Monday, August 17, 2009

NASCAR Banquet In Las Vegas Currently Invisible

Have some fun. Jump on the Internet and try to get information about the inaugural Sprint Cup Series banquet in Las Vegas. Click here for the Wynn Hotel website. That would be the place to start.

The fabulous hotel, shown above, was selected to host this historic event. There are golf packages, romantic retreats and spa packages available online, but no mention of the NASCAR banquet. Checking the December 4th banquet date will reveal that $296.50 will get any fan a room with a king-sized bed for one night. $346.50 if you want a room with a view. In Vegas, they call it a panorama.

Over at, the Sprint Cup Series banquet is also apparently undercover. There are no current stories detailing the new fan-friendly activities that were promised. There are no updates on schedules, logistics or well...anything.

Most fans know that is actually run by a Turner media company. Perhaps, the website will have the official NASCAR information. Click here for the page that contains the International Speedway Corp. travel options for fans. You will find that the 2009 Sprint Cup Series banquet is currently not among them.

One of the attractions of moving to Las Vegas was to use the famous Vegas Strip for fan activities. Click here for the story from in late April announcing the change of venue. Here is an excerpt:

Activities being planned for the days leading up to the awards ceremony include the return of the "Victory Lap" procession of the top 10 Cup Series drivers in their race cars, the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Media Luncheon, the Pit Stop Tour and the NASCAR Street Tour to include stock cars and mobile marketing units placed throughout the city.

"This is a great day for Las Vegas," said Chris Powell, president of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "Las Vegas has proven itself to be a great motorsports attraction, both for locals and for fans from around the country and the world. NASCAR's move to Las Vegas with the year-end awards ceremonies opens up many more opportunities to get the fans involved."

Unfortunately, Mr. Powell's own Las Vegas Motor Speedway website does not offer any updates, schedules or information for fans looking to travel to the area for the banquet weekend. Click here for the website link.

The big Las Vegas tourism website has a list of the major conventions and functions taking place all over town. Click here for the December 2009 list.

The bad news is that the Sprint Cup Series banquet is not even mentioned. The good news is that the Advanced Urology Coding and Billing Reimbursement Seminar is just down the street at the Westin Hotel. Those folks know how to party!

So, there are now less than four months to this first function in Las Vegas. No host has been announced, no entertainment acts have been added and no changes in the absolutely horrible banquet format have been made public.

There is no list of activities or functions available to fans that might include their favorite teams and drivers. No hotel suggestions, low cost travel arrangements or even group activities on the strip. Nothing.

Expedia, Priceline and Orbitz all sit there waiting for NASCAR fans. Imagine taking a Las Vegas weekend, mixing with the NASCAR stars and then coming back home to tell everyone all about it. Well, maybe not all about it.

The slogan is "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." The problem is we still don't even know what's happening. That's a tough way to get the party started.

TDP welcomes your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for taking the time to stop by, hope you are having a good week.


darbar said...

I just got an offer from Wynn for three nights, in one of their Panorama rooms, including breakfast and dinners at their three very expensive restaurants for $799, for two people. One of the dates offered included the December banquet date. Also, the big National Finals Rodeo is that week, and that's a huge event that books thousands of rooms each year. I'm guessing that the locals don't care about the banquet and they probably don't care about the LV race each year. I've been to the LV race and I can say that it appears that tahe fans who go to that race are from out of town. In our suite no one was from LV---everyone was from out of state. With many of the hotels and casinos struggling with a huge downturn in visitors, the last thing on their minds might be a Nascar banquet. I'm guessing this event isn't going to attract huge numbers of fans and as far as the city goes, it's probably just a very small blip on their radar.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Wouldn't you figure with all the millions of NASCAR fans that travel to races, they might be putting a package together for that weekend?

Even the LV Visitors Bureau had no idea about what was going on. Seems like a darn good idea to get some NASCAR folks to Vegas, out to the speedway and then have some organized fun around town.

