The Las Vegas covid comeback continues.
Sin City has reported record visitor numbers and casino cash takes over the past few months. That’s a huge comeback for a city that saw its casinos, hotels, and entertainment venues shutter during the worst days of the pandemic.
Even after the reopening, crowds did not fully come back. Conventions were canceled or held in hybrid virtual/in-person ways like this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Normally, CES fills every hotel room in Las Vegas at premium prices. During this year’s show, major Caesars Entertainment (CZR) – Get Caesars Entertainment Inc Report, and MGM Resorts International (MGM) – Get MGM Resorts International Report operated with many of their properties having less than half their rooms full because only about 30% of the normal crowd showed up.
Now, however, Las Vegas has put those terrible days in the past. The crowds are back and construction has been booming. Caesars is redoing its Ballys property under its Horseshoe Brand, MGM has purchased the Cosmopolitan, and Hard Rock International bought the Mirage with plans to build a Guitar Hotel on the Property.
In addition, Resorts World International opened on the North Strip, and the long-delayed Fontainebleau has been put back on track for a late-2023 opening. Those projects are being joined by a major renovation of Wynn Resorts (WYNN) – Get Wynn Resorts, Limited Report signature property and multiple new massive projects (at least two casinos, an NBA-ready arena, and likely a Major League Baseball stadium) being in the works.
Now, plans have come out that an iconic Las Vegas Strip property will get a massive renovation.
A Classic Las Vegas Casino/Resort Getting Renovated
Las Vegas has always been about excess and big ideas. There was a period in the 1990s when Vegas decided to become a family destination. The idea was that attractions would be built for all ages, which would support the success of the casinos at night.
Circus Circus, a Las Vegas Strip Casino/Resort embraced the family-friendly idea by adding free circus acts, a midway with games, and amusement park rides. It was a bold play to lure families and, for a while, it was sort of the symbol of what Las Vegas was trying to become.
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Now, Circus Circus still courts families, even though Las Vegas has moved away from that marketing idea. Under current owner Phil Ruffin, who also owns Treasure Island, Circus Circus still uses the marketing tagline “Circus Circus Hotel & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip is your family-fun destination.”
That’s certainly different than the rest of what’s available in resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, but Circus Circus has been dated, perhaps, out-of-date, for years (and that’s being kind).
Now, however, Circus Circus is getting a makeover, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Circus Circus Getting a Makeover
While Caesars and MGM generally announce their big projects, Ruffin has taken a different approach at Circus Circus. The resort/casino has been under renovation since the covid pandemic hit, according to the paper, with no major publicity push being done.
The renovations are expected to cost $30 million — a modest sum by Las Vegas standards.
“The owner that we have now, he is fantastic and he really puts a lot of effort and energy into making Circus Circus better,” said Circus Circus Senior Vice President Shana Gerety told the paper. “A lot of it is just to continue to create Circus Circus to be the property that people thought of back when it was built in 1968,” said Gerety. “Bring back some of the glory days and really try to capture an all-inclusive experience.”
The renovation will not include a change in the hotel’s concept. Instead, painting will be done to restore the original bright “circus” feel and the signature ‘big top” will be renovated as well. The resort’s pool was also totally revamped, doubling its capacity and giving it a “new resort” look.
In addition, new rides including “NebulaZ and Twistin Tea Cups,” have been added to the Adventuredome theme park area.
“It’s great to see that an amusement park that was built in the 1990s is getting some new acts of new rides added to it,” Gerety said.