The CEO of Formula 1’s parent company recently issued an apology to the residents of Las Vegas for the hardships they have endured due to the transformation of the Strip into a racetrack for the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix. In his apology, CEO Greg Maffei thanked the residents for their patience and implied that the revenue brought in by the anticipated 105,000 race fans would benefit them.
However, Maffei’s statement was met with skepticism, as many questioned who would actually benefit from the estimated $1.7 billion in revenue brought in by the event. It is likely that the majority of the revenue will benefit Liberty Media, the parent company of Formula 1, and casino executives, as well as their stockholders. Front-facing casino employees may also benefit from generous tips, but the overall impact on the majority of residents and small businesses has been negative.
Local businesses, especially those located between Sands and Harmon avenues on the Strip, have suffered a decline in customers and revenue, forcing them to cut staff hours and causing financial instability for their employees. Even the Arco gas station at Flamingo Road and Koval Lane has seen a significant drop in sales.
Taxi drivers have also been adversely affected, with fewer fares due to traffic disruptions, and the only compensation they are receiving is a $15 surcharge on fares between the Strip and the airport during the race period.
The impact of the F1 preparations on the average Las Vegas worker has been particularly severe, prompting some to express reluctance in wanting to go through a similar experience again in the future. Despite its current contract being for three years, the F1 Grand Prix has been approved to take place in Las Vegas for 10 years, leaving many residents concerned about the long-term effects on their livelihoods.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is expected to release an economic impact report on the inaugural F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix early next year. Maffei concluded his statement by expressing hope that the construction and disruptions caused by the event would lessen in future years.