Las Vegas knows how to put on a spectacle. Anyone who’s seen the Luxor beam or a Vegas Golden Knights pregame show can attest that over-the-top and entertaining are in our civic DNA.
Now add Formula One to the mix. Not just the Netflix reality show “Drive to Survive,” but the actual race, with the fastest cars that exist going full throttle down our city streets, past multiple casinos owned by multiple companies. Do you realize how rare anything resembling collaboration between Caesars and MGM is?
After nearly six months of preparation, setup is nearing its final lap. F1 fans around the world are excited, as are organizers, who are promising a $1.3 billion economic infusion from the race.
That hasn’t stopped a cadre of social media influencers from voicing their discontent. Putting a racetrack in the middle of a busy city has inconvenienced locals and tourists for most of 2023. And yet, due to high-dollar price points for everything race-related, they won’t get to enjoy the event when it finally happens.
Whether you embrace F1 or hate it, the cars for the Las Vegas Grand Prix haven’t even arrived yet, but we already know the economic impact – they’re taking the 51st slowest week on the Vegas calendar and transforming it into the highest-revenue week or the year, if not in city history.
I got a sneak peek at the track two weeks before race day and snapped a few pics. While there are only so many pixels in my aging iPhone X, these behind-the-scenes and middle-of-traffic shots give a glimpse of the disruption that has spurred complaints. But squint and you can also see what could turn out to be the kind of awesome spectacle that all of Las Vegas learns to love.
(Photos by Dan Michalski / Casinos.com)