Nextel enters $50M pact for monorail station


LAS VEGAS -- Nextel Communications signed a 12-year deal worth an estimated $50 million with the Las Vegas Monorail Co., making the wireless provider the first company to lend its name to one of the transportation system's seven stations.

The structure that Nextel will link itself with isn't just any station, either.

The company's 15,000-square-foot pavilion will be located in the Las Vegas Convention Center station -- the largest in the city's new, $650 million, privately funded monorail system -- which will enable Nextel to reach the millions of business travelers who visit Las Vegas each year.

A Las Vegas monorail train is showered with confetti at a joint press conference held recently by Nextel and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Nextel's space will include a Nexpert Bar with company experts on hand to provide advice and instruction on Nextel's wireless solutions, services and products; hands-on, three-dimensional interactive video displays featuring information about products and services; a wireless lounge; a 30-seat business theater; the largest retail store Nextel has ever built; concierge services; and an open-air balcony with views of the Strip.

The company also will put its name on one of the monorail system's four-car trains.

The first phase of the transportation system is scheduled to be completed during the first quarter of 2004. That part will connect the casino resorts on the east side of the Strip to the convention center.

Stations will be located at the MGM Grand, Paris/Bally's, the Flamingo, the Imperial Palace/Harrah's, the convention center, the Las Vegas Hilton and the Sahara. Plans are already under way to extend this part of the system to the Fremont Street Experience downtown and to McCarran Airport.

The complete monorail system will feature nine trains, each with four connected cars, that will travel at speeds of up to 50 mph on a single rail 20 feet above the ground; at its highest point, the monorail track will rise 70 feet above the convention center.

Initially, the trains will run daily from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. and will cost passengers an average of $2.50 per ride.

Passengers will have the option to purchase single-ride, two-ride (roundtrip) or 10-ride tickets as well as one-day and three-day passes. Tickets will be available for sale at the monorail stations as well as online at

To contact reporter Amy Baratta, send e-mail to [email protected] .

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