F1: Tourists find the Las Vegas Strip again

F1: Tourists find the Las Vegas Strip again

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The famous fountains at Bellagio won’t be very visible this week amid the roar of Formula 1 races on the Las Vegas Strip, and gondola drivers won’t serenade tourists at the Venice resort.

“Fountains have been closed, canals have been drained, streets have been closed or made more difficult to navigate,” said Michael Green, a history professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, after six months of road work and the construction of a temporary grandstand for some of Las Vegas’ wealthier spectators. Sports. “What do they call it? Stripping Magdon? This is obviously causing a lot of fuss.”

“But this is a different kind of major event,” said Green, who remembers two Grand Prix races held 42 years ago at Caesars Palace. “We’re talking about billionaires from all over the world. They’re going to bring a lot of money. They’re not necessarily your usual tourists.

Regulators, local officials and hotel operators believe that Discomfort It will be forgotten after the race ends late Saturday. They hope Las Vegas will join Monaco On the leading panel of host cities for Grand Prix events around the world.

But forecasts of seats sold and peak demand The most expensive Grand Prix Perhaps the F1 calendar was overly optimistic. Tickets were still available This week some hotels reduced room rates.

After the race, officials say Venice’s gondola channel will be refilled, and casino operator MGM Resorts International has promised to replace Bellagio Pier shade trees removed to frame the fountains with thousands of amphitheater seats and skybox suites. One of the workers died during construction.

“I know a lot of people love the fountains,” said Joshua Goray, a visitor from Long Beach, California. “So I would say it’s definitely an issue.”

A construction worker helps build a grandstand in front of the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino along the Las Vegas Strip before the Las Vegas Formula 1 auto race on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/John Lusher)
A construction worker helps build a grandstand in front of the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino along the Las Vegas Strip before the Las Vegas Formula 1 auto race on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Lusher)

Currently, many of the Gaza Strip’s familiar sights are blocked by track barriers, fences, crosswalk screens, scaffolding, and advertisements erected about night racing on streets normally crowded with taxis, buses, and rental cars, and lined with pedestrians. Who take selfies.

“It’s all barriers and things that are holding up traffic,” said Charles Flexer, a tourist from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, who tried to decide how to cross Las Vegas Boulevard with his mother using an electric mobility scooter. “It’s very annoying.”

When the editorial Formula One Las Vegas The Grand Prix was added to Formula One’s 24-race global schedule a year ago, and tickets and hotel packages costing tens of thousands of dollars per person have gone on sale. Organizers were granted a 10-year permit to race.

After road work began in April, race organizers asked Clark County to contribute half of the estimated $80 million in repaving costs. Jim Gibson, president of the elected body with jurisdiction over the Las Vegas Strip, said last week that talk of who pays for what will continue after the race.

People watch the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino behind grandstands installed before the Las Vegas Formula 1 auto race on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/John Lusher)
People watch the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino behind grandstands installed before the Las Vegas Formula 1 auto race on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Lusher)

“Formula One is in a class of its own,” Gibson said. “By all accounts, it has been very difficult for our community to take the necessary steps to have a successful event. Everyone who lives here, and works on the resort corridor in particular, has had to sacrifice due to significant road and construction work.”

Officials now also acknowledge that parking spaces will be scarce for race fans and hotel workers alike.

“If guests don’t have a ticket or a specific destination, this may not be the best place to come to on the weekend,” Vanessa Anthes, vice president of event operations for the race organization, told reporters.

Police are “planning this like it’s New Year’s Eve,” Clark County Undersheriff Andrew Walsh said, listing restrictions on pedestrian access and the size of backpacks and purses. Las Vegas police closed the strip for a while New Year’s Eve fireworks Every year since the last night in 2000. Officials say it now attracts more than 300,000 people annually. “We are no strangers to dealing with large-scale events,” Walsh said.

