Mandalay Resort Group

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Mandalay Resort Group
Formerly called
Circus Circus Enterprises (1974–1999)
Industry Entertainment & Hospitality
Fate Merged with MGM Mirage on April 26, 2005.
Predecessor None
Successor MGM Mirage
Founded Winchester, Nevada, U.S. (1974)
Founders William Bennett
William Pennington
Defunct April 26, 2005; 10 years ago (April 26, 2005)
Headquarters Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
Owner MGM Resorts International

Mandalay Resort Group was a hotel-casino operator based in Paradise, Nevada. Its major properties included Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur and Circus Circus, as well as half of the Monte Carlo. In terms of market capitalization, it was one of the largest casino operators in the world. It was formerly known as Circus Circus Enterprises. Its stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol "CIR" and "MBG".


Former Circus Circus Enterprises Logo.

The Group was originally known as Circus Circus Enterprises and originated with Jay Sarno's 1968 opening of the Circus Circus as well as a Circus Circus in Reno, which opened in 1978. The group subsequently developed the Excalibur in 1990, the Luxor in 1993 and the Mandalay Bay in 1999 for which the group was renamed. The group was also a partner with Mirage Resorts on the 1996 opening of the nearby Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.

The group entered into a joint venture in 1993 with Don Carano of Eldorado in Reno to develop and build Reno's largest and tallest megaresort titled Silver Legacy. The $350 million hotel opened on July 28, 1995. Circus Circus Enterprises then turned Mandalay Resort Group held majority stake in that Reno resort. Today, now Eldorado Resorts continues to hold ownership.

The Group incorporated as Circus Circus Enterprises (CCE) in 1974 to purchase Circus Circus from Sarno at a time when the casino was experiencing financial difficulties. The company went public in 1983 and traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The original majority owners of CCE were William Pennington, a former oil lease speculator and William Bennett, a former furniture salesman and the manager of The Mint Las Vegas casino. The Group's properties found success in the 1980s offering a Las Vegas experience to families subsequently experimented upon by its competitors. Its converted Circus Circus (originally developed for the upmarket) and later Excalibur properties offered gaming opportunities for adults and separate non-gambling games and theme-park-style experiences for underage visitors under the same roof. In 1995, William Bennett resigned from the Board of Directors, sold his stock in CCE and bought the Sahara Hotel and Casino.

On March 20, 1995, Circus Circus Enterprises announced that it had agreed to acquire Gold Strike Resorts, a closely held budget casino owner and operator, in a deal valued at more than $600 million.[1] At the time of the acquisition Jean, Nevada based Gold Strike Resorts owned the Gold Strike Hotel and Gambling Hall, Nevada Landing Hotel and Casino, and Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino.[2]

On June 4, 2004, one of Mandalay Resort Group's largest competitors, MGM Mirage, announced a bid to acquire it for $68 per share plus assumption of debt. The stock closed at $60.27 per share on June 4. Although the proposal was announced after the close of trading on June 4, the volume of trading in Mandalay Resort Group stock on that day was quadruple the normal, with the stock closing at $60.27 per share. The ensuing negotiations between the two companies included at one point an announcement that the Mandalay board was rejecting the offer because of antitrust concerns. On June 15, 2004, however, both companies' boards approved a revised offer of $71 per share. The agreement called for MGM Mirage to pay $4.8 billion and to assume $2.5 billion in debt. The transaction was completed on April 26, 2005 for $7.9 billion.

Hotels and casinos when acquired by MGM Mirage[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ JONES, KATHRYN (1995-03-21). "COMPANY NEWS; Circus Circus Agrees to Buy Gold Strike, Casino Owner". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  2. ^ "Circus Circus to acquire Gold Strike". Corporate Growth Report Weekly. 1995-06-05. Retrieved 2007-07-31. [dead link]