dark clouds.  The company was saddled with $650 million in debt from construction costs and never made nearly enough money to make a dent in that.

With the closing of the Sahara Casino and Resort the line took another blow, as that was one of the end points of the course which stretches to the MGM Grand.  The station stayed open even after the Sahara closed, but an obvious drop in ridership on that leg took place.

Alas, finally some good news for the Las Vegas Monorail.  A bankruptcy court judge has signed off on a plan that would allow the organization to emerge with only $13 million in debt.  In the judge's eyes this amount will allow them to function, and perhaps even prosper in the future.

Monorails are cool.  And not just because Disney World has one!  I've always been cheering for the Las Vegas system, and do hope that one day the proposed Phase 2 expansion to the airport can take place.  The city is well suited for a system like the Monorail, and while there will always be some fundamental issues with how and where the line runs it serves a great purpose.