Navigating in Las Vegas can be a frustrating experience. For locals and tourists alike the streets surrounding the strip can be congested and hard to pass making traveling something of nightmares, especially during busy events and holidays. While driving is one option for those attempting to travel through the busy streets, taxis and ride shares are also options, again on the busy roads. While these might address the frustrations of not being familiar with the streets, you still might find yourself waiting in long lines waiting for lights.
But there happens to be another option for those wanting to travel down the strip without the hassle and wait of long lines or foot traffic paths, the Las Vegas Monorail.
In 1993 this alternative transportation began to take shape allowing much of the congestion to be avoided for those wishing to extend from end to end of the path over a 1 mile track. The inception of this railway removed over 2.2 million miles of road traffic from passing through the already congested Las Vegas streets and enabled those less familiar with the area to move freely during their stay from end to end without hesitation.
Now some years after its development over 74 million riders have taken to the rail and stopped at the numerous outlets, including all major casinos and the convention center.
Anika and I decided with all the riders and outlets that it was time for us to take our own trip on the rail starting out at MGM and riding to SLS before hitting most of the stops back along the way. For a single rider ticket for all day access for someone not a resident, like myself, fare is $12 or $5 for a single ride for those just wanting to hit a single stop. Nevada residents are vastly discounted with $1 single stop rides and discounted all day passes as well.
We opted to purchase our ticket at a kiosk at the MGM after first picking up snacks for the day at Dapper Donuts (a must stop if you are passing through the MGM). Dapper is located by the terminal for entrance directly beside the ticketing counter for MGM through the parking structure entrance. The process of picking up tickets was easy through the kiosk a simple touch screen and selection of which option you would be purchasing for the day.
Up a short escalator to the terminal, the rail runs every 7-9 minutes on average with 9 overall operational rails running at any given time. We waited on the covered platform for about 7 minutes and upon arrival rode all the way through the stops to the final stop at the SLS before getting off to explore the area.
The most convenient aspect of the Monorail is the ability to move freely in and out of casinos with ease, especially if you are staying further down the strip but would like to visit some of the more well known clubs or shopping areas. Not to mention, those in town for conventions can easily arrive at the Convention Center without congestion. This can be major considering that parking is costly during these times and often drop off areas for cabs and ride shares can be lengthy.
We traveled and stopped on a number of other stops on the return route exploring each of the many aspects of each. While Anika has lived in the Las Vegas area the majority of her life, this was her first travel on the Monorail so it was a discovery mission for us both in very differing ways.
I would suggest this ride to anyone visiting Vegas for the convenience and overall ability to see more in a lesser time. Parking can be difficult to find when traveling and in cases of finding parking it can be costly so moving from end to end of the strip can end up costing more than you estimated quickly for parking alone. The Monorail eliminates much of this as well as the confusion to those not from the area attempting to navigate.