Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Monorail... Monorail... Monorail

After spending a few days at a trade show in Vegas, during when it was actually up and working, the LV Monorail is pretty darn cool. But it's no wonder why it's losing money.

If you walk on the strip, you have no idea it's even there. I am acutally reasonably sure that the "pull-the-number-out-of-my-butt" value of 80% of the people who stay on the strip doesn't even know it exists. It's simply too out-of-sight, too out-of-mind.

Thankfully, the next step is building the line to the airport (hopefully before the monorail goes bankrupt), which well help, but it doesn't solve the problem altogether. Which is this:

If you are going to build a people mover, don't put it in such a location that you need another people mover to get to it! Seriously. The monorail should've been a part of all those intersection overhead crosswalks they've been building on the strip. Run the monorail down the center of the strip. Let people see it. Let people walk the full length of the strip, and then ride the monorail back to their hotel. This puts monorail passengers right at the front door of the casino and hotel check-in, not the 1 mile walk through the casino, through the shopping mall, and past the employee parking lot.

So, instead of enjoying the wonderful view of the strip while riding the monorail, you now get the pleasent view of employee parking lots, and rooftops of two-bit hotels and bars littered with sattelite dish cables strewn about.

As it is, even built to the airport, it's still a huge chore lugging suitcases through the death march to get to the check-in desks. Hopefully, the hotel will start adding monorail check-in stations in the rear of the hotels for this purpose. Additionally, the riding the Monorail seems pretty much pointless if you stay at the newer, cooler, hotels on the west side of the strip, as the walk from say Ceasars to the ack of Ballys for the Monorail, is a pretty darn long chore for most people; and just hailing a cab will be faster.

For a city that is growing by huge leaps and bounds, it just seems like a hacken-eyed bad public plan. I assume that a lot of strip properties didn't want the strip to be monorail Central, due to the monorail blocking their landscaping, or something. But, the city really should've over-ridden that, maybe as a part of the "sure, you can now build your hotels twice as high now" deal from a few years back.

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