Caesars Making Major Las Vegas Strip Change
The casino giant plans a big move ahead of what may be Las Vegas' biggest event ever.
Las Vegas is a city built for big events.
With many world-class hotels, restaurants, and entertainment options clustered so closely together, the city can easily host an enormous number of people without running into huge logistical problems.
When, for example, a city like Orlando hosts the Super Bowl, the hotels are spaced out, and it can take more than an hour to cross the city during busy times. In Orlando specifically, the theme parks plus a large event make things even worse.
But in Las Vegas, the entire Strip covers only 4.2 miles, with most of the major properties owned by Caesars Entertainment (CZR) - Get Free Report and MGM Resorts International (MGM) - Get Free Report located close together.
In past years, this has made Las Vegas the ideal city to host conventions that draw more than 100,000 people. With the Las Vegas Convention Center easily accessible from the Strip and so many resorts having their own convention/meeting spaces to supplement that, Vegas can host the biggest events without huge bottlenecks.
Now that Las Vegas has also hosted the biggest major sports-league events -- the NFL Draft and NBA All-Star game have both taken place on the Las Vegas Strip -- the crowds can exceed even the largest conventions.
That will be the case next year when Sin City welcomes arguably the world's biggest sporting event, the Super Bowl, and another one that might draw as big a crowd, the Formula 1 Heineken Silver Grand Prix.
In advance of the race, Caesars is making a major change at its signature Caesars Palace resort.
Caesars Makes a Big Change For F1
While many Americans may not be familiar with Formula 1, known as F1, it has a rabid following globally and the Las Vegas race, a new stop for the series, is expected to draw massive crowds.
Hotel prices are already at rates that approach or exceed events like New Year's Eve or the biggest trade shows, and both Caesars and MGM have already unveiled special packages with six- and even seven-figure price tags.
Now, since part of the race will take place on the famed Las Vegas Strip, Caesars is making a major change to its facade. The resort operator plans to remove the "domed, Roman-themed structure along Las Vegas Boulevard," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
A permit approved by Clark Country specifically noted that the demolition was in preparation for the F1 event.
The rotunda has not been used for years and it was never a major feature of the resort casino.
“It might have been used for storage. It was really just aesthetics,” Heidi Sarno Straus, daughter of Caesars Palace developer Jay Sarno, told the paper. “It’s no loss.”
F1 Creates a Major Event on the Las Vegas Strip
F1 will take over the Las Vegas Strip on Nov. 18 for a Saturday Night "lights out" start, and the race will kick off at 10 p.m, Pacific Time, (1 a.m. Nov. 19 U.S. Eastern).
"Taking place at night against the iconic Las Vegas backdrop, the track will see drivers reach jaw-dropping speeds of over 210 mph (340kph) as they race around some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, hotels, and casinos on the legendary Las Vegas Strip," F1 shared in a news release.
The race will be the culmination of a four-day event that'll include a Nov. 15 kickoff concert followed by race practice on Nov. 16 and qualifying on Nov. 17, ahead of the Saturday night race.
“The Las Vegas Grand Prix is going to take F1 race weekends to the next level. Staging a Grand Prix in the sports and entertainment capital of the world has allowed us to plan a truly spectacular celebration that has never been seen in our sport before, in the greatest arena on earth," said F1 Chief Executive Stefano Domenicali.