The department also ran the night sector Marathonsand the recent championship performances and marches of NHL Vegas Golden Knights And WNBA Las Vegas Aces. The city hosts all-night outdoor music festivals — one of which covers several downtown blocks — and NASCAR races at the 80,000-seat Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Next February it will host NFL Super Bowl At Allegiant Stadium.

The city also holds painful memories of… The deadliest mass shooting In modern United States history. armed Shot in October 2017 From the windows of a high-rise hotel to an outdoor concert crowd of 20,000 people, he killed 58 people and himself before the police reached him. At least two people later died from their injuries.

Construction workers build a grandstand in front of the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino along the Las Vegas Strip before the Las Vegas Formula 1 auto race on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/John Lusher)

Construction workers build a grandstand in front of the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino along the Las Vegas Strip before the Las Vegas Formula 1 auto race on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Lusher)

the Las Vegas Grand Prix It is expected to attract more than 100,000 fans for practice, qualifying and feature races – 50 laps with the world’s elite drivers racing in open-cockpit vehicles on a 3.8-mile (6.1 km) road course.

Competitors will start from the newly constructed permanent grandstand and pit facility and go past the grandstand Sphere was recently opened Before it reaches 1.18 miles (1.89 kilometers) straight down the strip at speeds expected to reach 200 mph (322 kilometers per hour).

The world’s most advanced sports cars will obliterate past properties including Wynn, Harrah’s, Flamingo, Horseshoe, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood and Cosmopolitan. More than a dozen high-rise hotels along the race course offer more than 40,000 guest rooms. In addition to the field, the indoor track area includes Caesars Entertainment’s High roller Supervision Department.

In the coming years, the smoldering volcano at the trackside Mirage Resort is scheduled to be replaced by a massive guitar-shaped hotel tower built by the property’s new owner, Hard Rock International and the Seminole Tribe, based in Florida.

Construction workers build a grandstand in front of the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino along the Las Vegas Strip before the Las Vegas Formula 1 auto race on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, in Las Vegas.  (AP Photo/John Lusher)

Construction workers build a grandstand in front of the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino along the Las Vegas Strip before the Las Vegas Formula 1 auto race on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Lusher)

The race starts at 10pm local time. Officials expect the event to attract more than $1 billion to the local economy, which aims to fill 152,000 hotel rooms. Rates in September averaged $201.50 per night. Earlier, amid race week installments, Caesars Palace offered a Five nights stay Overlooking the stadium from the $5 million Nobu Sky Villa.

“If you were a Grand Prix fan and you came here for the event in the early 1980s, and this was the next time you visited, you would be in for a shock,” said Green, who was a young newspaper reporter when it was Caesars Palace. It hosted two years of Formula 1 racing. That course included the casino’s parking lot near where Evel Knievel crashed spectacularly in 1967 while trying to jump his motorcycle over a hotel fountain.

Green remembers Las Vegas Boulevard casino hotels including the Dunes, Barbary Coast, Frontier, Silver Slipper, Sands, Desert Inn and Stardust.

They’re all gone now, replaced by tourist resorts with celebrity chef restaurants, shopping spots, major nightclubs, and periodic resident artists. New mega properties in the resort corridor include: Resorts Worldwhich opened in 2021, and Fontainebleau Las Vegasscheduled to open next month.

Alan Feldman, a longtime casino executive who is now a distinguished fellow at the International Gaming Institute at UNLV, attended the 1982 Grand Prix as a Los Angeles-based publicist. Las Vegas is entering a generation that Bo Bernhard, UNLV’s vice president for economic development and director of the institute, called the “joy economy,” he said.

Bernhard refers to A Results of the World Travel and Tourism Council In 2019, 10% of spending worldwide – from dollars and pesos to euros and yen – goes to tourism, entertainment and sports.

“I think what’s happening is Las Vegas has become the center of the hedonistic economy,” Feldman said. “We are halfway to our future.”

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Associated Press videographer Ty O’Neill contributed to this report.

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This story corrects the conversion of 200 mph to 322 kph, not 124 kph.

    (Tags for translation)Formula One Racing

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