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Selling F1

Brian Ramos

The Las Vegas Grand Prix grandstands, paddock and final turn 17, from the 36th floor penthouse suite at The Signature at MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sunday, November 12, 2023.

Heidi Williams has been selling high-rise apartments for 14 years in Las Vegas. It’s so much part of her professional identity that she’s often referred to by her nickname, “High-rise Heidi.”

She has watched the real estate market through the ups and downs over the years, starting with the housing and financial downturn of the late 2000s.

And now she’s selling units for a reason she would have never expected — sports tourism.

The demand for these high-rise condominiums near the Strip is unprecedented thanks to this week’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, she said.

“I don’t think a lot of people understood how much money there was in F1 and how much money there is in the sport, in the backing (of fans),” Williams said. “I think that people are very excited about F1, and I think a lot of these people just want to be a part of it.”

Williams, who is part of the Williams Gray Team operating under the real estate firm The Brokerage, is selling units at The Signature at MGM Grand, the three towering condominiums with luxury suites that give guests or residents access to amenities at the MGM Grand.

Prices for luxury units at the Signature “have increased anywhere from 30% to 50% depending on the type of unit” because of the race, Williams said.

One unit, a 520-square-foot property listed for $320,000, can comfortably accommodate four guests, according to the listing. The listing boasts “pleasing views of the mountains and the MGM pools from your vantage point.”

The complex, which has 1,750 suites over 30 floors, features condos ranging from a small studio to 1,394 square feet for properties with one or two bedrooms. Those are priced as high as $800,000.

Williams and real estate partner Rebecca Gray said they began seeing F1-related buys at the property off East Harmon Avenue about nine months ago. About 25-30% of their clientele have indicated that they’re snatching up units before this week’s race festivities, they said.

The Las Vegas Grand Prix is expected to draw about 170,000 people to the Resort Corridor for race-related events.

The racecourse begins at the Formula One Pit Building — across from the Signature off Harmon — and continues down Koval Lane, circles the Sphere, connects with Sands Avenue, turns onto Las Vegas Boulevard for about a mile before it turns onto Harmon Avenue, then heads back toward the Pit Building.

Racers will pass by the Signature to give some residents a unique view of the Formula One vehicles that few others will have.

From the corner of Tower Three, closest to Harmon Avenue, occupants can take a step onto their balcony and look across to the East Harmon grandstands on their right. The Sphere provides a bright background to the first few turns of the track as well as the Pit Building’s grandstands. At night, the F1 logo on the roof shines into the bedroom window of some rooms near the top.

On their left, a top-down view stretches down Harmon Avenue all the way toward the intersection with Las Vegas Boulevard where cars will zoom by this weekend.

Williams and Gray said some of the recent buyers have purchased their units with race views in mind but are also looking ahead to the future.

Through a third-party rental program overseen by the Signature, owners can rent out their units when they aren’t “owner occupied,” Williams explained.

In fact, only 5% of the units will be owner-occupied, she added.

Purchasing a unit at places like the Signature is an economic choice out-of-towners looking to come back for other big events, like the Super Bowl in February, while making some money at other times of the year when the unit is empty, Gray said.

“They’re looking at what they’re going to pay to, say, be here for a week, per night, and those room rates were really high to start,” Gray said. “I think that probably got some folks’ wheels turning: ‘Well, why don’t we just buy something because we’re going to have it for more than one year?’ And then it’s something that can generate income for them.”

Not everyone is looking to watch the race from their circuit-adjacent property, though. Williams said some of the people they’ve sold to already have their tickets to the event and are just looking for the convenience of a nearby property.

Gray said the views may be less of a priority for certain buyers when compared with the walkability, especially considering Las Vegas’ temperate conditions during race weekend.

“A lot of these folks are coming in from out of town, out of state, out of the country, so there’s not 50 people to invite to their room (to watch),” Gray said. “They’re here for the entire experience; they’re here to be down and amongst the people and enjoying the whole thing.”

Article written by #LasVegasSun

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