Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Mar 15, 2023 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas | 3 comments

What’s Happening to the Las Vegas Strip and How Does This Make Sense Economically?



So, what happens after the Formula 1 race in Las Vegas in November?  That’s the question no one is asking, or answering.

Call me confused.

Someone, please explain to me how a car race can completely transform the Las Vegas Strip.  I’ll wait.  Talk to me like a small child.  Make it simple.

I’m all ears.

The company that owns and operates Formula 1 racing bought one of the most expensive parcels of real estate in the world.  They forked over a whopping $240 million for the mostly vacant lot south of Tropicana, directly across the street from the Luxor and Mandalay Bay (see the photo).  And that doesn’t include any construction costs.  That price is just for the bone-dry barren land with nothing on it.

All this is for a car race that will last, now get this — just three days.  The Grand Prix race coming to Las Vegas in November will basically be held over a weekend.  Once again — I’ll wait.  Talk to me like a small child.  Make it simple.

I’m all ears.

There are so many things wrong and ridiculous about this mega-project that I don’t even know where to begin.  So, I’ll just ask lots of questions instead.  Perhaps someone can justify and explain what the hell is going on.

First, let’s talk about the “sport” known as Formula 1 car racing.  I don’t know anyone who follows this sport, and I’m pretty much the sweetest sweet spot of the event’s target demographics — male, sports fan, gambler, some discretionary income, enjoys travel, and likes cars.  Admittedly, I did attend a Grand Prix race in Houston, once.  I hated the car race almost as much as I hated Houston.

But I digress.

Yes, let’s agree.  Formula 1 racing is very popular, especially in Europe.  It’s a rich man’s sport.  It has a long, and prestigious history.  I also acknowledge the event will easily sell out and is destined to “succeed,” according to the city sycophants and tourism cheerleaders.  Never mind the mystery of why anyone would pay thousands — and even tens of thousands of dollars — to watch a bunch of cars screaming past a grandstand.  I concur that the race will excite some people, pack the casinos and restaurants (which would have been packed anyway in mid-November with tourists — so please stop with all this nonsense about “additional” revenues).  After the checkered flag gets waved, it will be celebrated as a major PR coup by spinmeisters who are pros at spin-meistering, even though nobody I know can name a single race car driver.

But my question deals with the hangover.  What happens afterward?

What’s going to happen to this plot of valuable real estate?  Reportedly, the “paddock” currently under construction is permanent.  Huh?  After a three-day car race, they are leaving up the main grandstand and facade?  Year-around?

What I don’t get is how a $240 million price tag (plus construction costs) makes any sense.  That is, unless they plan to flip the land.  If that’s the case, then I just have one word for any investor who fell for that scam and ruse:  Fountainbleau.

Take a look at this photo again.  Explain to me what they are doing, what they are thinking, and how blowing such an exorbitant amount of money makes any sense economically, or practically.

I’m all ears.

Naturally, Las Vegas locals might as well live in a different state.  The Las Vegas Strip is little more than a free-trade zone of wild speculation, and this has nothing to do with cards and dice or gambling at the tables.

I’m eager to hear and read comments from anyone who wishes to explain what happens after the Formula 1 race.  That’s the question no one is asking.

My Summation: Somebody in charge of other people’s money is insane.


  1. I had written, with no response, to the RG reporter as every pic of the grandstand in front of the Bellagio doesn’t include the trees. That means either those trees opposite the pond will be gone or, if the grandstand is extended, all of the landscaping between the opposite lanes of traffic will be removed. Do you have any read on that.
    I was involved with the Phoenix Grand Prix (catering through the AZ Biltmore) which proved to be a short lived event. I ventured to the grandstand, watched a few cars go by and then got back to work.
    Reports also indicate it takes weeks before and after the event to set-up/breakdown. Our annual Cosmo Thanksgiving staycation could be jeopardized. The city should also be looking forward and figuring out true impacts.


      Thanks for the feedback and the shared concerns, albeit with first-hand experience. I read elsewhere about the Bellagio trees and can’t believe tearing out one of the city’s nicest areas is being celebrated as “excitement” and “progress.”

      — ND

  2. I think they’re doing this for 10 years. Wouldn’t be surprised if it gets extended further. It still seems like a waste for only a few days a year but unfortunately it wont be one and done either.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *