Part of the room tax you pay when renting a Las Vegas hotel room may be going to buy the Las Vegas Monorail. Yes. One corrupt tourist taxpayer organization is in talks to “acquire” another corrupt semi-private organization.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), the organization that is funded by the room tax and is never held accountable for how that money is spent, is in talks to buy the almost always bankrupt Las Vegas monorail organization.
According to the media report, there was a brief report to the LVCVA board of directors Tuesday where the LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill said that the organization is exploring options to acquire the four-mile transit system that currently isn’t operating because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Hill emphasized that talks are in early stages, but “could move rapidly” in the weeks ahead.
Is This a Good Thing?
This COULD be a good thing. Having the monorail under the management of the same organization that is supposedly dedicated to promoting and encouraging Las Vegas tourism, sounds like a great idea. A win-win.
The problem is that the LVCVA has never been about promoting Las Vegas tourism. It has never been professionally or properly managed. When you look at the past few years of investigative reporting by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other organizations, You get to see what I mean.
The leadership team has never put Las Vegas or the tourist before the needs and desires of its own managers. The supposed “oversight” committees and the Board of Directors have never really questioned the people in charge to explain where all the millions of dollars the agency gets, go and why?
During times of tourism crises (Oct 1 Massacre and the Covid-19 shutdown as prime examples), the LVCVA staff go into hiding instead of coming out to defend or to promote Las Vegas. The former LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter is hopefully truly facing criminal charges for kickbacks and other “supposed” crimes he “possibly” committed during His time as CEO. Before retiring and surrendering to authorities, he was actually allowed to chose his own successor with the full blessing of the organization’s Board of Directors!
The Monorail Shell Game
During the bankruptcy proceedings of the Monorail, the organization was begging for more taxpayer money to help them operate. Pleading that as a Not-for-Profit organization, they needed to be bailed out by the taxpayers. Yet, when pressed to open the books to the public, they backed down. Claiming that they were a private organization.
Las Vegas Monorail is a not-for-profit company set up by the state of Nevada which operates the driverless monorail, a 3.9 mile, seven-stop, elevated service connecting several hotels on the Las Vegas Strip and the city’s convention center.
Las Vegas Monorail bankrupt / January 14, 2010
(Reuters) – The Las Vegas Monorail Co has filed for bankruptcy protection, marking the latest economic trouble to hit America’s busiest gambling center, and exposing bond insurer Ambac Financial Group Inc to a potential $1.16 billion of liabilities.
The Las Vegas Monorail exited bankruptcy in 2012 after the honorable Judge Bruch A. Markell wisely rejected a plan to reduce the bonded debt to $40.4 million, and it was later revised to $13 million. To use the precise words of Judge Markell in his description of the monorail, a “glaring example of nonsense on stilts.”