Tens of thousands of resort corridor workers are vital to the success of any weekend in Las Vegas, and they will be especially important during the Las Vegas Grand Prix.
With the 3.8-mile circuit scheduled to enclose a large portion of properties on Las Vegas Boulevard between Spring Mountain Road and Harmon Avenue Nov. 16-18, getting those Strip employees in and out of the area when racing is occurring will be key.
Race officials are hoping a park and ride using the Las Vegas Monorail will serve as a major option for those employees when racing occurs each night and the race area is closed to most general vehicle traffic between 5 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Monorail a key component
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, affected resorts and the team with the Las Vegas Grand Prix developed a plan for workers to park at the Las Vegas Convention Center and take the monorail into the resort corridor during times when racing is underway, according to Lauren DelFrago, senior director of event operations for Las Vegas Grand Prix.
The monorail will operate 24 hours per day for race weekend, beginning at 7 a.m. Nov. 16 until Nov. 21.
“We are still working with each of these properties to finalize and communicate the details of these plans,” DelFrago said Tuesday during an update provided to the Board of Clark County Commissioners.
With the monorail stopping at a handful of resorts within the race’s footprint, that would mean many workers would likely have to walk some distance to get to work after arriving at the nearest station to their place of employment.
Aside from the monorail, a park and ride shuttle service is also being considered as an employee movement option, said Terry Miller, of Miller Project Management, who serves as lead on race-related infrastructure work for the race. A temporary vehicle bridge to be built on Flamingo Road over Koval Lane also could allow for employees and registered hotel guests to travel between the resort corridor while the track is in use.
“We are going to work through that,” Miller said. “We have 75 days (until race weekend) and working with the properties, we’ve got to help them solve that problem for their employees.”
Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick wasn’t yet sold on the plan when it was presented by race officials.
‘There’s a lot riding on this’
Resort employees will play an important role what’s being billed as the biggest weekend in Las Vegas history, with its projected $1 billion-plus revenue generation potential, and Kirkpatrick is worried some workers might become disgruntled if there are too many hoops to jump through to get to work that weekend.
“They cannot walk two miles, then go to their jobs and stand on hard floors and then walk two miles to get to their cars,” she said. “A happy employee is going to give the best customer service. … There’s a lot riding on this. One, our brand, because our brand means something that’s why you’re (F1) here. We can’t have it go bad either. But two, our employees live here and are part of the community. They can make or break you.”
Race officials are meeting weekly with properties to smooth out any issues and ensure the best possible transportation plan for all involved, including employees, is in place for November, Miller said.
“We have to not only allow our spectators movement around to the different activation zones, we got to make sure that every (employee) shift has the ability to understand how they can move in and out of this area,” Miller said. “And through the properties we’re going to assist and develop a plan that says, ‘Here are the five different ways employees can get to the properties.’”