Be nice to hear from the folks running the show sooner or later.

PS - It is now later...


Dot said...

I just heard a comml on the radio today about the race next year.

I haven't seen or heard anything about the banquet locally. Wouldn't you think NASCAR would be advertising this by now? It's less than four months away. Even though December is a slow month for LV, I would think there would be some sort of buzz. But then, I haven't heard/read about the NFR either.

@ dar, I care about the banquet and plan to be a part of whatever is available to the fans. The Wynn deal sounds pretty good. Are you going? Need a date? ;)

Karen said...

@ dar, I care about the banquet and plan to be a part of whatever is available to the fans. The Wynn deal sounds pretty good. Are you going? Need a date? ;)

Darn, Dot, I wanted to be her date.

Snafam said...

Dar, now there you had to say that! I am a local, and believe it or not there are a bunch of us who are from Vegas who attend that race. I know..because I live here, and I can see on race day the number of fans who are traveling the roads that are no where near the trip you guys make from the strip to the track! If you are in the suites, you are where the hotel guests are being comped, or where are there for the corporate deals, which means people are flying in to take part. Actually, I found less locals at Fontana than I found at Vegas.

However, I too am waiting for the banquet information. I have plans to make! Get with it, NASCAR!

Anonymous said...

That's a shame! I hope they get something soon or I see this as being a HUGE flop.

IIRC, Uncle Brenni's dad offers (or at least had in the past or I could be making this up :p) packages for fans at his hotel.

@dar--everyone's going to fight over you LOL! If they don't get something announced *soon* it's going to be a big flop! People have to plan vacation, get money together for flight/gas if close enough to drive/hotel/etc.

Many work places you have to average 2-4 weeks notice in advance. Other places *request* vacation time be submitted at the beginning of the year. While you can put in for change later, they like to get staffing in order for meetings, training, etc.

If they had proper announcements maybe 10K folks could go, maybe 100K who knows! But I have a feeling that it's going to be a low number and mainly locals/those within driving distance. I don't know what they measure "success" as in the sense of continuing this in the future.

If I can get this project I'm working on up and making money in time, I'd love to attend. I think it would be a blast! Maybe we can crash that Urology Seminar too :p.

Charlie said...

I had completely forgot about the Banquet being in Vegas until you mentioned it JD.
For fun I went on the internet and typed in - 2009 Nascar banquet las Vegas package, nothing.
Tried - las vegas nascar banquet package and nothing.
Went to the MGM Grand site and all there rooms seem available for Dec. 3rd to the 7th. They even have internet specials for those dates.
Usually 3 months or later is the time to book air fare. Surprised there is nothing about this.
You would think money could be made by all, plus good PR and fun for the fans.

Photojosh said...

I've gotta say, I couldn't care less about the banquet or if it's being advertised. NASCAR is about racing, not tuxes and bad speeches. I can see tuxes and speeches on CSPAN.

Anonymous said...

The economy is in bad shape and people are hurting. Crowds at the races are way down, Who would go to LV for the banquet this year. At that time of your people will be using their money for the holidays and any free travel money used to visit family. NASCAR is smart not to pour money into advertising, with the way the economy is today.

Daly Planet Editor said...


The idea of leaving NYC and moving to Las Vegas was to radically change the entire end of season function.

Other than the actual races, there is almost nothing for fans to do except come to Mooresville, NC and drive around to the shops.

Putting together something for Las Vegas would be an opportunity to finally put fans first and coordinate something that can be fun after the season is over.

Now that time is winding down, it is up to NASCAR to tell us what they have planned and if they want to include the fans.

Las Vegas is such a bargain right now that it would be fun to have an opportunity to participate in the first end of season festivities at the Wynn.


Ghost of Curtis Turner said...

