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Circa Casino Defies Coronavirus Headwinds, Will Open Two Months Ahead of Schedule


The Circa Resort & Casino, the newest baby of real estate and gaming mogul Derek Stevens, is avoiding construction roadblocks that could have arisen from the coronavirus pandemic. It is slated to open in downtown Las Vegas on Oct. 28 – two months ahead of schedule.

Circa Resort & Casino Opening
Circa Resort & Casino Opening
A rendering of the amphitheater and pool area at Circa Casino, which owner Derek Stevens says is opening ahead of schedule. (Image: Reno Gazette-Journal)

Stevens, the owner of Circa Sports, the D Las Vegas, and Golden Gate, said some creativity was required to beat the initial opening date of sometime before the end of this year. The gaming executive, who’s working on the project with his brother, Greg, diverted resources from Circa’s planned 777-room tower to the first five floors of the new venue, allowing that part of the property to commence operations in late October.

The first five floors of the Circa include bars, dining options, a two-level casino, a highly anticipated sportsbook – the world’s largest – and the “Garage Mahal” – a high-tech spin on parking and grabbing Lyft and Uber and rides.

We’re going to open those Oct. 28. You can circle the date,” said Stevens in a video posted to his Twitter account.

The 777-room tower and the rest of the Circa will open for business on Dec. 28.

Breathing New Life Into Downtown

Stevens generated fanfare last month by purchasing 1,000 plane tickets so travelers could head back to Sin City for the reopening. That’s following a more than two-month shutdown forced by COVID-19. He didn’t require recipients of his generosity to stay at the D or the Golden Gate.

Circa Casino, plans for which were unveiled in January 2019, is generating plenty of buzz of its own. The 1.25 million square-foot venue will stand 44 stories and be the first from-the-ground-up project in downtown Las Vegas in four decades, as noted by Bloomberg. Anticipation is so high for the new gaming property that some members of the gambling community took to social media comparing the excitement to that surrounding the opening of the Wynn in 2005.

Stevens’ project also stands as an example of Sin City’s desire to bolster its status as the US gaming hub even amid trying circumstances. The coronavirus didn’t derail construction on the new venue. Likewise, work continued on Resorts World Las Vegas on the Strip despite several workers at that site contracting the virus. That $4 billion integrated resort is slated to open in 2021.

Betting Buzz

Circa will have 1,350 slot machines and 49 table games. But there’s considerable buzz surrounding the sportsbook and outdoor amphitheater, where visitors can watch games on a 14-million-pixel screen from the pool or cabanas.

“One of Circa’s signature features will be its three-story, stadium-style sportsbook, boasting a 78-million-pixel high-definition screen that will be viewable throughout Circa’s two-story casino, with a capacity to host up to 1,000 guests,” according to the company.

The sportsbook will be operated by Circa Sports.

With sports betting booming in the US, opening the world’s largest venue for that activity could be good timing on Stevens’ part, particularly with that launch coming in the middle of football season – Las Vegas’s first as an NFL city.

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