Yes, for the same reasons it pursues anything: money and publicity. Formula One is surrounded by both, and on an international scale, and that exposure is critical as we move through the competitive 21st century. Las Vegas isn’t new when it comes to street racing: In 2007, Champ Cars screamed around Downtown at 180 mph in the Las Vegas Grand Prix; and way back in 1981-82, Formula One cars raced at the Caesars Palace Grand Prix. While that “parking-lot track” received some stinging criticism, Las Vegas has grown a lot since. We can do F1 right this time and really capitalize on the opportunity—especially if the race is run along the Strip as has been suggested.
What does the Native think of national brands opening Downtown?
You must be referring to reports that Cheesecake Factory—a chain of more that 300 restaurants—is building a nearly 9,000-square-foot location near the World Market Center.
While it might be nice to imagine a Downtown revitalized exclusively with locally grown storefronts, all one has to do is look at successful “model cities” to recognize how national chains play an important role in bringing warm bodies and full pockets to places they would not otherwise go.
As in those cities, our Downtown is (slowly) developing unique neighborhoods catering to different needs. That’s why Cheesecake Factory is said to be opening near Symphony Park (think San Diego’s East Village), and another chain (Buffalo Exchange) is already open on Main Street (our version of San Francisco’s Mission District). Neither would consider Downtown without some forethought; the fact the numbers pencil out says a lot about the potential of the area, and is nothing but good news for local operators who have already taken a risk.
Is there anything special happening here for Nevada Day?
Didn’t you hear? Clark County finally mustered the gumption to secede from the rest of the state and recapture its fair share of state tax revenues! If only …
Though Las Vegas typically leaves Nevada Day celebrations to Carson City, given that 2014 is our 150th anniversary, you’re right in assuming that Las Vegas will note the event. How? With a midday parade marching down Fourth Street from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. October 31. And you thought you got the day off work just so you could celebrate Halloween …