I Went Down Elon’s Hole

I Went Down Elon’s Hole

Elon Musk’s other, other company drilled 12 metres under Las Vegas to build a tunnel that connects one large building with another large building. It’s called the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) Loop and in total, it runs for around 2.7kms.

The LVCC Loop was built by Musk’s Boring Company, which just casually lives up to its name, and was officially opened in 2021. It’s a three-station operation that cuts down a 45-minute walk to just two minutes in a Tesla.

Our colleagues based in the U.S. have covered the LVCC Loop in the past, but due to it being over the other side of the world, it’s only just now that Gizmodo Australia has got to experience it. I’m not going to lie to you, despite my thoughts on the man behind this whole thing, upon my return to Las Vegas, the Loop was the only thing I was desperate to experience.

While it’s a good enough idea, I suppose, boy was it underwhelming. And not just because for some reason I thought it was a monorail-type thing and not an underground private car shuttle thing.

For such an innovative play, the process of riding is quite archaic. I started at the Resorts World casino, where I walked about 15 minutes from the Uber rank to the LVCC Loop ‘station’. I purchased a ticket for $US4.50 (charged by my bank as $6.93 plus foreign conversion fees) and was greeted by two staff who walked me to a Tesla and opened the door. I then sat in the car, chatted to the driver and next thing I knew I was riding through a tunnel at a max speed of 55km/h.

I came out at one of the LVCC entrances, where to get the full experience, I walked another 10 minutes to get to another pick up spot.

In the tunnel itself, it feels a little claustrophobic, but that’s to be expected, considering it’s an actual tunnel. The bright colourful lights are probably the most Las Vegas thing about the entire LVCC Loop experience, but it’s trumped in Las Vegas-ness by the mere fact it cost $US53.5 million (around $78 million) to build. Also very Las Vegas-sy is that unlike a monorail/train or even a bus, a max of four people can ride in a car at any one time.

Check out my video that’s in 2x speed.

The Boring Company reckons that at CES 2022, LVCC Loop transported between 14,000 and 17,000 passengers per day, with an average ride time of less than two minutes and average wait time of less than 15 seconds.

There are far more people here this year than last, but I will admit, my wait wasn’t too long at all.

While my colleague in the U.S. said the LVCC Loop is “about as exciting as a sheet of unpainted drywall discarded in a closed office park” and that it was “just some Tesla Model 3s driving slowly in a tube, and if that gets you excited then I hope you enjoy the many orgasms you get while driving down a spiral ramp in a parking deck”, I didn’t completely hate the experience. I also didn’t have a single orgasm, which is a shame.

Las Vegas is painful to navigate – something that looks 5 minutes away will genuinely take you over an hour to walk and not having to drive up and down the strip to get you where you need is welcome. But it’s hard to get past the fact it has just three stops and all of them are down one end of the Las Vegas strip.

Bring it to Sydney for a gimmick, c’mon Elon, do it.

I didn’t want to ask him to move. Image: Asha Barbaschow/Gizmodo Australia

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