Las Vegas Grand Prix 2023 boycott: 35,000 workers set to quit?

The Las Vegas GP is under threat due to a potential strike

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The 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix is set to face a boycott from disgruntled Nevada natives who work in the hotel and service industry, as the organisers of the first race in the casino resort since 1982 face a big headache to solve with just days to go.

It appears that some 35000 workers no longer want to remain silent about their feelings of the Formula 1 circus coming to town, associated with an iconic saying of ‘what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ to describe its nightlife.

According to National Public Radio, the industry could is to go on strike on the cusp of the inaugural race at the Las Vegas Street Circuit, on November 10, with more than thousands of attendees for the race set to arrive on six days later.

The Culinary Union Local 226, comprised of cooks and bartenders, has been locked in negotiations with MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Resorts for months. With no end to hostilities in site, a boycott appears on the horizon.  

“The current proposal on the table is historic,” Ted Pappageorge, secretary-treasurer of the union said. “But it is not enough, and workers deserve to have contracts that match their commitment.”

With the race less than one week away on November 17-19, there could be added pressure from Liberty Media, who run F1, to get the problem ironed out as they look for their latest venture into the American market to be a commercial success.

To date, there have been public statements from MGM Resorts or Caesars Entertainment, whilst Wynn Resorts has said that comments would remain at the negotiating table.

It would be the first time for 10 years that Vegas hospitality workers have gone on strike, with the 35,000 being split across a staggering 18 properties that fans would no doubt want to visit.

Fans want refunds

Over $500m has been sunk into the first race in the party resort for forty years, but it has been by no means a smooth operation with fans now furiously demanding refunds.

Prices had initially spiked to over 300 percent for some hotels as the race was announced, before now collapsing as the chains clamour for people to fill their beds and rooms. For example, fees for ‘Resorts World’ and ‘Planet Hollywood’ rose from $220 and $253 per night to a staggering $1199 as they looked to cash in.

But as of November 9, an analysis of 22 hotels found that 21 have dropped their rates by as much as 58%, according to Oversteer48.com, with tickets yet to sell out in what is anticipated to be a cold race. For example, ‘Ballys’ dropped their fees from $799 a year ago to $257, whilst ‘Delano’ readjusted their rates per night from $1540 to $430.

“I read your article on the price drop for F1 Vegas hotels,” one angry fan emailed to Oversteer48.com. “I made a call to MGM, figured I had nothing to lose.

“After a 30 min call and speaking to the supervisor, they refunded my wife $2173! I was beyond shocked they did that.

“I was asking for a possible upgrade. I figured they would never give cash back. Well, I was wrong!”

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