Oliver Lovat: F1 proposals would signal a "clear breakdown" in Las Vegas

July 28, 2023
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Views of the Las Vegas Grand Prix may be off-limits for nearby venues near the race, but the Denstone Group CEO hopes ‘fairness and reason' will win the day.

Regular Gaming America contributor Oliver Lovat has spent over a decade consulting and providing strategic advice on Las Vegas real estate and market analysis as the CEO of the Denstone Group.

However, during his time in the city, there has not yet been a Las Vegas Grand Prix. This could be said of many of today’s Vegas residents, as the last F1 race to lap the Strip took place in 1982.

Now, the Grand Prix will return to Las Vegas and make its home there until at least 2032, and is planned to impact the city’s economy with a $1bn boost. However, the average spectator ticket price of $6,000 may also have a potential impact on the city in a different way – as Formula One executives now say they will block local businesses’ and restaurants’ views of the race unless they pay a licensing fee.

Lovat told Gaming America, "It seems that if those operating F1 enact proposals to take punitive action against independent businesses that are in proximity of the track, without acknowledging that those same businesses may have incurred diminished takings as a result of restricted access over the weekend, and months of inconveniences as a consequence of an event on a public highway, there will be a clear breakdown of the compact that has existed so successfully in building Las Vegas as a major destination." 

The licensing fees could cost up to $1,500 per head and would cover properties along the 3.8-mile circuit. Renee Wilm, CEO of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, has also reportedly said that lights could be shined toward viewing areas to blind venues’ guests in proximity, or that barricades and stands will be erected as physical blocks of the view.

Lovat pointed out the unusual nature of this plan, compared to how Las Vegas usually operates as a more unified empire. He said, “There has always been a tacit agreement between locals, independent businesses, casino operators, and those that manage tourism governance, that in the realm of public events. We all work together, under the promise that what benefits one, benefits us all.

"The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Clark County and the resort operators must ensure that fairness and reason win the day on this matter."

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