Formula 1

Las Vegas Grand Prix’s Spectacular Debut: MGM Resorts CFO Declares Record Hotel Revenue

Controversy, Drama, and Thrilling Action Mark the Inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix

MGM Resorts Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Halkyard has confirmed that the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix was “the highest-grossing weekend in hotel revenue, in the company’s history.”

In the lead-up to the event on the iconic Las Vegas Strip, the atmosphere was electrifying, but it wasn’t without its fair share of drama and concerns. Locals were apprehensive about the impending race due to significant traffic interruptions, long-term road works, and the partial blocking of views of the track. The anticipation reached a fever pitch as the city geared up for its first-ever Formula 1 race.

The controversy surrounding the event escalated further during the race weekend itself. In a startling turn of events, Carlos Sainz, behind the wheel of his Ferrari SF-23, encountered a harrowing incident during Free Practice 1 (FP1). Sainz’s car struck an unsecured drain cover on the track, tearing through the floor of his Ferrari. Fortunately, the Spanish driver emerged unscathed, but he found himself facing a 10-place grid penalty through no fault of his own. The Ferrari team had to work tirelessly to make the necessary replacements before the race.

Despite the initial hiccups and concerns, the Las Vegas Grand Prix unfolded spectacularly on the Saturday night. The temperatures, which had been a topic of concern leading up to the race, added an element of unpredictability. The extreme heat forced Formula 1 teams to devise varying strategies for the Grand Prix, injecting an extra layer of excitement into the proceedings. From the very start to the thrilling finish, the race did not disappoint the eager fans who had filled the grandstands.

Halkyard unveiled the race’s remarkable success to MGM Resorts during the Leveraged Finance Conference held on Tuesday. His words, as reported by KTNV, shed light on the achievement:

“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.

“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.”

Recognizing the concerns within the local community, Halkyard went on to say:

“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 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.”

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