The 2023 Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix is having a detrimental effect on local businesses, a restaurant owner has claimed. The race has cost over half a billion pounds and nine months to put together – but it hasn’t stopped a number of issues from presenting themselves.
Fans, who were hoping to catch a glimpse of cars on the street circuit on Thursday were treated to only a few laps of action before the first practice session was abandoned as a result of a loose manhole damaging Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari and Esteban Ocon’s Alpine. The second practice session didn’t start until 2:30am local time with no fans in attendance and it didn’t finish until after 4am.
There has been a number of issues off the track surrounding the event’s construction and it appears to be hitting local business hard. The owner of Battista’s Hole in the Wall, Randy Markin, says his business has lost hundreds of customers a night as a result of the F1 race and its exclusionary construction, which has made it difficult for visitors to navigate their way around the city.
“We have at least 100 cancellations every night. It’s always the same line, people call up and say, ‘I’m really sorry, I can’t get there. Cabs won’t take us and car services won’t take us,’” he told FOX5. Markin, who is also the General Manager of Stage Door Casino on Linq Lane, revealed the losses the Casino has taken in a short time. “At Stage Door, we’re down a million and a half dollars in sales and that has really hurt my employees,” said Markin.
Popular AYCE seafood buffet was also pictured dead, with zero lines and zero customers. “When they add up the economic benefits of F1, we trust they’ll deduct losses at off-Strip casinos like Palms. Popular AYCE seafood buffet has zero customers, zero line. Bonus: Ask shows how many millions they’re losing over the next few days,” a Las Vegas travel source page on X said.
But despite the unmitigated disaster in 2023, Markin is hopeful F1 will iron out any issues ahead of next year’s event. Markin says F1 has to do better at integrating with the locals. “It’s really tough with F1 because they haven’t integrated with that type of personality into the community. I hope that by next year they do,” Markin concluded.
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Drivers have also voiced their displeasure at the organization of the event. Triple world champion Max Verstappen didn’t pull any punches. “99% show and 1% sporting event,” Verstappen told media. “I don’t have a lot of emotions to be honest, I just want to focus on the performance side of things, I don’t like all the things that are around, I know they are part of it, but it is not in my interest.
“[The track] is not very interesting], and I just want to do the best I can – there is no problem – but it’s not really my thing. If I like it or not, it is not up to me, but I am not going to fake it. I just voiced my opinion on positive and negative things, and that is just how I am. Some people like the show a bit more, I don’t like it at all. I grew up just looking at the performance side of things, and that is how I see it as well. I like to be in Vegas – but not so much for the racing.”
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