Las Vegas business owners chasing F1 compensation

Months of disruption caused profits to plunge by millions of dollars in 2023, local businesses claim.
  • F1 claimed the race would result in US$1.2bn local economic benefit
  • Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei apologised to locals for disruption

Las Vegas businesses are seeking compensation from Clark County government, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), and Formula One following the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Formula One’s Las Vegas Grand Prix debuted to much fanfare amid a noticeable level of uncertainty. Costing well over US$500 million to stage, this was the first event on this scale in the series’ history.

Despite this, the race delivered a solid introduction, with an expected economic benefit of US$1.2 billion to the state of Nevada. Yet, local businesses are reportedly far from happy in the wake of the event.

“We don’t need the F1, the F1 needs us,” local business owner Wade Bohn told LVSportsBiz.com. “We want to be compensated for the losses that occurred due to everything F1, the county, and the LVCVA did.”

Bohn claimed the race caused his revenue to drop from US$8.5 million in 2022 to US$4.3 million at best in 2023 because customers could not access the store as easily.

The race may have taken place over the course of the week, but Las Vegas saw disruption for months in the build-up to the event. Liberty Media chief executive Greg Maffei apologised to locals for the issues.

“We believe the county is responsible,” Bohn cotinued. “They’re using taxpayer dollars to bring F1 into town. When F1 went before the county, they promised they would not be a hinderance, that they would be a part of the community.

“What they did was they came in, tore everything up, ran the race and got the hell out of dodge … If [a similar business loss] happens again next year, I will be out of business one hundred per cent.”

Randy Markin, a fellow business owner in Las Vegas, added: “We as a community got bamboozled, we got fooled. This has not ever happened before. It just steamrolled out of control.”

Businesses in the city have enlisted a representative to seek compensation, with the goal to ultimately avoid a class-action lawsuit.

“This is the first time Las Vegas got fooled by an outside entity like F1,” Markin said. “F1 did not know how to get involved with the community.”

BlackBook says…

There is no doubt that Formula One caused unprecedented disruption in Las Vegas. But, there is also no question that locals have been against the race since the start.

Processes could have been more efficient and setup likely could have been done differently, which is something that Formula One will look to improve moving forward.

Will local businesses continue to sing from the same hymn sheet after Formula One has had a few years to make an impact in the area? The permanent paddock building will provide yet another attraction on which visitors to the city can descend, so it’s too early to tell what the year-round impact could be moving forward.

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