Efforts to cancel Las Vegas F1 races met with silence from county, leaders

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — While F1 plans to race back to the Las Vegas Strip this November, some of the businesses around the circuit are trying to pump the brakes on it.

It comes through a petition called “Stop the Las Vegas Grand Prix (F1)” which has already tripled its signature goal from the 500 first set on Friday. It was created by businesses along the almost four-mile-long circuit that partly runs through the Las Vegas Strip.

It cites negative impacts on local businesses from frequent traffic disruptions via repaving, temporary bridge operations, and eventual deconstruction. That work began in early April 2023, preparing for three days of daily closures to one of the busiest streets in Nevada during the November practices and race. Deconstruction lasted for months after that.

Magdy Amer once owned several businesses contained to one property at the southeast corner of Harmon and Las Vegas Boulevard. This intersection was the final turn off the Strip within the circuit.

Though the sign for Tex Mex Tequila remains, the structure is set to be demolished. Amer says he was forced to close all these businesses when Las Vegas Grand Prix (LVGP) contractors blocked most access to his back parking lot for months.

“We had problem with even garbage collection, because garbage pickup is behind the building,” Amer said, standing in front of chain-linked fences now surrounding his former businesses. “The overhead was so high, okay? We were not doing even ten percent of what we were doing. So, we were losing money every day.”

Up the Strip, Randy Markin says Battista’s Hole in the Wall has recovered from disruptions but is bracing for more loss. He claims 20% of business disappeared during the same time, whether because of the big temporary bridge to the east or months of repaving to the west.

“This killed us,” Markin said inside his restaurant snuggled in between Horseshoe Las Vegas and the Flamingo monorail station. “People would be calling from the hotels around the area and say, ‘I’m really sorry, I have to cancel my reservation because we can’t get there. No taxi will take us to the area.’”

In total, businesses like them now report $30 million in revenue loss because of the half-a-year initial construction.

Their petition asks Clark County Commissioners to not approve the special use/events permit that LVGP submitted last week until “a fair and undisruptive plan can be made to host this event without closing the Las Vegas Strip.” That permit is required to legally close the roads that make up the circuit.

A media representative of the Clark County government declined to comment on the petition to all local television and print agencies on Monday. 8 News Now instead took the question to the county commission chair and representative of portions of the circuit that run through his district, Tick Segerblom.

“Is (the petition) going to have any sway on your decision eventually?” 8 News Now Reporter Ryan Matthey asked the commission chair inside the Clark County Government Center Tuesday afternoon.

“I can’t talk about that, I’m sorry,” Segerblom responded.

“Why Not?” Matthey replied.

“Because I haven’t seen the petition. I don’t know what it stands for. That’s all subject to issues that we haven’t really talked about,” Segerblom responded.

LVGP representatives did not respond to questions from 8 News Now about the petition for two straight days.

Despite the lack of response, petition organizers continue to see signatures multiply.

“There’s so many small little businesses, and car services and people like that that have no avenue to voice their opinion,” Markin said.

“We’ll keep after it until somebody listens, somebody hears,” Amer said.

LVGP officials have stated the expected touch-up work and construction along the circuit will be less impactful than last year. Segerblom has been vocal in his support to reimburse businesses impacted by the first year’s construction, though which agency is responsible for that is still unclear.

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