It’s been just shy of three years since the Detroit-born Stevens brothers announced that they were going to build a hotel-casino in downtown Las Vegas and on Thursday, Derek & Greg Stevens officially unveiled their biggest project to date, Circa Resort & Casino.
What will be the first downtown casino resort to be built from the ground up since 1980, the 1.25 million-square-foot property will include a 777-room and suite heavy hotel at approximately 44 stories high, and according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, will be the tallest hotel north of the Strip.
The brothers, who already operate two downtown resorts, the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino and The D Las Vegas, purchased the Las Vegas Club from the Granite Gaming Group in October 2015. The following year, they acquired a trio of attractions located on the Fremont Street Experience; Glitter Gulch, a strip club, and former casinos, Mermaids and La Bayou, which held Nevada’s first gaming license.
The downtown block was leveled in 2017 to make way for the new integrated gaming resort.
With construction already underway, Circa Resort & Casino will represent the Stevens’ third casino property in the general area of the Fremont Street Experience. The property at 18 Fremont Street will, of course, feature a sports book, which will be a centerpiece of Circa.
If you follow college football at all, you may recall that two years ago, Derek Stevens, who graduated from the University of Michigan in 1990 and in 1994 received an MBA from Wayne State University, wagered a hefty $12,500 on then seventh-seeded Michigan to win the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The following year, he took his action back to the Golden Nugget, this time doubling up, placing a $25,000 bet at 40-1 odds.
“that wow moment”
Needless to say, the Detroit native is an avid sports fan, most notably Michigan sports, and when describing the planned three-story sports book, Derek Stevens said…
“I still remember the very first day I walked into the Caesars Palace sports book and I had that wow moment in my mind. Then, when I walked into the Las Vegas Hilton (now the Westgate) in 1986 and saw their Superbook … another wow moment.
“I think what we’re trying to create that scenario where anyone who’s a sports fan is going to want to come over and check this out,” said Stevens, according to the Review-Journal.
He reportedly wants to be able to show all major games being broadcast and promises that the new property will boast Las Vegas’ biggest sports book “with the biggest screen in sports book history.”
Circa’s sportsbook will also reportedly be equipped with an in-house broadcast studio created in a partnership with national sports gambling news network, Vegas Stats and Information Network (VISN), which gives the Stevens brothers 10 percent ownership in the network led by Raiders radio broadcaster and Review-Journal columnist Brent Musberger.
Vegas Vickie comes down:
Much more extravagance can be expected though, with the famous neon sign kicking cowgirl Vegas Vickie (right), who reigned over Fremont Street since 1980 and was taken down in June 2017 as part of the planned construction project, soon to become a focal point of Circa’s lobby.
According to the news agency, the property will feature a split-level casino, with both a street level entry and via a bridge that will connect to a nine-story, 1,201-space, state-of-the-art parking garage across Main Street, five restaurants, the longest outdoor bar on the Fremont Street Experience and a backlit rooftop deck with a six-tiered pool amphitheater complete with a 125-foot high-resolution screen viewable from all six pools to be used for sports watch parties and other programming.
“the best sportsbook in the history of America”
The over-the-top features described support Stevens’ explanation that the concept and design for Circa was inspired by the time-honored tradition of Vegas excitement.
“This isn’t the best pool downtown or the best pool on the Strip. What we’re doing is developing the best pool in the history of America. We’re building the best sportsbook in the history of America. In my opinion, this is going to bring people from Cleveland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cheyenne and Denver. I don’t really view it as competing with any one property.
“the pie’s gotten a lot bigger”
“The key thing is this is going to increase the size of the pie. It’s very similar to what’s happening with sports betting around the country. It’s not that New Jersey or Mississippi is hurting Las Vegas on sports betting. Hell, the pie’s gotten a lot bigger. That’s the way I view this project,” said Stevens, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Steelman Partners oversight:
Las Vegas-based international architectural firm, Steelman Partners, is reportedly overseeing the design and architecture of the resort, with McCarthy Building Companies Inc. as contractor and Tre Builders as construction manager, both of which are collaborating on the construction of the coming 65,000-seat Las Vegas stadium.
Construction is expected to be completed and the doors opened in December 2020.