September 6, 2009 · 10:58 AM
Crime and punishment always gets center stage in Las Vegas. On the heels of continuing high-profile criminal trials and Las Vegas announcing plans to finally construct a Mob museum (as previously reported by Las Vegas Backstage Access on Jan. 16, March 17, June 20 and Aug. 5), now you have an option of either taking a cab, limousine or, if real daring-do is in your blood, get whisked around Las Vegas in an authentic prison bus.
It’s a 1950s style prison bus with bars on the windows, ready to take you to the nightclubs, bars, brothels, or whatever flights of fancy you desire. The company Las Vegas Con Xpress offers rides in these old and very kitschy prison buses, authentic right down to the graffiti.
“Prisoners” or passengers are loaded up in the back behind a locked gate. You even get to pick your own “Sheriff”, also known as your tour guide. Once loaded up and locked down, the prison bus heads to all the hottest spots in town.
Con Xpress founder Danny Sinatra thought it criminal to pass up on his unique venture. “Never in the U.S. have prison buses been put back into public use for charter services,” Sinatra says.
There’s no question the buses are attracting attention. Since operations began about a month ago the buses have been involved in lots of drama, being pulled over by local police, Nevada State Police and, yes, even Homeland Security.
Tourists swarm the bus, getting a fun kick out of this odd blast from the past. “For a bachelorette or bachelor party it would be fun”, said Ray Navarro, visiting Las Vegas from Arizona.
Sinatra says he’s fully licensed to operate his charter business and he is working with local law enforcement as well as security at casinos to let them know his buses are out on the streets.
The company charges $180 per hour and the bus will hold 45 people. For further information, call 702-588-8197.
Filed under entertainment, Las Vegas, news, Uncategorized
Tagged as Con Express, Con Xpress, Danny Sinatra, entertainment, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Backstage Access, Las Vegas entertainment, Las Vegas news, mob museum, news, prison, prison buses, prisoners, transportation, travel
July 4, 2009 · 7:03 AM
The Las Vegas Monorail is not up for sale- yet. It’s a transit line running 3.5 miles from the MGM Grand to the Sahara, speeding Las Vegas tourists to their destination. Different than funding methods used now, it was a privately funded traffic solution not built with tax dollars- one of the few public transit systems in the country not backed by taxpayer money.
Despite the promise of nine years ago, monorail officials now acknowledge they have been quietly begun seeking pubic dollars in a bid to the keep the financially troubled elevated train running.
Fitch Ratings recently downgraded the $450 million in bonds for the Las Vegas Monorail project to “CC,” which means the credit rating agency believes a default “appears imminent or inevitable.”
The project has $200 million in other debt, which can be repaid only after the $450 million “first tier” is repaid.
Ingrid Reisman, vice president of the Las Vegas Monorail, said the train is now looking for federal loans through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. Other sources with knowledge of the discussions said monorail officials are also looking at room tax money to help repay the debt.
The project has failed to meet ambitious ridership projections used to originally sell it to public officials and investors.
Despite it all, Las Vegas continues to wrestle with the viability of an expensive high-speed electric train or maglev line to whisk people back and forth from Southern California. [Las Vegas Backstage Access June 21 article.]
Filed under Las Vegas, news, travel, Uncategorized
Tagged as economy, federal bailout, federal loans, Ingrid Reisman, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Backstage Access, Las Vegas news, Las Vegas travel, maglev, monorails, news, Recession, tourism, traffic, transportation, transportation systems