Circus Circus has been quietly renovating the hotel-casino since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Since the 2019 acquisition of Circus Circus by Phil Ruffin, who also owns Treasure Island, new additions to freshen up the hotel have been made with more in store for hotel guests.
Renovations have been happening since around the start of the pandemic in 2019, after Ruffin acquired the property, a Strip landmark since 1968.
“The owner that we have now, he is fantastic and he really puts a lot of effort and energy into making Circus Circus better,” said Shana Gerety, senior vice president of operations at Circus Circus.
The renovations — designed to help bring Circus Circus back to its heyday — are expected to cost around $30 million.
“A lot of it is just to continue to create Circus Circus to be the property that people thought of back when it was built in 1968,” said Gerety. “Bring back some of the glory days and really try to capture an all-inclusive experience.”
So far, the hotel has made minor updates, including new air conditioning units, a $10.8 million elevator renovation and a updated paint job to bring bright colors back into the palette of the hotel.
“Back when the property opened, it had a lot of bright, fun colors to it,” Gerety said about the new paint adorning the property. “We want to get back to the bright pinks and purples and blues. Make it feel more like a circus.”
Coming next is a revamp of the iconic red-and-white striped tent-top that greets guests as they walk into the property.
“When you pull up into Circus Circus, it looks old, right? You’ve got paint chipping, you’ve got different kinds of stuff that just needs a real facelift,” Gerety said about plans to freshen up the tent top.
The pool was the latest debut, with its major update that doubles the pool’s occupancy. Now holding 400 guests, as opposed to the previous 200, the new design also gives it a “beach walk feel.”
“You know it has more of the look and feel of a brand-new property’s pool” than a pool at an older property, Gerety said.
Circus Circus’ Adventure Dome amusement area also has added multiple new rides since November 2020, including NebulaZ and Twistin Tea Cups.
“It’s great to see that an amusement park that was built in the 1990s is getting some new acts of new rides added to it,” Gerety said.
Customer feedback has been positive, with many taking notice of the updates to the hotel, she said.
“You have the rides, you have carnival games, you have a brand-new pool, you have a really nice steakhouse,” Gerety said. “So everybody is really looking at making Circus Circus a one-stop shop — I would say that’s really what our ultimate goal is.”
Emerson Drewes can be reached at email@example.com or via Twitter @EmersonDrewes.