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Clark County Says it Lost $500K on F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix

Posted on: March 21, 2024, 11:06h. 

Last updated on: March 21, 2024, 11:37h.

Did Las Vegas really win with F1? It’s a question that seemed to be answered by multiple estimates of the $1.5 billion economic impact brought into town by the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, held last November 16-18.

Previous estimates of the economic impact of the F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix don’t include millions in lost worker hours and retail sales caused by transforming the entire tourist corridor into a racetrack. (Image: lvsportsbiz.com)

But the Clark County Commission this week released a more realistic economic impact report. This report took into account who really won and lost, and by how much. And as Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft summarized during a public meeting on the report on Tuesday: “There were big winners and big losers.”

Shockingly, though, the big losers also include Clark County itself. Commissioners on Tuesday revealed that F1 cost the county (read: taxpayers) nearly half a million dollars.

‘Substantial Loss’

An unidentified driver zooms by a camera during the inaugural F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix on Nov. 18, 2023. (Image: Getty)

Though the race generated $3.8 million in tax revenue for Clark County, its staff members spent more than 17K hours performing race-related work. The bill for this cost $4.4 million, leaving the taxpayers $463K in the red.

“At the end of the day, it was a net loss,” Clark County Commission Chair Tick Segerblom told the City Cast Las Vegas podcast this week. “And if you throw in the $40 million they want us to pay for the road, then it would definitely be a substantial loss.”

Another group of big losers were casino employees, who were robbed of work time when construction delays caused their commutes to take double or triple the amount of time.

“The pain and suffering and traffic chaos was not worth the money I made at my job,” Harrah’s employee Eileen Scott said at the meeting.

How to Fix What’s Broken

Though it’s unclear whether organizers can fix the broken elements of F1 in time for the next race in November 2024, Clark County claims to have learned a few lessons. It has demanded a transportation plan from F1 by May 1, and also gave a 90-day notice on permit applications.

As a show of good faith, F1 has dropped its $40 million bill for repaving the 3.8-mile racecourse.

“I’m not embarrassed about what we did,” Segerblom told City Cast. “But if you keep doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, that’s when you get problems. And that’s why I think that the key is for us to learn from the experience and make sure that a lot of that stuff never happens again.”


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