2023 Las Vegas Outlook: Major Venue Openings and F1 Grand Prix Expected to Drive Growth

January 27, 2023

After closing 2022 with positive gains in visitor numbers year over year, the Las Vegas business community is poised for continued growth in 2023 with the addition of thousands of new hotel rooms, the opening of the new one-of-kind MSG Sphere and its first Formula 1 Grand Prix.

“2023 is going to be a spectacular year in Las Vegas,” said Steve Hill, CEO and president, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), at the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Preview 2023 event on Mon., Jan. 23, in the West Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).

Fountainebleu Las Vegas
Fountainebleu Las Vegas

Big Picture

Hill highlighted several developments that will take shape in 2023, including the Q4 debut of Fountainebleau Las Vegas, which be located across the street from the LVCC and offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.

Meanwhile, the Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in November, the MSG Sphere entertainment venue is projected to open in the second half of 2023, and several other developments are on the horizon, according to Hill.

The Vegas Loop will continue to grow in 2023, while Universal Studios is partnering with Area 15 to open a year-round horror park, and country music star Blake Shelton and Gaylord plan to unveil Ole Red, a live music venue, restaurant and bar on the corner of Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard, before the Formula 1 race.

Driving Growth

When the Formula 1 Grand Prix rolls into Las Vegas Nov. 16-18, 100,000-plus visitors are projected to spend $966 million over the course of three days. Less than two months later, Las Vegas will host Super Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11, 2024, with 65,000-plus attendees at Allegiant Stadium.

“They will be the two biggest events in Las Vegas in my lifetime,” Hill said. “Las Vegas is a category 1 (city). It’s going to be a spectacle this world has never seen.”

Las Vegas is now home to eight professional sports teams, including the NFL Raiders, NHL Knights and WBA Aces.

Formula 1 Grand Prix Las Vegas Course
Formula 1 Grand Prix Las Vegas Course

Formula for Success

Taking place at night against the backdrop of the Las Vegas Strip, Formula 1 will feature a 3.8-mile track that will weave past world-famous landmarks as drivers reach speeds of up to 212 mph.

“Las Vegas will be the Monaco of North America,” said Stephano Domenicali, president and CEO, Formula 1. “We expect 100,000 fans per day over the course of three days and 400,000 room nights in Las Vegas.”

The race will include 50 laps with three high-speed straights, 17 high-velocity corners and two to three DRS (drag reduction system) zones in Las Vegas. Lap time is expected to be 1 minute, 24 seconds.

Home in North America

Located on 39 acres just off the Strip at the corner of Harmon Avenue and Koval Lane, construction is well underway on the four-story, 300,000-sq.-ft. paddock, garages and event space that will serve as home to Formula 1 in North America.

“The high-end luxury facility will be LEED certified and will be available for other events beginning in 2024,” said Renee Wilm, CEO, Las Vegas Grand Prix. “We purchased the land for $240 million, and we are investing $240 million in the paddock buildings.”

MSG Sphere Las Vegas
MSG Sphere Las Vegas

First Look at Next-Gen Venue

Construction is nearing completion at the $1.8 billion MSG Sphere at the Venetian, a next-level entertainment experience designed to introduce an entirely new medium that will unlock shared experiences that people never dreamed possible, according to Lucas Watson, president, MSG Sphere.

“The sphere will offer an immersive experience that will build human connection and transport guests to new worlds,” Watson said. “We are working with marquee artists, creators and events to bring this to life. Our goal is to be one the busiest venues in the world.”

Owned and operated by Madison Square Garden, MSG Sphere plans to be open 365 days a year and host two to three events per day. Watson envisions four to six musicians with residencies of 10 to 12 shows. Rumors about a U2 residency were not officially confirmed.

The venue will feature 17,500 seats, an exosphere with 580,000 sq. ft. of programmable lighting, advanced acoustics and an infrasound haptic system enabling guests to feel the sound.

MSG Sphere will be available for corporate events and product launches, as well as for advertising. 

Back Story

The latest development streak in Las Vegas comes on the heels of significant growth over the past decade.  

“In Clark County, the population has increased with 330,314 new residents in the last 10 years,” said Jeremy Aguero, principal, Applied Analysis.

In 2022, the average daily room rate was $165, an increase of $57 since 2012, while airport passengers at Harry Reid International Airport reached 52.1 million, increasing 25.1% over the last 10 years, according to Aguero.

For more key stats on growth in Las Vegas, go here to download the full presentation by Applied Analysis.

Main photo: Renee Wilm, CEO, Las Vegas Grand Prix and Stephano Domenicali, president and CEO, Formula 1 

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.