Since its inception in 1998, Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s annual NASCAR Weekend has pumped billions of dollars into the economy of Southern Nevada.

That’s right … billions. With a “b.”

When America’s No. 1 spectator sport makes its 16th visit to Las Vegas next week, local businesses should expect another prosperous week as race fans fill hotels, restaurants, shows and gaming areas.

Last year, LVMS’s NASCAR Weekend – the Kobalt Tools 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Sam’s Town 300 for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Stratosphere Pole Day – registered a $240 million economic impact on the Las Vegas area.

“NASCAR Weekend in Las Vegas is about much more than race tickets, lodging, rental cars and concessions,” said LVMS president Chris Powell. “It’s about employment. We employ thousands of people on race weekend. Our fans also contribute to employment across the valley, including servers, bartenders, skycaps, taxi drivers and valet personnel who make their living from tips. Part-time workers supplement the family income with race-weekend employment. This event affects just about every worker in town.”

According to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority research, 71% of the fans come from out of town. Aside from the obvious hotel-room and rental-car sales, millions of dollars in revenue are generated in areas not always considered when NASCAR comes to town.

“NASCAR Weekend has attracted millions of tourists to Las Vegas,” said former Las Vegas Mayor and current LVCVA Host Committee Chair Oscar Goodman. “Our visitors from around the world attend shows and concerts, purchase transportation, dine in the restaurants, shop in our world-class retail stores and enjoy our many fabulous entertainment options. They also love the weather and the natural beauty of the valley. There is so much to see and do here.

“When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series first came to Las Vegas in 1998, merchants and hospitality executives were afraid the fans would merely go to the track, watch the race and then go home. That simply wasn’t true. Each dollar spent here benefits many, many people. NASCAR Weekend, from a revenue and employment standpoint, is one of the biggest annual events in Las Vegas and it continues to grow.”

During the Sprint Cup event, the speedway property swells to become Nevada’s fourth-largest city. It takes a lot of people to stage an event the size of NASCAR Weekend, including ushers, ticket-takers, marketing and hospitality staff, concession and souvenir workers, security personnel, medical professionals, entertainers and a large maintenance crew. The speedway alone employs approximately 2,000 people to work the event weekend. In 2012, more than $130,000 was paid out to various non-profit groups who operated concession and souvenir stands. Approximately 400 airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases “volunteer” for the event. Their units are paid as a result of their work, which allows them to use the money for other activities.

LVMS pays for law enforcement, fire and traffic-control personnel during NASCAR Weekend – even the men who place the orange cones on Las Vegas Boulevard and Interstate-15.
Local support, in the form of event sponsorship, has been solid over the years with Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall (and its parent company, Boyd Gaming) providing title sponsorship of the Saturday Nationwide race since 1998 and the Stratosphere sponsoring Pole Day for the past three years.

ECONOMIC IMPACT NUMBERS FOR LVMS NASCAR WEEKEND

Year Total economic impact
2012 $240,605,600
2011 $194,699,000
2010 $165,767,400
2009 $154,291,800
2008 $189,762,900
2007 $198,077,500
2006 $197,891,200
2005 $167,000,000
2004 $142,000,000
2003 $133,000,000
2002 $121,425,500
2001 $97,163,700
2000 No data compiled
1999 $121,931,100
1998 $116,240,600

Source: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Tickets for LVMS’s March 7-10 NASCAR Weekend are on sale at www.lvms.com or by calling (800) 644-4444. Neon Garage tickets, Lucky 7 preferred parking and driver introduction passes also are available. Follow LVMS on Facebook and Twitter.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a wholly owned subsidiary of Speedway Motorsports, a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States.  For more information visit www.speedwaymotorsports.com.