Sunday, March 17, 2019

business proposal

business proposal

Questions abound over proposal for underground transit system - Las Vegas Review-Journal

Posted: 16 Mar 2019 11:00 AM PDT

Three members of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's board of directors brought some healthy skepticism to last week's meeting at which the board gave the go-ahead for an underground transit system.

While Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Councilwoman Michele Fiore and Caesars Entertainment executive Tom Jenkin were unsuccessful in their bid to get more time to study a proposal by The Boring Co., they raise plenty of questions, some of which remain unanswered.

The Boring Co., an Elon Musk subsidiary grown out of his SpaceX operation, proposes using Musk-developed electric Tesla vehicles to run within paired precast concrete tunnels that would be built about 30 feet below grade level.

But this system isn't like a traditional subway that runs from one end of the line to the other with a series of stops in between.

Think of it as a combination of subway, ride hailing and theme park ride blended into one. It's all underground — that's the subway part. Riders would use an app to select a destination, presumably from between two and four choices — that's the ride-hailing part. And,the vehicles would cruise on rubber tires just like those minicar rides at amusement parks.

LVCVA President and CEO Steve Hill described it as riding along a freeway and then taking an exit off the main highway to the destination.

Hill likes the idea that all construction would occur underground, so no streets would be blocked during trade shows. No parking disruptions. No traffic issues.

Still, questions abound.

The Boring Co. says it can tunnel at roughly $10 million a mile. By today's engineering standards, that's extraordinary, since subway tunnels in other cities have cost between $750 million and $1 billion per mile. Those kinds of numbers will evoke the sentiment of, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The high cost of tunneling scratched the idea of a subway system beneath the Strip in the 1970s. Bill Flangas, a tunnel superintendent and manager for a team that moved atmospheric nuclear weapons testing underground at the Nevada Test Site, now known as the Nevada National Security Site, suggested an underground transit system between McCarran International Airport and the Strip in 1974.

One of the fears tunneling experts always have is encountering caliche, a hard substance that is found in our local soils and is challenging to drill through. But Boring has said a more challenging substance would be soft, sandy soil to which the tunnel lining can't be affixed. For the Las Vegas Convention Center expansion project, tunnelers must also be wary of utility lines that may exist but are unaccounted for in old records, as well as the aquifer.

The LVCVA should have a good guide with the deep drilling that contractors did in the current construction of the West Hall expansion.

The board's 10-3 vote gives Hill and LVCVA executives permission to negotiate the terms of a final contract with Boring with a wide range of projected costs, between $35 million and $55 million.

The cost will depend on the length of the tunnels and the number of stations — the biggest cost. At a minimum, plans call for three stations and a little over 1¼ miles of tunneling. At a maximum, plans call for five stations and about 1½ miles of tunneling.

It's a little scary that one of the short routes would burrow directly beneath the convention center's South and Central halls.

If anything were to happen to the stability of those exhibition halls, as one engineer I spoke with last week suggested, some of the city's key meeting venues would be compromised. That would be a devastating blow to the city's convention business.

There's also been some concern shown about the capacity of the Tesla vehicles that would be transporting people. The largest vehicle could carry 16 passengers, and it would take several minutes for it to be loaded and unloaded and be replaced with another vehicle for the next ride.

Anyone who has ever witnessed the crush of people moving around CES knows a maximum capacity of 16 passengers per vehicle could be an issue.

Some have asked how such a transit system, if extended into the community as some have suggested, would affect bus, monorail, taxi and ride-hailing operations. All fair questions.

I'm sure those are some of the questions Goodman, Fiore and Jenkin wanted to have answered before entering negotiations.

Presumably, they and we will get answers before a final contract is authorized.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

British Columbia’s regional pilot for immigrant entrepreneurs opens for business - Canada Immigration News

Posted: 15 Mar 2019 01:38 PM PDT

Entrepreneurs interested in immigrating to British Columbia through the province's new Regional Pilot can now take the first steps toward obtaining a community referral. 

The pilot, which opened March 14, is designed to help smaller, more remote communities in the province attract new businesses and create jobs.

Experienced entrepreneurs approved through the Entrepreneur Immigration – Regional Pilot receive a temporary work permit to start their business and can later apply for a provincial nomination for Canadian permanent residence if they meet the conditions specified in their performance agreement.

The pilot is meant for regional communities of less than 75,000 people that are located more than 30 kilometres from a larger population centre. It was created to address the demographic and economic challenges that many of these towns and cities are facing.

More than 30 communities have already joined the pilot and are now in a position to begin referring eligible candidates to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) for consideration.

In order to participate, communities must have the required support services in place to help business owners and their families settle.

"Due to an ageing workforce and a preference for city living, some smaller towns can face challenges growing their local economies," said B.C.'s Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, Bruce Ralston. "This pilot will attract new businesses that create jobs and spread investment around the province."

Find out if your eligible for Canadian business immigration

How it works

All interested entrepreneurs must first assess their eligibility for the program and complete an exploratory visit to the community where they wish to set up their business.

During the exploratory visit, candidates will present their business proposal to the community's designated pilot representative. After the visit, the entrepreneur may request a referral from the community in order to register under the pilot.

As part of the registration process, candidates submit details about their work and/or business experience, education, language ability, net worth and information on the proposed business.

The BC PNP says personal net worth and investment criteria have been reduced for the pilot compared to its base Entrepreneur Immigration category. This reflects the lower costs of starting a business and settling in B.C.'s regions compared to Vancouver and the province's more densely populated urban centres.

Among other eligibility criteria, candidates must:

  • have a minimum of $100,000 in eligible business investments;
  • have a minimum personal net worth of $300,000;
  • have 3+ years of experience as an active business owner-manager or 4+ years as a senior manager within the last five years;
  • take on a minimum of 51 per cent ownership;
  • create a minimum of one new job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • have a minimum proficiency in English or French equal to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4.

All candidates will receive a score upon registering and the highest-scoring candidates will be invited to submit a full application to the BC PNP through monthly invitation rounds.

The BC PNP says applications are typically assessed within four months and applicants may be invited to attend an in-person interview in Vancouver to discuss the details of their application.

Approved applicants must sign a performance agreement with the BC PNP that outlines all the criteria that must be met in order to be nominated for Canadian permanent residence.

Successful applicants receive a work permit support letter from the BC PNP and can then apply to the Government of Canada for a two-year temporary work permit.

Entrepreneurs who are determined by the BC PNP to have met the terms and conditions of their performance agreement will be nominated for Canadian permanent residence.

One of those communities participating in the pilot is Comox, a town of 15,000 on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island.

"The Comox Valley continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in the province," said the Mayor of Comox, Russ Arnott. "We want to attract new people and new businesses to drive economic growth and job creation."

Find out if your eligible for Canadian business immigration

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