The Boring Company is finding a warm welcome in Sin City, with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority looking to use the tunneling startup’s technology to create a 2-mile transport tunnel on its campus.
Sources familiar with the proceedings noted to CNBC that Elon Musk’s tunneling startup is being considered as a primary candidate for the project due to its cost-effective tunneling technology. Digging tunnels is notoriously expensive, with some projects costing as much as $1 billion per mile. The Boring Company’s one-mile Hawthorne test tunnel that was unveiled last December only required $10 million to complete.
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steven Hill stated that the Boring Company’s technology fits well with the options being explored for mass transit in the campus. Hill notes that since there is not a lot that can be done on the surface anymore, a good option is to start looking at underground solutions. This is where Elon Musk’s tunneling startup comes in.
“We hope to explore the opportunity to move this kind of technology into the entire city. We’ve long recognized that as Las Vegas continues to grow, we have some chip points in moving people. There’s not room on the surface really to add lanes on the road every place we need them, particularly up and down the Strip and to the airport. So being underground is something that is very attractive,” Hill said.
Sources also hinted that the project could come with a price tag of $35 million to $55 million, a fraction of the cost quoted by the Boring Company’s above-ground competitors. If the project gets the necessary approval, it will be The Boring Company’s first official commercial contract. The Boring Company is involved in numerous projects, but the company has seen some pushback on some of its plans, particularly on its Chicago-O’Hare high-speed transport tunnel.
The Chicago tunnel recently met political roadblocks, as highlighted by Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, who expressed his skepticism of the Boring Company’s plans to build a high-speed tunnel connecting downtown to O’Hare airport. Ramirez-Rosa stated that he’d be “shocked if there was any traction moving forward, since “if you look at Elon Musk’s career—he comes off as a grifter.”
The Boring Company President Steve Davis is nonetheless excited about the new Las Vegas project. “People will be excited. They will ride it, and if they like it, we’ll probably get more interest. Nevada looks for a responsible way to say yes. We think it offers a lot of opportunity. I think others see that as well. And we will put in that work to see if it’s the right choice for Las Vegas,” he said.