Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Annual NASCAR Weekend Adds 2.4 billion Dollars to Southern Nevada Economy
By Debbie Hall, staff writer
Informer Media Group
Since its inception in 1998, Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s annual NASCAR Weekend has pumped billions of dollars into the economy of Southern Nevada. NASCAR will come to Las Vegas for the 16th time this weekend and local businesses should expect another prosperous week as race fans fill hotels, restaurants, shows and gaming areas.
Last year, LVMS’s NASCAR Weekend – the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Sam’s Town 300 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Stratosphere Pole Day – registered a $240 million economic impact on the Las Vegas area.
A press conference was held Feb. 28 chaired by LVMS president Chris Powell, former Las Vegas Mayor and current LVCVA Host Committee Chair Oscar Goodman and Las Vegas native and 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch.
“NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas is about much more than race tickets, lodging, rental cars and concessions,” said LVMS president Chris Powell. “It’s about employment. We employ thousands of people on race weekend. Our fans also contribute to employment across the valley, including servers, bartenders, skycaps, taxi drivers and valet personnel who make their living from tips. Part-time workers supplement the family income with race-weekend employment. This event affects just about every worker in town.”
“We employ more than 2,000 people during the course of a NASCAR weekend. We are very proud of that number. We also bring in a number of nonprofit groups to work at concession stands and receive a percentage of sales from that weekend. We bring volunteers from Nellis Air Force Base and we make contributions to Nellis for that help.”
In 2012, more than $130,000 was paid out to various nonprofit groups who operated concession and souvenir stands. Approximately 400 airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases participated during the racing weekend.
According to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority research, 71 percent of the fans come from out of town. Aside from the hotel-room and rental-car sales, millions of dollars in revenue are generated in areas not always considered when NASCAR comes to town.
“NASCAR Weekend has attracted millions of tourists to Las Vegas,” said former Las Vegas Mayor and current LVCVA Host Committee Chair Oscar Goodman. “Our visitors from around the world attend shows and concerts, purchase transportation, dine in the restaurants, shop in our world-class retail stores and enjoy our many fabulous entertainment options. They also love the weather and the natural beauty of the valley. There is so much to see and do here.
“It is awesome to go out to the track. We usually arrive there about an hour and a half early and a couple of people are scattered throughout the track and stands. Soon it fills up with people that come from all over the world for the event and it is such a feel good day for the excitement that is hard to replicate in any other sport,” said Goodman.
During the Sprint Cup event, the speedway property swells to become Nevada’s fourth-largest city. It takes a lot of people to stage an event the size of NASCAR Weekend, including ushers, ticket-takers, marketing and hospitality staff, concession and souvenir workers, security personnel, medical professionals, entertainers and a large maintenance crew.
“It is always unique to represent this city and my hometown. There is no other place in the world like Las Vegas,” Busch said. “A few years back in the early 1990s was a little 3/8 mile racetrack where I cut my teeth with my dad and my little brother Kyle. In the mid-90s was this dream of building a racetrack and we thought ‘no way.’ But it takes community leaders like Mayor (Oscar) Goodman and Chris Powell and when a community pulls together, it happens.”
LVMS pays for law enforcement, fire and traffic-control personnel during NASCAR Weekend including the men who place the orange cones on Las Vegas Boulevard and Interstate-15.
Local support, in the form of event sponsorship, has been solid over the years with Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall (and its parent company, Boyd Gaming) providing title sponsorship of the Saturday Nationwide race since 1998 and the Stratosphere sponsoring Pole Day for the past three years.
ECONOMIC IMPACT NUMBERS FOR LVMS NASCAR WEEKEND
Year Total economic impact
2000 No data compiled
Source: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports, a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. For more information, visit www.speedwaymotorsports.com.
Tickets for LVMS’s March 7-10 NASCAR Weekend are on sale at www.lvms.com or by calling (800) 644-4444. Neon Garage tickets, Lucky 7 preferred parking and driver introduction passes also are available. Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.