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Musk's Las Vegas Strip Dream Keeps Getting Bigger

Entrepreneur Elon Musk keeps expanding his plans in Sin City.

A number of Elon Musk's plans sound as if they sit somewhere between brilliant and what the bad guy tells James Bond he plans to do while attempting to slowly kill the spy in some elaborate way. 

One of the side effects of being a visionary is that what you see as plausible might seem a little out there to people who lack your vision.

When Musk started Tesla (TSLA) , the idea of relatively affordable electric vehicles seemed like a far-off fantasy -- like flying cars or drone-delivered tacos. The same could be said for the concept of self-driving cars and space-delivered internet that works anywhere in the world.

It's also fair to say that Musk met with a lot of resistance, perhaps even scorn, when he first went public with the idea of Boring Co. Eliminating traffic by building a tunnel system below ground and filled with self-driving Teslas seems a bit ambitious, if not entirely impractical.

And when Musk actually moved forward with plans to build a huge underground transportation system under the Las Vegas Strip and throughout Sin City, the bold idea seemed destined to be talked about but never to happen. 

The visionary CEO, however, has slowly made that plan a reality, and his Las Vegas vision is only getting bigger.

The Boring Company Inside Image KL

The Las Vegas Boring Co. Loop Comes Together

Musk has bold plans in Las Vegas, but it started relatively small. As proof of concept, Boring Co. built a loop that connected the new exhibit hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center with the North and South Halls.  

"The LVCC Loop system — a three-station transportation system consisting of 1.7 miles of tunnel — was built in approximately one year (using the now-legacy Godot Tunnel Boring Machine)," the company said on its website. 

"LVCC Loop's cost was approximately $47 million (firm fixed pricing) for the two tunnels and three stations (two surface and one subsurface)."

The LVCC Loop turned a 45-minute walk into a two-mile ride in a Tesla. The cars for now have drivers but are expected to eventually be self-driving.

Boring Co, used that initial demonstration to get the city to approve a massive underground tunnel system, the Vegas Loop, which will connect the Las Vegas Strip to the airport, Allegiant Stadium (where the Las Vegas Raiders play), Fremont Street, and other sites in the city.

"During typical peak hours, driving from the Las Vegas Convention Center to Mandalay Bay, for example, can take up to 30 minutes. The same trip on Vegas Loop will take approximately 3 minutes," the company said.

Las Vegas Considers Another (Mysterious) Stop

Now, Boring Co. appears set to add a further extension to the Las Vegas Loop, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

"The Clark County Commission is set to vote Sept. 7 on the Boring Co.’s plans to add the 56th planned station for the underground loop project on a 2.2-acre parcel of land at 4613 Las Vegas Blvd. South," the paper reported.

Who actually bought the land remains an open question. It was purchased in June by an entity called Object Dash, which has an address in the Texas city where Musk lives.

"The portion of land is across Las Vegas Boulevard from the Mandalay Bay, near the intersection of Russell Road," the paper reported.

Currently, that land is being used as a storage and staging area for Boring Co.

Parts of the Las Vegas Loop, which will ultimately have stops near most Las Vegas Strip destinations, are expected to open in 2023. The ride will require payment, which will vary based on how far you travel.