Some of the most iconic visitor attractions in Las Vegas are now behind fencing due to preparation work for November's F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Curtailing the visitor experience
Formula One (F1) is coming to Las Vegas in November and work is well underway on the track. It appears that the construction is going to impact the experience for people visiting the Strip, with local expert vegasstarfish posting a video on X (formerly Twitter) detailing some of the disruptions:
Two of the most popular attractions for tourists in the city are the fountain show at the Bellagio and the volcano eruption at the Mirage. These iconic experiences are now being curtailed due to the upcoming race.
Fencing now blocks the view of the Bellagio and the fountains will soon to be turned off until after the race as stadium seating is being erected over them. All of the trees that lined the street have been removed, while obstructions now block most views of the volcano erupting at the Mirage. This is not ideal for people who are spending their hard-earned money to visit the city, hoping to see these iconic experiences.
Causing major disruption
While work on improving the streets and roads around the city has been underway for some time, the construction efforts are now ramping up. This has the knock-on effect of major traffic disruption; local workers are especially disgruntled about the changes. Claims also abound that the grandstands are not safe due to the use of cheap non-union workers.
Another flashpoint surrounding the race was a dispute between certain businesses and F1 over licensing fees. The massive prices that the race organizer was charging for views of the race put a lot of businesses off. This led to the organizer backing down and dropping prices from as much as $3m for a large venue down to about $50,000. It had been threatening to erect barricades to block views of the race for those that didn't pay.
The price of hotel rooms has fallen almost 60% at certain properties for the race weekend since they first went on sale last November. The listed room prices at the time were the highest in the history of the city. Despite this decrease, race officials have said that demand for tickets is strong.
A big event for the city
F1 has taken off in popularity in recent years, largely because of the Drive to Survive series on Netflix being so popular. Interest levels in the US have skyrocketed, with the average race viewership increasing from around 500,000 in 2018 to over 1 million last year.
The plan is for the Las Vegas Grand Prix to take place every year for the next decade. It will be the first race of its kind to be held in the city since the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix.
The race week will bring plenty of visitors and money to the region; the main event is on November 19 on the Las Vegas Strip Circuit. The estimate is that over 300,000 people will attend and it will have an economic impact of about $1bn for the city as a whole. The price of a standing ticket is about $500, with grandstand seats costing around $2,000 for the three days.
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