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SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (REUTERS)
SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. (REUTERS)

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. expands Las Vegas tunnel network

Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority releases a map showing proposed tunnels to be built by Musk’s Boring Co. extending as far north as downtown Las Vegas and as far south as Allegiant Stadium, a distance of about 7 miles

Elon Musk may have finished digging his first Loop transportation project in Las Vegas, but he hasn’t sent his tunnel-boring machine home just yet.

The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority released a map on Tuesday showing proposed tunnels to be built by Musk’s Boring Co. extending as far north as downtown Las Vegas and as far south as Allegiant Stadium, a distance of about 7 miles. In between, the map marks stops at hotels along the Las Vegas Strip, including Harrah’s, Caesars Palace and Luxor.

Earlier this year, the Boring Co. completed tunnels, scheduled to open in January, under the Las Vegas Convention Center complex. The Loop will whisk passengers underground using modified Tesla vehicles. Originally, the convention center project planned to debut in time for CES, the annual consumer electronics show, but that event will now take place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The authority is paying $52 million for the convention center tunnels, mostly using proceeds from hotel taxes in the city. Of that, about $48.7 million goes to Boring, and the remainder covers expenses such as paying for inspectors, said Steve Hill, president and chief executive officer of the visitors and convention authority.

Hill thinks the Loop could become a destination in itself. “It’s going to be an attraction early on, because we will be the first city that has this," he said in an interview.

In a statement, Boring Co. President Steve Davis said the company is “very excited about the future of Loop transportation in Las Vegas."

Rides underneath the convention center will be free to visitors, but those elsewhere will cost a little less than a comparable trip by Lyft or Uber, Hill said. Boring Co. plans to cover the cost of the expanded tunnel network itself, he said, and will use the proceeds from fares to recoup those expenses.

Boring Co. has submitted its special-use permit application to the city of Las Vegas, which controls the northern parts of the planned route. The city’s planning commission expects to consider the application during its Nov. 10 meeting, a spokesman for the city said.

The company also is preparing a land-use application for Clark County, Nevada, which controls the southern part of the route. If the application is submitted in the next two weeks, that would allow time for the county commission to schedule the matter at its Dec. 16 meeting, a county spokesman said.

If successful in its applications, including building permits, Boring could break ground on the expanded project early next year, Hill said. It would likely build in stages, with portions of the project ready in two to three years.

The county commission in August approved plans from two hotels, the Wynn and Resorts World, to use Loop tunnels to connect their properties to the convention center sites.

The map released Tuesday shows a line extending to McCarran International Airport, but no stop indicated at the airport. Airport authorities are evaluating the Loop idea, a spokesman said, including issues such as whether the airport has enough room for the tunnels and the associated crowds of people waiting to use them.

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