John, Thank you for inviting me back:
Wow, this doesn't surprise me one bit that Las Vegas doesn't care about the banquet. After all the move was only to placate "he who owns Kentucky Motor Speedway".
Once again our unloved fearless leader of NA$CAR has shown that it's about the appearance of a show and not a sport.
5 years ago NA$CAR struggled to prove that auto racing is a sport, now under it's current leadership it's turned into a freaking carnival act. Funny how he always seems to promise a lot and deliver nothing. I guess the LV Banquet is just another one of his over promise, under deliver marketing schemes??? And nice price for a room by the hotel too,, that's real fan friendly ;-)
I wonder how much a room with a view of the garbage dumpster would cost me???
I think that Doctors Convention may be the better bet for NA$CAR Fans that week, sounds like a fun time.
Peace out and let the rough side drag.

dawg said...

I've said this before, & I'll say it again.
The races are for the fans. The banquets are for the racers. Trust NA$CAR to seize on another opportunity to make a buck off this.When they were unable to do this in some of the regional series such as the Modifieds They canned their banquet, & threw then into a one size fits all banquet, half way across the country. Just another example of NA$CAR sleaze

GinaV24 said...

I live about a 2 hour drive from NYC but never went up to any of the banquet hoopla there -- getting into NYC on a weekday, for fun? No thanks.

the move to Vegas had sounded like a reasonable idea since it comes across as a party town -- now, I don't speak from experience, I've never been to Las Vegas. I am not in the least surprised to find there isn't anything on NASCAR's website - that is one of the most useless places to look for anything. Plus, based on those hotel prices, heck, $400 a night better get me something more wonderful than a room with 2 beds and a shower.

Dar, that package you quoted though with breakfast and dinner included sounds more doable.

Robyn said...

@Anon 7:24am

What would be a better present for a family of NASCAR fans than making a vacation out of the banquet and supposed fan events (which I would hope would include driver appearances)?

Just because you don't have a package to open on which ever day you or your family chooses, doesn't mean that you didn't get anything.

Garry said...

Do you happen to know what network will be showing the banquet? Is it still ESPN? Perhaps that's the reason you included that is a Turner media entity. But nonetheless, why hasn't NASCAR themselves come forward with advertising? If it's not a big deal to Brian France, why should it be a big deal to the other "powers that be"? Maybe I just answered my own question as I typed that: Brian France did not want to move the banquet from NY, he was pressured to make changes, so now he sits in a pout box, not wanting to advertise? Can you imagine the City of Las Vegas watching the banquet? What a buzz kill. That's probably why they "don't care". For a city built for partying, why in the world would you want people to know that you host a boredom-fest?

50 yr. fan said...

I would suggest that anyone who
wants to feel a little closer to
Nascar and it's drivers to go to Mooresville/Concord and
see the race shops and museums.
I can't imagine Lost Wages (Vegas)

alex said...

I had also forgotten about the banquet until this morning. It sounds like without any promotion or show of interest from Nascar, this event is doomed for failure. I think that starting in 2010 they should move it to Charlotte and hold the banquet in the new Nascar HOF building. At least they would be guaranteed a sellout.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how many drivers outside top 12 will make trip out? Driver meet and greets very hard to find and or attend nowadays.

Photojosh said...

"The idea of leaving NYC and moving to Las Vegas was to radically change the entire end of season function."

To be fair, I'm in support of moving the event. I always thought having it in NYC was a really bad idea. I just don't personally care about the event much no matter where it is held.

Anonymous said...

They can try to make this more of a “fan” event, but for the drivers, owners and crews it is really a one day TV event. Even when in NY, I think many of the drivers did appearances, but did not spend many days in the city. I think some even flew back to NC and came back for the evening banquet.

Anonymous said...

Last I checked, the banquet was for the drivers and teams. Also, last I checked the economy is in the crapper and most of the stands at NASCAR's top venues are 30-60% empty. In other words, what financial sense does it make for Wynn, a luxury hotel with the most expensive room rates on the entire strip, to market to NASCAR fans - so they can come to an event not intended for them in an economic climate in which they aren't buying anyway?

Sorry, dude, this makes perfect sense to me.

Anonymous said...

