Circa: Musings and Observations

Superlatives. It’s the nicest casino downtown but we already knew that. This place would reign high in Caesars’s portfolio, could slip comfortably into the upper echelon of MGM’s, and has Cosmo wow factor at every corner. It’s one of the nicest joints in Vegas; that’s the correct superlative.

Minimums and cross-marketing. The lowest I found was $25 opening night with a smattering of $15 tables the next day. Many predict these’ll drop drastically. I’m not so sure. Circa is in a unique position as the city’s newest casino standing across the street from the city’s oldest with both under the same company [and Fremont] canopy.

Player: “Where’s the $10 tables?”

Dealer: “I’m sorry, we don’t have any here but we have many across the street at our sister property.”

On most weekdays, I predict Golden Gate guests will be outnumbered by Circa guests at their own tables. And going to The D is still door-to-door more convenient than hopping between neighboring strip resorts.

It pulls whatever you consider Vegas’s luxury epicenter off its axis. I’ve never seen this many baccarat tables in a non-strip property. Drinks and food are strip quality and strip price. The cabanas are air-conditioned. I repeat: the cabanas are air-conditioned.

It’s a huge risk built for clientele who might not have downtown on their radar. Tier match the MGM Platinums and Caesars Diamonds, give them $100 at Barry’s, but only, only if they make their way up to Stadium Swim to claim their reward. They’ll see downtown in a new light.

Room rates probably won’t budge much. Considering the size of the casino to the limited number of rooms, they’re filling beds with players; I’m betting on a larger than usual room allotment dedicated to comp inventory.

Drink service was outrageously good.

Designed with Social in mind. Mega Bar, Vegas Vickie’s, and I’m sure Legacy Club. Parts of Barry’s. That sportsbook and Stadium Swim. Circa will consistently glow neon red on any social media heat map.

Unlike the strip, some of its top experiences aren’t rip offs. Cabanas and tables are at reasonable minimum spend requirements (over flat rental prices). I’m hoping parts of Legacy Club follow the same model.

There’s air conditioning vents in the floors. Wear shorts and skip the underwear.

Image courtesy of @john_a_hall.

I can’t help but draw parallels to 1989, The Mirage, and its influence. As time elapses, downtown history will be chronicled in two separate eras: pre- and post-Circa.


  1. Jason · October 31, 2020

    “Refrigerated-Air” up my shorts? Oh, yea!

    Liked by 1 person

    • motoman2wh3 · November 1, 2020

      #shrinkage !


  2. hail2skins · October 31, 2020

    Mike, it was nice meeting you on Circa night!

    My biggest wow moment came not from when I entered the property at midnight and saw the huge screen from the sportsbook to my left, but rather when I took the escalator upstairs and…..”There’s like another whole casino up here!” We knew there was going to be gaming upstairs, but I don’t think we had any idea to what extent. There are more tables at Circa than at the D and Golden Gate combined. Derek has now significantly expanded the gaming inventory, and to me the ramifications for that are the more interesting question, particularly at the point when we get to full capacity.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. vespajet · October 31, 2020

    Right now, table minimums as a whole in Vegas are out of whack because of the reduced capacity. When things get back to some semblance of “normal” and capacity restrictions are relaxed, I don’t see Circa dropping their table minimums below $15. Circa clearly has its’ sights set on knocking the Golden Nugget from its’ longtime perch as the top property Downtown.. I also think the Golden Nugget knows this, as bringing in Chick-Fil-A, bringing in Saltgrass and the plans for a food court aren’t the sort of moves a property would be taking if they were trying to remain competitive on the high-end of the Downtown market.

    It should be interesting to see what direction things go when it comes time to build out the remainder of the hotel tower. My own thought that is that they’ll go with more of the standard rooms, but also include additional studio rooms and end suites. Hell, they might surprise us all and roll out an even swankier suite type than the Founders Suites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hail2skins · October 31, 2020

      Vespajet, I hadn’t been downtown in two years, but even before then had heard on various forums how the blackjack situation at GN was trash, but could refute that by the decent numbers of $10 3/2 I would still see in the main pit. But geez, right now it is really bad. No playable blackjack anywhere on the main floor (with the exception of a $50 game that is open sporadically), reduced table capacity, and a mishmash between tables with dividers and those without.


      • vespajet · November 1, 2020

        Despite being a Downtown guy, I’ve very rarely played table games at the Golden Nugget. I think I’ve played Big Six there more than I have blackjack (Big Six is a game that for some reason I tend to do well at.). When I was out there back in June, the longtime (6:5) $3 blackjack tables at the Fremont had $5 minimums. I didn’t bother to check when I was out there about two weeks prior to Circa opening. $15 craps is standard throughout Downtown, but I remember seeing $25 minimums at least once at The D and at the Golden Nugget (I was out there Monday-Thursday.). Even El Cortez had some tables with high minimums, as Monday night, I almost sat at a blackjack table there thinking the sign said $5 minimum, then looked closer and saw it was $50. I’ve heard that in recent weeks Binion’s and DTG have been running some cheap tables trying to get players, although I would assume that it’s 6:5 along with some other player unfriendly rules. Both of my trips I played a lot more VP, slots and sports betting than I normally do because of the higher table minimums (Blackjack, I have no problem playing $10/hand, but craps, I prefer a $5 table.).


    • vegassnob · November 1, 2020

      I’m sure the finishes and wow factor of the Founders’ Suites will be there, but now having seen everything else, if what they’ve got gets the attention of the clientele they’re trying to attract, they’re going to need something much larger than 1800 square feet.

      Mirage opened in a slump and Wynn thought his Lanais were plenty large at the time…

      Liked by 1 person

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