Will Las Vegas Gamble More On Its Monorail?

<p>Officials hope that a planned extension to the airport will help move the monorail out of the red.</p>
September 14, 2007, 1pm PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"Can the Las Vegas Monorail double down to avoid going bust?

Three years after beginning operations, the four-mile, $650-million private rail line that stretches from behind the MGM Grand to the Sahara hotel-casino is attracting about 22,285 riders a day -- far below the 54,000 predicted when the project was launched. This summer, Fitch Ratings downgraded the monorail's bond rating, already in junk status, and said financial default appeared probable."

"But Monorail officials say what they need to boost ridership and generate profit is a $500-million extension to McCarran International Airport."

"When it opened in July 2004, the monorail was the first fully automated, publicly used monorail in the U.S. funded by bonds sold to investors with no taxpayer assistance."

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Published on Friday, September 14, 2007 in The Los Angeles Times
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