Sun file photo
Friday, March 11, 2011 | 4:35 p.m.
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.