It was 1981. Ronald Reagan was president. The house shuttle Columbia took flight for the primary time. Inflation was excessive. And Las Vegas noticed its first Method One race.
In October, the town welcomed the Caesars Palace Grand Prix. As an alternative of automobiles racing down the Strip, they raced on a 2.2-mile, 14-turn course by way of the resort’s parking zone.
“Las Vegas thought it had seen all of it. It hadn’t, nevertheless, ever thought an industrious group of hotelmen would convey the premier motor sports activities occasion to Southern Nevada,” Evaluate-Journal reporter Mike Henle wrote in 1981.
The Oct. 17 grand prix was televised in 31 nations (together with the US) and attracted 83 million viewers, based on a 1982 R-J report.
“The Caesars Palace Grand Prix is proof that nothing is unattainable in Las Vegas,” Henle wrote. “Don’t ever depend out an occasion in a city which has constructed its status round taking possibilities.”
However, very like the upcoming Las Vegas Grand Prix, businessmen didn’t know the way the race would influence the world — particularly when development on the course started three months earlier than the occasion.
Caesars Palace govt Invoice Weinberger advised the R-J earlier than the occasion that he didn’t assume the three-month window between the occasion’s announcement and graduation was sufficient time for worldwide vacationers to plan a visit to Sin Metropolis.
“The people who find themselves actually comfy (those that have the time and cash to journey) with touring will probably be right here,” Invoice Weinberger advised the R-J. “However I don’t know concerning the others.”
The Las Vegas Conference Middle and Guests Authority stated the four-day occasion gave the Las Vegas economic system a $47,791,200 increase — larger than projected.
About 94,450 individuals got here to the world for these three days, with 38,000 individuals attending the Grand Prix. Visitors crammed up resorts and motels with a 98.6 % occupancy fee for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the race, based on the LVCVA.
Australian Alan Jones took first place. Racers complained of hangovers and excessive concrete partitions that triggered blind spots on the monitor, however have been general happy with the occasion, the R-J reported.
Caesars Palace held three extra grand prix races, with the ultimate occasion held in 1984. The occasion wasn’t renewed after Caesars Palace determined to construct a brand new entrance and sportsbook, which might have impacted a stretch of the racing course.
“The course might have been re-done, however neither aspect needed to spend the cash,” Jan Schaeffer, publicity director for Championship Auto Racing Groups (CART), advised the R-J in a 1984 interview.
Contact Taylor Lane at Tlane@reviewjournal.com.