When the inaugural Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix raced onto the Las Vegas Strip, our team was on the 37th floor of the Cosmopolitan hotel, producing hospitality suites for an international sports marketing company. For three nights, as the qualifiers and final race took place, we transformed the hallway, four suites, and adjoining rooms to welcome 80 VIP guests to an event that offered a nod to the Grand Prix without being overtly car themed, then got a new look each night. 

Our big challenge was that we had to make all this magic happen in a hotel with numerous restrictions and limitations during a massive sporting event that saw 315,000 attendees descend on the city. That meant that much of this event required shifting gears to accommodate new restrictions, timing changes, and the logistical difficulty of having so many visitors in the city for the race. We had worked in Las Vegas before, but this was not normal Vegas.

Hallway of Mirrors

Because many of the client’s guests were staying at the same hotel, we were tasked with making sure the 37th floor had a completely different ambiance and character, so the parties would feel special. It all started the moment guests stepped off the elevator into the freshly styled hallway that broke from the hotel’s existing décor.

We relied on our version of smoke and mirrors, which was LEDs and mirrors. We added a dozen mirrors along the corridor and LED uplighting, while two bigger mirrors served as directional signs with “Fare” and “Race” in LED titan tubes pointing toward either viewing suites or dining suites. Because we used lighting to create a new atmosphere, we only needed to update the color of the lights each night to bring in a new look.


Tricks of the Light

The common theme throughout all the event spaces was “glow,” and while each of the suites and adjoining rooms had distinct design elements, all benefited from the use of light. Each night, we changed the color scheme through lighting, going from red and white to blue and white then green and white.

Our event space was the entire floor, which included four corner suites – two for viewing the race and two for hospitality. Each suite had a wraparound balcony, and there were adjoining rooms between the suites. We had a lot of space to work with and were tasked with creating distinct vibes in each of the areas.



What a View!

The viewing suites that overlooked the Strip where the race took place mimicked each other and featured custom pillows and lightly race-themed décor like red ribbon sculptures or glowing race card centerpieces to mimic the racetrack design. To camouflage the hotel’s artwork, which we were not permitted to remove even temporarily, we created custom box prints featuring abstract race images that we placed on top of the wall art. 

In the main suites and adjoining rooms alike, we were not permitted to remove furniture, so we had to make bedrooms (with beds) look like a different type of space. Our solution was to build a platform to place over each bed with thematic decor. We covered them with décor pieces that mimicked the track or trophies – items that were curved, abstract centerpieces, helmets, and tires – the LED lighting cast a glow on everything, making it appear seamless. 

To the décor and hospitality, we brought in additional interactive features. Each night, two showgirls were on-site for a few hours, bringing a Vegas feel to the party and posing for photos with guests.

   WM Events Las Vegas F1 Grand Prix

Sweet Suites

The adjoining suites featured distinct experiences. One was a gaming room with a race simulator and race décor. In this elevated arcade, attendants assisted guests on the simulator, which featured the same route as the actual Vegas track below.

Another adjoining suite offered a relaxed speakeasy feel. We included a display of vintage cigar boxes, and guests had a choice of cigars. Race-themed desserts were offered, and mixologists provided a further gastronomical experience by using a drink printing machine to add “F1” to the foam on top of cocktails. Also on the drink menu — a secret concoction from the Cosmopolitan’s Chandelier Bar boasting an ingredient that created a mouth-numbing effect. 



Overcoming Technology Breakdowns

With so many visitors in the city for the Grand Prix, it should not have been surprising that the Wi-Fi was less than reliable. When the hotel was not able to support all the internet traffic taking place within the building, we brought in our own hot spots, and they worked … for a while. Once the race was about to start, and the helicopters hovered overhead, the signals were frequently knocked out. On top of that, anytime someone changed a TV channel, the LED light color changed too! These were issues we had to constantly stay on top of and repair throughout the three days of the event. 

Despite the challenges, would we do it again? We are already revving our engines.

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