Time To Take A Ride On The $2 Million Escalator
Our favorite fancy escalator is up and running. And, is helping with a serious pedestrian project that will help every Vegas visitor in the long term.
Taking you up and down, to and from Planet Hollywood and Harmon Corner, it'll allow you to cross the Strip to CityCenter and The Cosmopolitan. And, vice versa. Previously, you had to use the frequently non-functional escalators on the Harley Davidson Cafe side of Harmon Corner to head downwards. Which took you in the opposite direction. We're making this sound way more complicated that it needs be. But, if you've been there, you get it. And, you've probably been accosted by someone in this area trying to sell you something as you tried to get back on a straight track down the Strip.
So, they built an escalator and we took great glee in pointing out the hefty price tag. Now, it's ready. Well, the down part was on the night we spied it. And, already it has eased congestion. Already.
PBR Rock Bar and Planet Hollywood at the bottom of this new ride should be popping the champagne. Feeding folks right into their laps. (We think they could have tricked it out more. Adding some cool lasers on an escalator would make it a neat free attraction.)
The serious element to this project is that it runs in conjunction with a very thorough 2012 study regarding pedestrian congestion. It numbers 190 pages. And, Las Vegas now knows exactly where the worst bottlenecks on the Strip are located. They feel your pain.
Here's the super detailed 2012 pedestrian study and they created a more compact study for downtown.
There is major emphasis on certain sections of Las Vegas Boulevard. That corner where the Bellagio meets The Cosmopolitan... meets cars, buses and everything else.. is a real problem. Last Memorial Day, they logged 2,600 folks in the area in a 15-minute period. If you've been there, that makes sense. And, they really dislike the corner over by Harley Davidson Cafe.
We can't fault the amount of thought that went into the process. Humans, machines and video cameras were utilized. We're aware of a number of early stage projects to help these matters out. We feel good about the progress.
So, the escalator is up and running. Within the year, look for big changes outside of Casino Royale and Bally's. Maybe even the removal of newsstands all along the Strip.
Many issues involve the delicate dance of enlisting property owners to help pony up money for the change. So, don't think it's the city that is dragging its feet. Bridges are an issue of "non-permanent obstructions." That would be people wanting money from you or wanting to give you things. And, Vegas regulars are familiar with the legal minefield attached to moving those folks. We're cautiously optimist this year. But for now, based on our non-scientific study, all hail the new moving staircase. Look, you get to stare at CeeLo on you ride down. Bonus!