PS - The Wynnn hotel doesn't do discounts or packages (they do golf packages, etc, but you're not really getting a discount). If you are expected a discount package marketed to NASCAR fans you are looking at the wrong hotel.

Vicky D said...

I can't imagine the banquet being a fan event so it could have been in Oshkosh, Wisconsin for most of us for heaven's sake. Most of the time, I think Nascar/BF doesn't really care about the fans anyway.

Kenn Fong said...


If you go to the banquet in Las Vegas, would you ask Penn & Teller to make Brian France disappear?

West Coast Kenny
Alameda, California

David said...

JD...didnt realize your name was Jim (according to jayski) lol.

Surprised they havent said anything, lord knows last year at this time the NYC fuss was in full swing.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I think we are missing the point by calling it the banquet. That is the term we are familiar with from the past.

NASCAR wanted to make a move and I used the quotes from the story about the ideas of expanding the end of season function to the fans.

Just would be nice to know what NASCAR is thinking on this topic so we could make some informed comments.

Anytime NASCAR....


Anonymous said...

Here's what NASCAR is thinking: People aren't coming to races. The stands are empty. If we have to spend money, let's spend it on getting fans to attend the races, not attend a big autograph session in Vegas. I mean, really.

David said...

If the Chase rolls around, still a month before that happens, and no news is out regarding the ceremony and activities and such, then the panic button should be getting hammered. For now, there may be several things just up in the air or still in development stages. This year will probably be a rough year since it will be their first and in all honesty have not had as much time to prepare as they did in the past in NYC. NYC had a routine, a plan. Vegas is a clean slate. Hopefully they don't drop the ball completely.

The idea that NASCAR is going to close its eyes and ignore the banquet because "no one is coming to the track" is an opinion of someone that is skeptical. I'll save mine until we get a little later down the road.

Im sure everyone would like to know now what the plan is though so they can make arrangements accordingly.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR is already planning and spending money on a large fan-centric event. It's called the Hall of Fame. That event is all about the fans, and NASCAR will be promoting it, offering package deals, advertising it, and making the most out of the opportunity to get fans together and make it an event. Why do you want to take over the banquet, which is the drivers event?

Frankly, I think it is somewhat selfish to be asking "Where are the ads directed towards me? Where are my package deals?" when this is the drivers' event. If fans want to attend, fine. If NASCAR sells tickets or promotes it, great. But it is and always has been for the drivers. If you want a huge non-race fan-congregation event, focus on the Hall of Fame, not the driver's awards.

FitzNibbitz said...

Shudda never left NYC. Great PR, the morning TV shows, 15 million people within 2 hours ... to go to Vegas, sleeze capitol of the USA? Duh.

Richard in N.C. said...

It does seem a little odd for there to be nothing "out" yet - in particular because as I recall Las Vegas was to pay or make available in kind a substantial amount in return for the Banquet moving. Could it be that the event planners aren't far enough along yet to announce any spec's?

Anonymous said...

As a racefan and frequent visitor to Vegas, don't get roped into a package. Try to book hotel,air,and rental car seperately. By all means look "off-strip'.

darbar said...

JD, I couldn't agree with you more and I cannot understand why travel packages aren't being offered. The agency that I work with for my sports travel trips didn't even know the Nascar banquet exists. This is the company I use to book my Daytona, Michigan and Las Vegas races every year.

Who's to blame? I fault Nascar. It's their responsibility to go out there and let the world know that the banquet was changed to Las Vegas and they needed to work with the LV Visitors and Convention Bureau to publicize this event. It's Nascar's fault that large, national agencies, don't know about the banquet. And I'm guessing that once the drivers are in LV, there will be absolutely nothing going on as far as supporting events is concerned.

darbar said...

Anon 12:34, this package offered was not in conjunction with Nascar, it was an offer via my AmEx Platinum card and Wynn Resorts. It wasn't something offered to everyone, only those who've spent a certain amount on travel with their Am Ex Plat cards.

