On Wednesday, the board of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) voted to grant The Boring Company—Elon Musk’s private tunneling venture—a $48.6 million contract to build a two-mile Loop at the expanding Las Vegas Convention Center.
LVCVA officials recommended The Boring Company’s proposal to the board back in March, saying that it had the most competitive price among the transportation companies that submitted proposals.
Elon Musk’s Boring Company wants to ameliorate traffic by moving people through tunnels on electric cars or electric skates at speeds of up to 155 miles per hour. Musk has said he can significantly reduce the cost of tunneling through the company’s technical improvements to boring machines, the reuse of dirt to create concrete reinforcement, the use of continuous tunneling and reinforcing operations, and by digging smaller tunnels that don’t need to accommodate internal combustion engines.
One member of the LVCVA board voted against giving the contract to The Boring Company: Mayor Carolyn Goodman opposed the contract based on The Boring Company’s lack of experience. Indeed, the tunnel at the Las Vegas Convention Center would be the company’s second tunnel ever (its first test tunnel, a one-mile stretch under SpaceX’s campus, debuted in December despite an unfinished ride). LVCVA appears to be the Boring Company’s first paying customer as well. Although Chicago’s former mayor approved a partnership with The Boring Company to build an express O’Hare-to-downtown line last year, contract negotiations have appeared to stall, and Chicago’s newly elected mayor has spoken skeptically about the project.
However, LVCVA CEO Steve Hill has been positive about using The Boring Company for the Convention Center’s transportation. He told the that in addition to the company putting forward the most competitive proposal, he wanted a Boring Company tunnel because “this is a system that has high capacity, it’s innovative and fun, and we think it provides a great customer experience.”