Circa, the first casino built from the ground-up in downtown Las Vegas in forty years, officially opened just after midnight on Wednesday. From all first-hand reports at the invitation-only celebration, the new, glitzy gambling beacon is a glamorous venue that looks like it belongs on Strip.
“I’m feeling great,” Circa owner Derek Stevens told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Opening this is obviously great for downtown (and) great for all of Las Vegas. Fifteen-hundred new jobs is pretty awesome, particularly at this time.”
A number of VIPs bought chips at a craps table, each vying to be the first person to place a bet at Circa. They drew cards and the man who came out on top with the high card got to roll the dice and set the first point: a six. Pass line bettors eventually won after five rolls.
The entire property covers 1.25 million square feet. The casino spans two stories and has 1,350 slot machines and 49 table games.
The highlight, though, is the sportsbook. The world’s largest sportsbook, that is. It rises three-stories high and has a 78 million pixel high definition screen, viewable from both floors of the casino. The book can accommodate 1,000 guests.
There is another massive screen outside, as well. The pool amphitheater is home to a 14 million pixel screen that those enjoying the six swimming pools can watch at their leisure.
Opening a new casino during a pandemic is not ideal, but construction was started well before COVID-19, so there wasn’t much Stevens could do about that. In a way, however, the pandemic helped. Circa was originally scheduled to open December 28. COVID-19 restrictions limited the number of workers who could ride construction elevators, though, so progress on the hotel tower was slowed significantly. Because of this, Stevens decided to just shift construction resources to the first five floors, allowing him to open the casino on Wednesday.
Circa is unique in that it is the city’s first adults-only casino. Nobody under 21 is permitted. The Cromwell just announced that it is going this route, as well, but it reopens on Thursday, losing out to Circa by one day. It will have to settle for being the first adults-only casino on the Strip.
Naturally, safety during the pandemic – especially Wednesday during the big celebration – is a major concern. Initial guest reviews were positive. Everybody wore masks and visitors were pleased with the apparent sanitization protocols.
“I hope people understand the importance and meaning of this property opening,” said Nehme E. Abouzeid, president and founder of Launch Vegas LLC. “Las Vegas is alive and well and reinvesting.”