Anonymous said...

Driver meet and greets very hard to find and or attend nowadays.
You're kidding, right?

Last race I went to, earlier this year, I went to a dozen meet-and-greets.

The only way they could have been easier to find was if the drivers came to my house.

Anonymous said...

Shudda never left NYC. Great PR, the morning TV shows, 15 million people within 2 hours .

15 million? In NYC? Wow, it's grown a lot since the last census, when it had only 8 million.

And those 8 million expressed very clearly that they didn't want NASCAR there and/or did not care about NASCAR. That's not "great PR," that's just annoying the people who live there.

TV? Yeah, they have satellites these days. You don't have to be in NYC to be on the network morning shows anymore.

Ken said...

It was a mistake to have the banquet away from the fan base in the Southeast. It should be connected to the Hall of Fame. What is there that is race related in Vegas (or NYC)? With the short off season, I'm sure the drivers would prefer to be with their families during the holiday season.

Anonymous said...

It should be connected to the Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame isn't finished yet.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Driver meet and greets very hard to find and or attend nowadays.
You're kidding, right?

Last race I went to, earlier this year, I went to a dozen meet-and-greets.

The only way they could have been easier to find was if the drivers came to my house.

August 13, 2009 6:45 PM

No..that is the point....much done at races,but they have cut back on the ones not during a race weekend. So many do sponsor related work that is not open to public nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Shudda never left NYC. Great PR, the morning TV shows, 15 million people within 2 hours .

15 million? In NYC? Wow, it's grown a lot since the last census, when it had only 8 million.

I think he's talking about 15 million viewers of the TV shows that originate and broadcast live from NY, which always were filled with drivers on banquet day. Not this year, however.

Anonymous said...

I think NASCAR wants the illusion that it's now some kind of accessible, fan-friendly event, but they're not going to roll out the red carpet for fans. Was there ever any intention to have the banquet in a hall where fans could sit in the nosebleed seats?

Vegas is Vegas, there's always people there -- you could drive the haulers down the Strip now, with no advance notice, and there would be tons of gawkers. NASCAR could shoot photos and, voila, Vegas is NASCAR-crazy. Would be an illusion, like Vegas itself.

Richard in N.C. said...

I thought I read somewhere that the biggest single event in Las Vegas each year is the NASCAR race.

VegasConcierge said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Matt TSB said...

There are just over 8 million people in the five boroughs, over 18 in the metropolitan area.

If Nascar didn't want to take advantage of the national media opportunities in NYC, I think they should have gone to Charlotte or maybe Atlanta. The banquet was never going to be "THE show" in NYC and it will never be "THE" show in Vegas. In Charlotte or Atl on an away game weekend for the Panthers or Falcons, they would have a chance to dominate an area, but a fourth weekend at in Charlotte might even be too much.

Vicky D said...

Richard, I think the biggest draw in Vegas is either the Rodeo or the Consumer Electronics Show not a Nascar race.

Andrew S. said...

Just for giggles, I sent an email to the Las Vegas CVB asking what details they had on the NASCAR banquet in December and so far they have provided me with excellent customer service by not answering me.

As for the claim about the population of NYC, I believe the actual quote was 18 million people within a 2 hour drive.

RPM said...

This event has so much potential it's crazy. Changing it into a fan friendly interactive event is a great idea. Las Vegas is a perfect venue.

Somebody needs to get off their tail and get the promotion machine in gear. Maybe it will take a year or two to work all the kinks out and show the true potential of what this can offer to the fans. It should make All Star Week look like the county fair.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dot said...

I read in the paper yesterday that DJ was in Las Vegas Thursday @ Studio 54. Maybe he's laying the groundwork for the different activities.

Anonymous said...

Richard is right...the NASCAR race at Las Vegas has been a consistent sellout (although I think it just missed this year). That's more than 140,000 people strong.
NFR is held at the Thomas & Mack Center, on the UNLV campus. That building barely holds 18,000 people.