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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Monorail: Las Vegas to give passengers a glitzy ride


Las Vegas entrepreneurs, business leaders and politicians took a gamble by funding a new monorail system, but next year, the system will have to forge its own financial footing.

Funded through a $650 million private bond, the system will rely on farebox revenue and "experiential" advertising to cover operating costs. When it opens in 2004, the monorail will connect casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip to the Las Vegas Convention Center, and later to the Fremont Street Experience and McCarran International Airport.

Unveiled June 12 in New York City, the first monorail train is sponsored by Monster Energy™, which is paying $1 million annually for 10 years to display their advertising inside and outside the train. The train’s exterior resembles a can of the company’s energy drink, and the interior is decorated with imagery and video screens reflecting Monster Energy’s "active lifestyle" message.

The experiential advertising concept is designed to provide passengers with an entertaining experience as they travel, according to a prepared statement.

System officials predict more than 40 million passengers will use the monorail annually. The system will include nine trains with four connected cars, running from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/13/2003