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Las Vegas Monorail, I Miss You Already

By BlackHillsBoozeHound on Thursday, 11th March 2010 10:32am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 6


Being the self-proclaimed bitter cynic that I am, some presume that I am without joy. Why, that's just not true, I like a lot of things: dogs, whiskey rocks, a Monte Cristo Churchill classic, Seventies music (of a non-disco variety), peeing outdoors, things that blow up when you shoot them, Steve Buscemi, and the Las Vegas Monorail.

Regarding the lattermost subject, I don't know the origin of my infatuation with the steely beast. The Hilton was, for a time, my go-to place to crash, what with its convenient access to a Warp Core Breach as a nightcap and all. I had not been to Vegas for a few years (my money was instead squandered on stupid things like food and rent), and all of a sudden the depot was there, just outside the SpaceQuest Bar. At first I was dubious, as the elderly are of anything new. But I bought a day-pass, and rode the rail, and it took me everyplace on the Strip I needed to be. Sure, there are places you might need to catch another lift to save a little time and effort, such as one of the mini-rails that runs between properties. But in general, it beats walking, waiting for a shuttle, or riding the bus; and if you're making several stops, far cheaper than a cab.

So when VT Reader Vespajet, who is in all other respects my brutha from anutha mutha, calls it "the monofail," I've gotta admit, it stings a little. But he's not alone in dissing this poor, misunderstood elavated train system. It seems to have taken the place of Wet & Wild II as Las Vegas's big unfulfilled promise (don't get me started on Star Trek: The Experience). I was patiently awaiting the economy to reach an equilibrium so I could go back to my unrealistic hopes: that the Monorail would finally extend its routes southward to McCarran and northward to Fremont Street. But then the news came in that the Monorail had filed for bankruptcy.

Sure, closing down most of the customer service kiosks wasn't a comforting move. But that was OK, as they were generally staffed by the rudest motherfuckers ever to jockey a cash register. Not to mention the prevalance of automated ticket dispensers that everyone on the planet except my father-in-law can figure out. But I still held out hope.

Alas, its days are numbered. It's widely speculated that it'll be incorporated into the public transport system by some means, or perhaps some zero-hour savior will swoop in with his magic checkbook. But you know the first thing to go will be the lame-ass recorded dialogue and that catchy theme that they brainwash you with while you ride. The Monorail just won't be the same without it.

As it could well be in its final days of operation in its original incarnation, try it out to get around the Strip the next time you're in Vegas. And on the rare occasion you should glance an employee: smile, wave, and tell him or her that Boozehouse sent ya.



Comments & Discussion:

To correct you, the Monorail is actually in its second incarnation right now. Any future version will be the third.

The original Monorail only ran from the MGM property to Ballys and used to be free to ride. The current Monorail extended the line to the Sahara Hotel and charges for the ride.

The Monorail is already on my list of things to do on my trip to Las Vegas this year. I love the views of Wynn's golf course from both Paradise and Sands.
I do hope since my last ride in 2006 that HET has cleaned the shabby draperies at Bally's that are almost within touching distance from the train as it rounds the bend to head to MGM Grand.

Meh. Vespajet is right IMHO that it's been a "MonoFAIL" since it opened. It's not a very convenient option when one needs to hit the west side of The Strip... Or McCarran Airport... Or Venelazzo... Or Wynncore... Or especially Downtown! Unless the new owner can work with LVS & Wynn to allow a stop on that side of The Strip and extend the monorail from Downtown to the airport, I don't see how it will work. I hope if Clark County gets involved with this fiasco in any way, that it gets integrated into RTC so they can work it into their budding Strip/Downtown transit plans.

Atltrainman, I thank you for the correction, although your first paragraph now has your voice firmly established in my mind as Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons.

It's a shame, but this train was doomed the minute they decided not to link it directly to the airport. Functionality matters, and a mere shuttle between hotels is absolutely lame-ass compared to what a freakin' train to the plane could've been.

I love the monorail! The funniest part is when you pulled into the Hilton and it told you it was the home of "The Star Trek Experience" long after STE left.

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