Las Vegas GP CEO thrilled, but admits there were missteps

Las Vegas GP highest-grossing weekend for MGM Resorts

Las Vegas GP CEO thrilled, but admits there were missteps

Despite reports of unfavourable reactions from Las Vegas residents, as well as some headline-grabbing last-minute hitches, the Grand Prix weekend raked in big bucks for casinos, hotels and resorts on The Strip and beyond.

The audacious but wobbly journey, to host Formula 1 in Vegas after a four-decade absence, had well-documented hurled but in the end delivered an enthralling GP, probably the best race of the season. Won of course by Max Verstappen.

Now that the dust has settled on a memorable weekend (on all fronts good and bad) and the all-important dollar bills counted, the Las Vegas Grand Prix gets a big thumbs up on the money ‘Richter-scale’ that always dictates, more so in Sin City than anywhere else.

Regarding last month’s Las Vegas GP weekend, MGM Resorts CFO Jonathan Halkyard told delegates at the Leveraged Finance Conference, last week: “It was the highest-grossing weekend for us, in hotel revenue, in the company’s history. The second-highest was CES in 2019.

“So when you think about other events that have happened in Las Vegas over the years and the scale of our company, that’s quite something to have a record weekend on what was otherwise the slowest weekend of the year.”

MGM Resorts: Las Vegas Grand Prix will be fantastic in the years to come

Crews install MGM Rewards' F1 show car at the Bellagio Fountains MGM Resorts: Las Vegas Grand Prix will be fantastic in the years to come 

Halkyard explained: “We had very high expectations for what this event would be in Las Vegas. We invested heavily into it. In particular, creating an experience for our casino customers and some retail customers in front of the Bellagio.”

Despite some negative reports, including the outcry after the first-night ‘drain cover’ saga and closing the grandstands before the long-delayed FP2 session, Halkyard acknowledged: “This was an event that certainly had a lot of friction in the months leading up to it, a lot of construction in Las Vegas. Some of that will certainly be recurring but a lot of it will not be as dramatic in coming years.

“F1 and the city got the city ready for this event. F1 invested hundreds of millions of dollars in capital in their paddock facility. That, along with the money that we invested to build this hospitality experience, we’ll reuse that year after year. I’m optimistic this is going to be a fantastic event in the years to come.”

While exactly how much revenue MGM Resorts earned during Grand Prix week is unknown, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Formula 1 and Las Vegas Grand Prix officials estimate the total economic impact to be around $1.2 billion, each time the series comes to town.

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