Ellis Island Casino Sues Las Vegas Grand Prix, Clark County Over Race Disruption

The owners of the Ellis Island Casino in Las Vegas have filed a lawsuit against the Las Vegas Grand Prix, as well as Clark County and the state of Nevada, over allegations the preparations for last year’s big ticket event hurt the business substantially. 

Race organizers and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority have claimed that the November 2023 F1 event brought in $1 billion of extra revenues to Sin City’s economy. 

However, many smaller business owners in Las Vegas have claimed they lost out due to the race. Now, a casino resort owner has officially joined those voices.

The lawsuit was filed late last month, but only discovered by the media this week. It came just days before a comprehensive debriefing report by Clark County revealed that it made a loss of some $500,000 helping to stage the race after expenses and disruption costs were factored in. 

The suit is seeking compensation greater than $50,000 from the parties named. Ellis Island says the race infrastructure and its construction impeded customers and employees from accessing the Koval Lane venue for several months. 

Hot Track 

The preparations and deconstruction for the November Las Vegas Grand Prix, which was Sin City’s first time hosting F1, took six months. 

Ellis Island was an early partner in the event, sponsoring the race and building a 1,000-seat grandstand for spectators on its property. 

However, it says the construction of the $500 million F1 paddock building right next to the property significantly impacted its customers and staff. 

Then, as the race day drew nearer, practice sessions and final checks were even more disruptive, the lawsuit says. 

The lawsuit also alleges that on the eve of the first practice run on November 15, F1 and city officials informed the casino that no one was enter or leave the property for three hours because of a hot track test situation. 

The casino’s legal filings also take aim at this year’s permit. It says the county skipped over the debriefing and consultation period when it approved the race for 2024. 

Race in Trouble 

Ellis Island’s owners are not the first in Las Vegas to formally question F1 and its economic value to the city, and presumably they will not be the last. 

In November, some 30,000 fans filed a class action suit after they were kicked out of their paid grandstand seating on race day morning for five hours because of a practice delay. 

Since late January, a dozen businesses have been posturing about a lawsuit against F1 and the county. They say they incurred millions of dollars in losses when a temporary overpass traffic bridge near Flamingo Road cut off footfall to their venues. 

No lawsuit has been filed yet. But an official petition has been filed with Clark County asking them to deny the race permit for 2024.

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