Circus Circus Las Vegas

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Circus Circus Las Vegas
Circus Circus Las Vegas logo 2.jpg
Las Vegas Circus Circus P4220697.jpg
Location Winchester, Nevada, U.S.
Address 2880 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Opening dateOctober 18, 1968; 50 years ago (1968-10-18)
No. of rooms3,773
Total gaming space123,928 sq ft (11,513.3 m2)
Permanent showsCircus acts
Signature attractionsAdventuredome
Carnival midway
RV Park
Slots-A-Fun Casino
Notable restaurantsBars
Blue Iguana Mexican Express
Circus Buffet
Horse-A-Round Snack Bar
The Garden Grill
The Steakhouse
Vince Neil's Eat - Drink - Party
Westside Deli
OwnerMGM Resorts International
ArchitectRissman and Rissman Associates
Worth Group
Renovated in1971, 1972, 1980, 1985, 1986, 1993, 1996, 2011, 2014
Coordinates36°08′13″N 115°09′48″W / 36.13694°N 115.16333°W / 36.13694; -115.16333Coordinates: 36°08′13″N 115°09′48″W / 36.13694°N 115.16333°W / 36.13694; -115.16333

Circus Circus Las Vegas is a hotel, 123,928 sq ft (11,513.3 m2) casino, and RV park located on the Las Vegas Strip in Winchester, Nevada.[1] It is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International. Circus Circus features circus acts and carnival type games daily on the Midway.

Circus Circus is the largest permanent big top in the world. The Lucky The Clown marquee at the entrance was provided by Young Electric Sign Company and was constructed in 1976.[2]

Previous owners of Circus Circus Las Vegas were Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin (1968–1974) and Mandalay Resort Group, formerly known as Circus Circus Enterprises (1974–2005)


Circus Circus Las Vegas in 2006
Circus Circus Las Vegas at night in 2008

Circus Circus was opened on October 18, 1968 by Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin, 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 high rollers. 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 and Mallin were 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.[3]

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, 1975, 1980, 1986, and 1996.[4]

Merger with Slots-A-Fun[edit]

A blog reported that on July 1, 2009, the Slots-A-Fun Casino would begin the re-branding process in order to be incorporated into Circus Circus.[5]

Design and features[edit]


The hotel rooms are located in several buildings including:

  • The West Tower
  • The Casino Tower
  • The Skyrise Tower
  • Circus Circus Manor Motor Lodge
  • RV Park[6]

Amenities and entertainment[edit]

Circus acts performers in 2005

Circus Circus offers:

In popular culture[edit]

Film history[edit]

Lucky The Clown sign in 2007
Lucky The Clown sign at night in 2008

The hotel's famous midway was featured in the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever.

In his journalistic novel of the early 1970s, 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.

Characters in 1977's post-apocalyptic Damnation Alley seek out at the abandoned Circus Circus to play.

In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin and Vanessa sneak into the Circus Circus.

In the 1992 movie Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, the oversized 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 Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Circus Circus is featured as The Clown's Pocket.

A recreation of the hotel called "Ringmaster" can be found in the 2014 racing video game The Crew, near the northern end of the strip.

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.


  1. ^ "Listing of Financial Statements Square Footage". Nevada Gaming Control Board. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  2. ^ "Neon Survey: Circus Circus". 2010-04-05. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  3. ^ Super Casino by Pete Earley; Bantam Books 2000 ISBN 0-553-09502-1
  4. ^ "Las Vegas History - Circus Circus". Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  5. ^[unreliable source?]
  6. ^

External links[edit]