ABOVE: An artist’s impression of the proposed Spaceport development
Developers of a proposed spaceport in Las Vegas have confirmed their intention to hold the inaugural Las Vegas Air Races, a first-of-its-kind race for the area, at the site in October 2024.
Promotors hope the recently-announced event will attract around 25,000 visitors and 500 vendors, where ‘attendees will revel in private flight-line seating’ and a ‘strategically positioned location within the pits area where aircraft and pilots converge, preparing for their exhilarating race to claim the gold’.
Although no details of confirmed participants have yet been made public, the event’s website invites potential candidates to reserve their racing slot in the classes of F1, warbirds or jets. A total of $USD 1 million also is listed as prize money for ‘the fastest motor sport on the world’, held in the ‘most exciting city in the world’.
The 240-acre site is located a fifteen minute helicopter ride away from the iconic Las Vegas Strip. Bought by commercial real estate developer and Las Vegas Spaceport CEO Robert Lauer in November 2022, the project hopes to combine a launch pad, a runway, a control tower, a flight school and a casino. The estimated cost of this ambitious endeavour, which is currently being crowdsourced, sits at around $310 million.
Las Vegas Spaceport CEO Robert Lauer noted that although the initial air races “will serve as a demonstration, not only for the FAA but also for the public, reaffirming [the event’s] commitment to safety compliance,” they could potentially become an annual event.
Ticketing options include general admission, premium grandstands, a luxury VIP ‘Sky Box’ option, RV camping and pit lane passes.
With this year’s Reno Air Races marking the ‘end of an era’ for the event, another new-format race series – Air Race X – is also scheduled to hold its inaugural event this year, albeit embracing an augmented reality format.
IMAGE: LAS VEGAS SPACEPORT