Vegas is high rolling again

Casino-re­sort Circa to open in down­town Las Vegas in 2020

Medicine Hat News - - TRAVEL - REGINA GAR­CIA CANO

LAS VEGAS Down­town Las Vegas will see its first casino-re­sort built from the ground up in more than three decades when Circa Re­sort and Casino opens in De­cem­ber 2020, con­tin­u­ing the resur­gence of the area’s Fre­mont Street entertainment dis­trict.

De­tails of the planned prop­erty that will rise along the his­toric casino-flanked street were an­nounced Thurs­day. The own­ers promised a boldly de­signed prop­erty that will hon­our the des­ti­na­tion’s vi­brant his­tory — com­plete with an iconic cow­girl neon sign in the lobby — and of­fer mod­ern ameni­ties.

“We are go­ing to of­fer things to do with a lot of fun and ex­cite­ment, no mat­ter what your age is. We are cer­tainly go­ing to have a bit of a fo­cus on sports, wa­ter, sun, and it's all themed around fun and high en­ergy,” co-owner Derek Stevens told The

As­so­ci­ated Press. “We are fo­cus­ing on a de­sign that is con­sis­tent with down­town Las Vegas but all new.”

Circa will fea­ture a twolevel casino; a three-level, sta­dium-style sports book equipped with what they claim is the largest screen in a fa­cil­ity of its kind in Las Vegas; and a multi-tiered pool am­phithe­atre fea­tur­ing sev­eral pools and an­other mas­sive screen.

“Vegas Vickie,” the fa­mous neon sign of a high-kick­ing cow­girl in a fringed white out­fit that was a sta­ple of the area for decades, will be in the lobby for ev­ery­one to pho­to­graph. The prop­erty will also fea­ture an out­door bar that is be­ing billed as the long­est along the Fre­mont Street entertainment dis­trict.

The prop­erty’s ho­tel tower will be the tallest build­ing north of the Las Vegas Strip. It will add 777 rooms to the des­ti­na­tion's in­ven­tory of more than 148,000.

The casino-re­sorts in down­town Las Vegas are smaller than those on the Strip. They lack the the­atres and ex­pan­sive shop­ping malls of the megare­sorts, but still of­fer a va­ri­ety of res­tau­rants, spas and pools, in­clud­ing one that in­cor­po­rates a shark tank aquar­ium.

As of June, the 32 prop­er­ties in the down­town area had 8,481 ho­tel rooms. Their oc­cu­pancy rate in the first 11 months of 2018 was 83.7 per cent. The av­er­age daily room rate dur­ing the same pe­riod was $70.29.

Las Vegas’s gam­bling mar­ket, in­clud­ing down­town’s, spi­raled down­ward when the re­ces­sion hit in 2008. Gam­bling rev­enues down­town have since turned around — up 1.1 per cent in the first 11 months of 2018 — and ex­ist­ing casino-ho­tels have un­der­gone ren­o­va­tions, from ex­pand­ing their casi­nos to re­mod­el­ing rooms.

Now, Circa is not the only planned de­vel­op­ment in down­town Las Vegas. The Down­town Grand casi­no­ho­tel on Mon­day an­nounced it will de­but an ad­di­tional tower with 495 rooms in mid2020. And the mas­sive video canopy above Fre­mont Street is set to un­dergo a ren­o­va­tion that will en­hance its res­o­lu­tion.

Stevens said choos­ing the name was not an easy task, char­ac­ter­iz­ing it as even more dif­fi­cult that de­sign­ing the fa­cil­ity it­self. The term circa is used when giv­ing the ap­prox­i­mate date of when some­thing took place or was made.

“I wanted to make sure that in the de­sign of the re­sort we re­mem­ber a lit­tle bit of Vegas past while we are build­ing some­thing brand new,” Stevens said. “So, we felt that the name com­ing to­gether kind of rep­re­sents a lot of where Las Vegas started in down­town Las Vegas.”

The prop­erty’s de­sign also in­cludes a stand-alone, ninestory park­ing garage with con­sid­er­a­tions for ride-shar­ing, which didn’t ex­ist when down­town casi­nos were built. The own­ers are also aim­ing to make sure that the prop­erty is able to of­fer a strong Wi-Fi net­work to al­low ev­ery­one to post or stream con­tent to so­cial me­dia plat­forms.

Stevens and his brother, Greg, own the D and Golden Gate casino-ho­tels and an out­door events cen­tre in down­town Las Vegas. Circa will oc­cupy at en­tire city block that once housed the Las Vegas Club casino-ho­tel, Mer­maids casino and the Girls of Glit­ter Gulch strip club.

Stevens said guests of his two ex­ist­ing prop­er­ties and Las Vegas res­i­dents will be able to take ad­van­tage of Circa’s pool, which will show sport­ing and other events and will be avail­able for cor­po­ra­tions to use to launch prod­ucts.

“I feel com­fort­able say­ing that it will be the most dra­matic and most fun pool in the United States’ his­tory,” he said.

STEELMAN PART­NERS VIA AP

Left: This un­dated artist ren­der­ing pro­vided by Steelman Part­ners shows a view of Circa, which will be the first casino-re­sort to be built from the ground up in more than three decades, when the 777-room re­sort opens in De­cem­ber 2020. De­tails of the planned re­sort that will rise along the his­toric casino-flanked Fre­mont Street were an­nounced Thurs­day. Above: A view of the planned sports book at Circa.

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