Trying to set up the first Las Vegas Grand Prix in over 40 years along the infamous Las Vegas Strip doesn’t come without its consequences.
Here’s a list of 7 iconic Vegas landmarks that have been ruined by building the Formula 1 track on Las Vegas Boulevard.
Building the Las Vegas Formula 1 track right in the middle of the city was always going to be an ambitious task.
The infamous neon-glow of Sin City at night undoubtedly makes an incredible backdrop for a F1 race for viewers watching on TV. But how about for the people travelling to Vegas in person?
Well it turns out that to build the circuit and the infrastructure needed to support it (fences, barriers, grandstands, viewing platforms) a number of Las Vegas’ most visited landmarks have been blocked, hidden or removed entirely.
People travelling to the Entertainment Capital of the World for the first time might be able to watch the sport of Formula 1, but they won’t be able to visit the same attractions that tourists come to see during the rest of the year.
1 - Bellagio Fountains
The most iconic feature, landmark and tourist attraction in Las Vegas is the Bellagio fountain show. It’s also the most photographed attraction in the whole of the United States.
Now the view of this Vegas landmark has been completely blocked from the Las Vegas Strip. The super-expensive Bellagio F1 Fountain Club has been built on the sidewalk where people usually view from, and the grandstands and viewing platforms for the Club completely ruin visibility of the fountains.
Only those rich enough to pay for a ticket to the Fountain Club will be able to see the fountain show as the viewing platforms look out over both the F1 track and the fountains.
With @F1LasVegas quickly approaching, I had the opportunity to walk the progress our team has made in the Bellagio Fountain Club. I'm very excited for our guests to enjoy this first-of-its-kind premier viewing experience. pic.twitter.com/RNv2LvhnIQ— Bill Hornbuckle (@billhornbuckle) November 7, 2023
2 - Mirage Volcano
In front of The Mirage hotel is the volcano, a huge structure that erupts on the hour every day between 8:00 and 11:00pm. Except when the F1 is in town.
A statement from The Mirage’s website says:
“The volcano show will not be operating from September 13 – December 8 in preparation for construction related to Formula 1® Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023.”
For three whole months the volcano will be inactive thanks to the Formula 1. The Mirage have built their own grandstand right over the top of it, so have had to turn the eruptions off to avoid giving their spectators an unexpectedly warm seat.
3 - Venetian Canals
The Venetian hotel is most well known for the Italian gondolas being punted along its canals both inside and outside the hotel. The outdoor canals are usually visible for all passers-by to see, and to listen to the gondoliers sing their best rendition of Just One Cornetto.
But for the Formula 1 in Las Vegas they’ve actually drained the entire outdoor canal. That’s right, they removed all of the water from it.
They’ve built their own VIP F1 viewing platform right over the top of it.
4 - Treasure Island Pirate Ship
The Pirate Ship in the bay outside the Treasure Island hotel was once the host to the nightly shows ‘The Battle for Bucaneer Bay’ and ‘Sirens of TI’. Those free performances were a visitor-favourite, and whilst they finished in 2013, the Pirate Ship still moored outside is a highly-photographed spot.
During the Las Vegas F1, you won’t be able to see the ship from the Strip. The barriers and fences that line the edge of the track will block your view. One less landmark visible during the Vegas Grand Prix.
5 - Palm Trees
Any picture of the Las Vegas Strip will include palm trees and pine trees lining the side of the street. Now the ones in front of the Bellagio have been removed for the Grand Prix.
But they’ve haven’t been removed to be saved. They’ve literally cut them down, turning them in to wood chips, leaving just a stump visible in the sidewalks.
These were Aleppo pine trees that were taken from the old Las Vegas Dunes golf course and planted outside the Bellagio fountains in the 1960s.
The Bellagio Fountain Club viewing platforms, the same ones that are hiding the fountain, are going where the trees once were.
6 - Pedestrian Viewing Bridges
Take a walk down Las Vegas Boulevard and you’ll realise that the pedestrian viewing bridges, with their long outdoor escalators and glass sides, provide some of the best views of the neon-lit city as they zig-zag along high above the Strip.
But for Formula 1 the view from the bridges is going to be completely closed off. Every bridge that would have a view of Vegas, and the Grand Prix circuit, has fencing and a canopy erected around it to stop anyone being able to see any of the action. Or any of the city.
7 - Caesar's Palace Rotunda
Caesar’s Palace is one of the most infamous hotels in Las Vegas. It’s ancient-Rome inspired design features a number of well know buildings and landmarks.
One of these is the Caesar’s Palace Rotunda which is right on the edge of the property, next to the sidewalk. The Rotunda isn’t used for any performances nowadays but it’s still a well known and loved landmark in Vegas.
In March 2023 it was announced that the Caesar’s Palace was going to demolish the Rotunda in preparation for the Las Vegas F1. Whilst it hasn’t been demolished yet, it may well be taken down in the days prior to the race to make way for some additional infrastructure. Sad times.