First, a little background. After over 40 years, Formula 1 (F1) racing is returning to Las Vegas. The last time F1 was here was back in 1981 and 1982; the circuit was built entirely in the car park of Caesars Palace.
This year, the Formula One people added Las Vegas to their schedule. Just for the people who are sticklers for correctness, its official name is “the FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN SILVER LAS VEGAS GRAND PRIX” aka: Vegas Grand Prix
The race will be held November 16-18, and if you don’t qualify to have at least an American Express Black card, you are pretty much out of luck for being anywhere near the action. This race is all about the Benjamins. Lots of them!
Just how insane are the prices? Circus Circus Resort is at $325 a night! Yes, that perennial favorite among the budget minded is getting $300 a night (plus resort fees), and I am sure it will get pricier the closer we get to the race date.
At the other end, Caesars resort offers The Emporer Package for $5 million. (You get to split that with six of your friends.)
Would five million crunch your budget too much? How about the Wynn’s “Next Level Experience“? That will set you back a measly $1 million. You have to cut out a friend to two as you get fewer passes than with the Caesars experience.
On The Strip
The race occurs at night on a 3.8-mile course spanning portions of the Las Vegas Strip, from the Venetian Resort to Planet Hollywood. The 50-lap race will see cars reaching speeds of up to 212 mph.
Recently, at the Clark County Commission’s Feb. 7 meeting, the board looked to recognize the Las Vegas Grand Prix as an annual event for the next ten years, set for the weekend before Thanksgiving every year from 2023 to 2032. (The Las Vegas Strip is in Clark County, not in the city of Las Vegas)
Good News? In order to race these magnificent mechanical beauties, they need an absolutely flat surface. That means that for the next ten years, parts of Las Vegas Boulevard are going to get a new layer of asphalt in November.
Bad News? Think about it. Look at the top photo. In order for Bellagio to build all those fancy grandstands, they will need to close part of the Strip for a week or two. Side note: No mention of what will happen to all those shade trees that line the famous fountain.
In order to resurface the race course and set up the barriers and other needs, we will see more lane closures for several weeks before the race. And people thought the traffic mess for the Rock “n” Roll Marathon was nasty? Wait until you have to drive thru this mess!!
The REALLY Good news is that this event will create more local jobs and bring in more tourism dollars than that other event happening three months later. The Super Bowl will be a big letdown after all this. FYI: I don’t like the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
Any way we slice it, love it or hate it, we are stuck with it for ten years.
(Featured Image Courtesy MGM Resorts)