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September 17, 2014

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Sahara’s closure could hurt monorail, but station will stay open

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Sun file photo

A monorail train pulls out of the Sahara Station in this 2006 file photo.

Sahara Announces Closure

The Sahara hotel-casino in Las Vegas on Friday, March 11, 2011, the same day the property made the announcement it would be closing. Launch slideshow »

Sahara History

Louis Prima, wife Keely Smith and Sam Butera at the Sahara in Las Vegas on March 10, 1956. Launch slideshow »

The closure of the Sahara hotel-casino is likely to harm the bankrupt Las Vegas Monorail, which has a station at the Sahara that is the transportation system’s northern terminus and a connecting point to the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada’s bus transit system.

In an e-mailed statement, Ingrid Reisman, vice president of corporate communications for the Las Vegas Monorail Co., said the station would stay open.

“Despite today’s announced closure of the Sahara Hotel scheduled for May 16, the monorail station at Sahara Avenue and Paradise Road will continue to operate with access from street level escalators, elevator and stairs,” Reisman said.

The Sahara monorail station is one of two – the other is at the MGM Grand – that is staffed to sell discounted tickets to local residents who use the system.

What is unclear is how the Sahara’s closure would affect a small number of commuters who park at the hotel parking garage to use the system. Reisman said the topic could be among the matters monorail officials discuss with the Sahara in the weeks before the closure.

A spokeswoman for the Regional Transportation Commission said the closure of the Sahara wouldn't affect plans to build the Sahara Express Bus Rapid Transit line along Sahara Avenue from Hualapai Way to Boulder Highway.

The RTC is using $34.4 million in federal funds on the year-long $40 million project that will landscape the Sahara corridor, add bus-only lanes and widen sidewalks to revitalize the street. The intersection of Sahara and Paradise Road is a key stop along the corridor because of the connection to the monorail line, but spokeswoman Tracy Bower said closure of the hotel wouldn't affect the RTC’s plans.

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  1. The only thing that hurts the monorail is the monorail itself. It was built on a lie and will die as such!

  2. A monorail system directly on the Strip would be a different story. It would have to be a 2 rail system with multi cabin-trains in operation permanently.
    Obviously, this mission was a little bit to much off the budget limit and then they built it somewhere behind the casinos, not thinking of the real value of such a monorail.

    Commuting would be one thing, but sigth-seing would definetely be the bigger part of the show if tourists would see the entire Strip when commuting from North to South and back.
    It would reduce traffic on the chaos-Strip but of course cab drivers and bus companies wouldn't appreciate it much. Therefore they tried plan B and the entire thing went down the drain. No surprise.

    From Switzerland

  3. I tried the monorail once. It took forever to walk through the MGM Grand from the strip to the station. It took a while for the train to come. Then it took a long time to get to the Venetian. I am not taking that again.