Las Vegas May Run Out of Private Jet Parking for F1 Grand Prix

Posted on: July 8, 2023, 02:01h. 

Last updated on: July 10, 2023, 11:51h.

It’s not a problem that plagues Las Vegas during NASCAR weekends. In fact, it’s not a problem Las Vegas has faced before. But so many more private jets than average are expected to fly in for the inaugural Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend, scheduled for Nov. 16-18, that there may be nowhere to park them all.

We’re talking potentially hundreds more.

Las Vegas private planes
A rendering of Las Vegas being overrun by private jets with nowhere to park. (Image: Bing ChatGPT)

Jeremy Aguiero, principal analyst with Applied Analysis, told KSNV-TV/Las Vegas  that the appeal of the race — scheduled for Nov. 16-18, 2023 — will draw more extremely wealthy fans and their private planes to the Strip than it has ever seen before.

“You think I’m joking?” Aguero asked. “I think they’re going to be parking in like Phoenix, right. I think that’s what’s actually going to happen.”

Formula 1 fans are among the wealthiest sports fans in the world. They include Hollywood elites such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Matthew McConaughey, and corporate household names Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson.

F1 itself has a “billionaire boys club” of team owners worth an estimated $146 billion. And all 10 of them are likely to take their own air transportation to the race.

And those not flying commercial are also likely to include most of the F1 drivers. Not all are as wealthy as Max Verstappen with Red Bull Racing, who is reported to pull $60 million a year, but they don’t need to be.

Space Race

In order to meet the demand, the Clark County Aviation Department recently built an 18-acre ramp expansion at Henderson Executive Airport. It should be large enough to handle as many as 80 private jets, depending on their size, bringing capacity at Henderson Executive to more than 200 aircraft parking spots.

Harry Reid International is also reportedly adding another 14 acres of parking to accommodate the invasion of wealthy race fans.

“We were planning for the Super Bowl, then Formula 1 was announced, so a lot of our preparations we were doing for the Super Bowl quickly turned into, let’s do it four months early and do it for Formula 1,” Jim Chrisley, senior director of aviation for Harry Reid, told KSNV.

Super Bowl planners were previously told to prepare for between 1,000 and 1,200 private landings — though many of those will be drop-offs by private jets headed elsewhere.

Though private planes can typically park for about $100 a night, Clark County plans to raise those rates for the Grand Prix and Super Bowl. But for people flying private into an event they paid up to $1 million to attend, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Whether the extra jet space will suffice is anyone’s guess, since Las Vegas has never seen an event like F1.