Last year, it was estimated that Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s NASCAR Weekend created an economic impact approaching $200 million in the Las Vegas area. Generally, the two most obvious beneficiaries of NASCAR fans’ dollars are hotel rooms and gaming. But LVMS’s much-welcomed stimulus to the local economy is measured in more ways than simply “suites and slots.”
Chicago-based Levy Restaurants is the contracted food and beverage provider for all speedways owned by Speedway Motorsports, Inc., including LVMS. In addition to the SMI facilities, Levy Restaurants also provides food service for dozens of sports arenas including Dodger Stadium, Bell Centre (Montreal), the Georgia Dome, Lambeau Field and Churchill Downs. As operator of LVMS’s concessions and catering facilities, Levy spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year in the Las Vegas community.
Last year, Levy made substantial purchases with local businesses such as Vegas Propane, FreshPoint Las Vegas (produce), Granello Bakery, Great Buns Bakery, Sysco Las Vegas (wholesale food distributor), Labor Ready of Las Vegas (temporary labor), Pack Rat (storage units) and Ahern Heavy Equipment Rentals, to name just a few.
Levy also employs 50 local not-for-profit groups (schools, church groups) to man the concession stands and the workers earn funds for their respective causes.
Just one example of the speedway’s support of the community is Great Buns Bakery. The family-owned business opened in Las Vegas in 1982 and serves hundreds of hotels, casinos, restaurants and taverns in Las Vegas and Laughlin.
The husband-and-wife ownership team of Anthony and Lynn Madonia suffered a tragic setback two years ago when a fire started in a rack oven and quickly engulfed the building. Despite a sprinkler system – and the best efforts of the fire department – their business burned to the ground. In order to maintain key bakery personnel, they paid their 35 employees’ salaries during the lengthy rebuilding
process. The Madonia’s son Anthony Jr., who is the company’s vice president and general manager, also drag raced at The Strip at LVMS. He put his high-speed activities on hold while he and his parents scrambled to construct a new, 25,000-square-foot facility and fulfill existing bakery contracts.
Levy’s order for 500 dozen hinge-sliced dinner rolls last year came in handy as the yeast-fueled Phoenix rose from the ashes on East Tropicana Ave.
“We kept our name out there and kept some people employed,” said Anthony Jr. “Today, we employ 55 people and 11 outside distributors.”
When the business returns to its pre-fire level, Anthony Jr. plans to retrieve his dragster from its resting place in Henderson and hit The Strip at LVMS once again.
Tickets are on sale for NASCAR Weekend, featuring the March 1 Shelby 427 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race (Feb. 28) and zMAX Pole Day (Feb. 27) and may be purchased by calling (702) 644-4444 or online at www.LVMS.com.