Scott Roeben

Preparations for the Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix have been the subject of lots of heated discussion for the past few months. Mostly, the chatter was related to traffic.

The latest? Trees in front of Bellagio are being chopped down to make way for a grandstand.

It was originally believed the trees—some a quarter century old—would be relocated, but nope, off to the wood chipper.

This tree on the sidewalk in front of Bellagio has been truncated.

Early on, MGM Resorts officials said the company would “temporarily and safely remove the trees in front of the Bellagio fountains.”

This is what’s known in public relations circles as “horseshit.” Sorry, “damage control.”

Our eagle-eyed friend @JamesinLasVegas and man-about-town passed along some photos of the trees marked, presumably, for “relocation.”

At first we thought they might just be pruning the trees to make them easier to “safely remove.”

Now, it’s clear that’s not the plan.

Thanks a lot, bean counters. Here’s another look at the aftermath. (See? Because accountants do a lot of math. As some point, you’re going to have to start figuring out our jokes all on your own!)

It seems there was a cost/benefit analysis at MGM Resorts, and it was decided the removal and relocation plan wasn’t the best option.

The matter, of course, is more complicated because presumably this race will be taking place for the next 10 years. We trust when new trees are put into place after the grandstand is removed, the roots will be enclosed, making it easier to remove and replace them each year.

We’ve been a critic of the Bellagio grandstands from day one, but opinions vary about them. Yes, some people have the audacity to disagree with us. Props to them for having the courage to be wrong!

It’s a monstrosity.

Bathing caps will be provided.

We’re generally irked by the F1 takeover of Las Vegas, and feel like public officials and the LVCVA didn’t understand the amount of disruption the three-day event would cause.

The Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix happens Nov. 16-18, 2023.

It’s worth noting the chopping down of trees (some of the only natural shade on the Las Vegas Strip) isn’t the only awkward part of the F1 saga. It’s that the LVCVA, the aforementioned public officials, F1 and resorts dramatically over-estimated demand. At least at certain price points.

The rates of rooms during the races are imploding, along with package prices.

In one case, we shared how Harrah’s reduced the rate for a room during race a whopping 69%, and we are not making that percentage up.

The F1 drama continues.

So-called experts predict F1’s race will generate $1.3 billion for the Las Vegas economy. This eye-popping estimate is the result of a complicated process known as “experts pulling numbers out of their butt.”

We’re generally disinterested in sports, but we do care when our town is negatively impacted by months-long roadwork, tree murder and rich people clogging our airport with their private jets so we have nowhere to park ours.

We’re sure it’ll all be worth it. The Titanic didn’t pan out as planned, but at least it resulted in a popular movie, so every dark cloud has a silver lining.

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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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