Circus Circus Las Vegas in Las Vegas
Circus Circus Las Vegas is a hotel and 126000 sqft casino located on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International. Circus Circus features circus acts and carnival type games daily on the Midway. Circus Circus has the only RV park on the Strip providing additional accommodations in the 399 space park operated by Kampgrounds of America (KOA).
Circus Circus Las Vegas is the largest permanent big top in the world. The clown marquee at the entrance was provided by Young Electric Sign Company, and was constructed in 1976.
Circus Circus was opened on October 18, 1968 by Jay Sarno, becoming the flagship casino for Circus Circus Enterprises. Architects Rissman and Rissman Associates designed a giant circus tent shaped main structure, which was built by R.C. Johnson Construction of Las Vegas.
At its opening, the $15 million facility only included a casino. The lack of a hotel resulted in financial problems, as the casino was not able to attract highrollers. Sarno obtained a $23 million loan from the Teamsters Pension Fund to construct a hotel. As part of the arrangement, the Chicago Outfit's enforcer, Anthony Spilotro (under the name of Tony Stuart) was granted a gift shop concession in the hotel. In addition to a government investigation into the organized-crime connections, Sarno was also being investigated for tax code violations. The casino's financial problems also continued and Sarno, along with his partner Stanley Mallin, decided to sell out.
In 1974 ownership changed with the sale of the casino to William Bennett and William Pennington for $25 million. The facility was expanded with hotel tower additions in 1972, 1980, 1985 and 1986 and 1996.
The hotel's famous midway was featured in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever.
In his journalistic novel of the early '70s, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson wrote, "The Circus-Circus is what the whole hep world would be doing Saturday night if the Nazis had won the war. This is the sixth Reich. The ground floor is full of gambling tables, like all the other casinos . . . but the place is about four stories high, in the style of a circus tent, and all manner of strange County-Fair/Polish Carnival madness is going on up in this space." When the Thompson work was adapted to film in 1998, the fictional "Bazooko Circus" was a thinly-veiled stand-in for the world-famed resort, which had refused permission for the filmmakers to shoot on their property.
The Adventuredome Theme Park and the Canyon Blaster roller coaster were featured in the 1999 movie Baby Geniuses. The theme park was known as Joyworld in the movie.
In ', Austin and Vanessa sneak into the Circus Circus.
In the 1992 movie Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, the over sized child Adam is shown laughing and smiling at the Lucky the Clown pylon.
The Midway was featured in the 1978 film Corvette Summer, when Mark Hamill was being lured into a scam by a "salesman".
In the game ', Circus Circus is featured as The Clown's Pocket.
In the TV series Vega$, private detective Dan Tanna (Robert Urich) lived in a converted warehouse next to Circus Circus, and was often shown driving past the resort in his classic Ford Thunderbird.
Adventuredome Theme Park
Amenities and entertainment
Circus Circus also offers:
- Ballrooms – space for up to 600 people
- Race and Sports Book – 80 seats, with 18 big screens
- Three swimming pools
- "Chapel of the Fountain" (wedding chapel)