Saturday, July 25, 2015

An Arena Park Coming To Life -- And Meeting Friends On The Road

I flirted with driving to Big Bear outside LA for a bicycle ride an expo, but ended up falling back asleep at 6 a.m. and launched my own 41-mile bicycle ride from Summerlin to the Strip, UNLV, downtown Vegas and the RJ before taking the Alta Blvd express back up the 1,100-foot hill back to Summerlin.

On the Strip, I checked in on the arena that is called simply, "Las Vegas Arena." I have been covering this story for the Review Journal. Most people see the arena coming to life from the Tropicana Ave ramp of I-15 but here's a shot of the front of the arena from the Monte Carlo side.

MGM Resorts International, which owns the casinos on the south end of the strip such as Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, Monte Carlo, Luxor, MGM Grand and Aria, is also building the arena with Anschutz Entertainment Group. MGM Resorts is building a park plaza that will lead from the Strip to the arena. Here's a shot of the first trees installed in that plaza. It'll be along the north side of New York-New York and you enter the park next to Shake Shack.

Here's an overview.

Here's a look at the park plaza looking east toward the Strip.

Here's a shot showing how close the arena is to the New York-New York parking garage.

The good news is that a one-way road is now open from the Strip west to Monte Carlo and you can see how the Monte Carlo parking garage will also be crucial to serve the arena.

I met two drunk women on Las Vegas Blvd at the entrance of the road off the road. One told me not to drink and drive and I told her not to drink and walk.

Then it off for a ride down Harmon to UNLV, a quick trip down Maryland Parkway to downtown Las Vegas and Fremont Street, and a peddle over to the RJ for a bathroom stop and a water bottle refill.

On my way back up Alta Drive, I met an old face -- not Locher, former Review-Journal photographer now shooting for the AP out of Vegas.

John bought a new Cannondale and it was good to see him pedaling up Alta. We biked to Buffalo where John turned around.

And as soon as John left, there were about 15 cyclists coming up Alta -- the Las Vegas Valley Bicycle Club. I met Kristine M,, a Channel 3 news producer who was cycling and sweeping the ride.

A group stopped under the cloak of shadeness to wait for other riders to catch up.

And then there was the old left turn from Alta to Hulapai. The group was only a mile from the start-end point at a Starbucks off Charleston in Summerlin.

I rode a few extra mile to complete the 41-miler. It was getting downright toasty at the end.

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