LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Many business owners are feeling the effect of F1, with customers fleeing the area, they say, as construction and congestion become the rule of the day in Las Vegas.
While many hope for a large economic boom as a result of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, ready to race down the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday, some local business people have become frustrated, feeling the impact of the construction on their establishments’ foot traffic.
Gino Ferraro is one of those restauranteurs. His establishment, Ferraro’s Ristorante, is located near Paradise Road and Harmon Avenue. Usually, the restaurant sees anywhere from 200 to 400 diners per day. Ferraro said reservations are down to 27 on Wednesday, and 42 on Thursday, days before the Grand Prix kicks off in Las Vegas.
He said the location has received hundreds of cancellations with would-be diners telling him that they are unable to physically access the restaurant. Fine wines, meat, and truffles were planned for a special Formula 1-themed menu at Ferraro’s Ristorante. Now, Ferraro said, the restaurant’s employees are bracing for disappointment.
“Our employees put a lot of work — they thought they ‘We’re going to make a lot of money, we are going to get high-end people,’ but nothing,” Ferraro said, adding that the restaurant is expected to lose up to $50,000 per night in the wake of F1.
A similar situation has unfolded at Firefly Tapas Kitchen & Bar near Paradise and Flamingo roads. There, the restaurant’s managing partner Alejandra Avellaneda called the Formula 1 effect “crazy.” He said the restaurant is experiencing as much as a 90 percent drop in reservations, with an average day dropping from 200 or 250 planned diners, to anywhere from 20 to 40.
“Probably down 10,000 this week as of right now,” Avellaneda said. “And it’s only Wednesday.”
The restaurant owners did acknowledge the value of the Grand Prix, and the Ferraro’s purveyor said that he understood what the big race could mean for Las Vegas.