Las Vegas F1 Saga Continues: Businesses Say They Were ‘Fooled’ by City Hosting Race
A group of Las Vegas business owners say they, along with the city, were “fooled” by the grandeur of hosting an F1 race, resulting in millions of dollars in lost revenues. As reported by LVSportsBiz.com, owners of several businesses recently took their concerns to the Clark County Board of Commissioners requesting compensation for what turned out to be a ruinous race for their revenue streams.
Business owner Wade Bohn said his 2023 annual revenue was slashed by about half from the previous year. He blames the decline on customers not being able to access his business, which resides in the “infield” of the track. It was not just the mid-November race weekend that caused some business to be generally inaccessible, however. The 3.8-mile course was repaved ahead of the race, during which time roads were closed. This took months, a representative of impacted business owners said. Dismantling of grandstands and other equipment required several weeks of hinderance after the race was completed Nov. 18.
Bohn said F1 told Clark County officials the race would not cause a hinderance. The reality, he said, is that F1 “…came in, tore everything up, ran the race and got the hell out of dodge,” LVSportsBiz reported. Bohn said major casinos in the area benefitted from the Las Vegas GP, but at the expense of other companies.
Another owner of two businesses in the area said the Las Vegas community was “fooled,” and said the event “steamrolled out of control.” He claimed his businesses took a revenue hit of more than $4 million because of the race weekend.
The report also notes Formula One has requested $40 million from Clark County — to be paid to F1 ownership group Liberty Media — for repaving public roads used for the track surface.
The representative for the owners told Clark County commissioners the group does not want to file a class-action lawsuit. Rather, they are seeking compensation for revenues lost because of the race.
The owners’ call for recompence is the latest in a string of issues stemming from F1’s return to Las Vegas after a 41-year absence.
The first free practice lasted just nine minutes and was cancelled due to a drain cover coming loose and damaging Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari. As a result, the second free practice session didn’t begin until 2:30 a.m. local time. Due to “logistical concerns” over the movement of fans and workers, the grandstands and other fan zones were closed to attendees. Exacerbating the issue was the sky-high prices of race weekend tickets, leaving fans understandably upset.
The race went off a hitch, however, with Max Verstappen winning one of the more entertaining races of the year punctuated by pit strategies, a Verstappen penalty and several safety car periods.
Formula One is set to return to Las Vegas Nov. 21-23 for round 22 of the 2024 season.