Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023 | 2 a.m.
A few minutes before tourism chief Steve Hill was scheduled to speak Friday morning about the upcoming events on the horizon in Las Vegas, a colleague distributed a sheet detailing what’s coming to town.
From the Super Bowl and Formula One race sporting events, to the multiday National Finals Rodeo and major conventions like the CES electronics show, the list of 15 events was impressive. Each event seems bigger and more grand than the last.
It took Hill, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, just a few seconds into his initial answer in a chat with media to reaffirm that fact.
He explained how some events, such as the rodeo, have been a fixture on the tourism calendar for decades. Then, there are new events to the scene, such as the highly anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix next month.
Hill said the authority and event partners are bringing more and more events to town, and most importantly, “They don’t want to leave when they come,” he said.
Hill estimates those 15 events will bring revenue of at least $10 billion to the area. Optimistically, it could reach $15 billion, he said.
The CES show will bring $700 million, he projected; same with the Super Bowl in early February.
The Formula One events Nov. 16-18, including the Las Vegas Grand Prix, a 50-lap race along a 3.8-mile course traversing the Strip and some surrounding side streets will bring 170,000 people to Las Vegas. Those events are projected to bring at least $1 billion, if not more to Las Vegas.
“This will be the best November, by far, that Las Vegas has ever had,” Hill said.
Taxes collected from the three-day race weekend are estimated to be $87.5 million — $25 million of which will go toward K-12 education, Hill said.
Getting the Strip and its surroundings ready to welcome the spectacle that will see single-seat, open-cockpit cars zooming at speeds up to 223 mph hasn’t been smooth, but Hill hopes residents realize the benefits.
Workers and visitors on the Strip have battled the F1-associated traffic congestion and delays from the construction, road repaving and street closings on their commutes — and they’ve been vocal about the displeasure on social media and at Clark County Commission meetings.
Hill and his team have also seen the hiccups and are taking notes for the process to be more structured next year, he said. The race has a 10-year contract with Clark County.
He wants locals to know that “whether they realize it or not, everyone in the state will reap the benefits from these events.”
The list of events over the next four months also includes the first-ever NBA in-season tournament, the Pac-12 Conference football championship game, the World of Concrete trade show and the always well-attended New Year’s Eve festivities.
“We don’t think we’ve cracked all of the fun the world wants to consume yet,” said Hill, who spoke on a third floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center with a view overlooking the recently opened MSG Sphere.
Hill made sure to stress that tourism officials and resort leaders aren’t slowing in their approach to book new events. It’s no secret that they are aggressively pursuing college football’s national championship game for Allegiant Stadium, he said. And there are plenty of other possibilities on the horizon for Las Vegas.
“All eyes will be on Las Vegas the next four months,” he said.