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Circus Circus Las Vegas

Updated on November 27, 2010

Circus Circus Las Vegas

Circus Circus Las Vegas
Circus Circus Las Vegas

Circus Circus Las Vegas is an MGM Mirage property which appeals to families with children, and also typically offers lower than average room rates on the Las Vegas strip. The location is not too bad; although the north end of the strip is kind of cut off from the main tourist area, you're across the street from Riviera and next door to Slots-A-Fun. Stardust, Westward Ho and Frontier used to be the next closest properties, but they were all demolished during 2006 and 2007. Boyd Gaming's Echelon will fill in some of that gap.

Circus Circus Slots Carousel

Circus Circus Slots Carousel
Circus Circus Slots Carousel

I stayed here twice... 1993 and 1994, I think. This was before I had Internet access and had to rely on travel agencies and book reviews for advice. A single guy in his early 30s (as I was back then) just doesn't belong here. It's like Target on a Saturday morning. However, I am fully to blame for returning in 1995. They sent me a free room offer which, since the place is not all THAT bad, I accepted.

Audience watching the circus show

Audience watching the circus show
Audience watching the circus show

For the adults, Circus Circus has three interconnected casinos totaling 101,000 square feet. That's a lot of space and that was the primary attraction to me, being a noob to Las Vegas; I spent a lot of time playing the slots and video poker. For the kids, there is a free circus show every half hour or so during certain times of day; a video game arcade, and a carnival type midway with those weird games like squirting water into a plastic clown head topped with a balloon. The drawback to the arcade is that kids can burn through as much money as the adults playing quarter slots, but the arcade games don't pay off. Don't give a kid $20 and expect him or her to stay occupied for more than an hour.

Circus Circus marquee

Circus Circus Las Vegas marquee
Circus Circus Las Vegas marquee

Opened in 1968 by Jay Sarno (the same guy who built Caesars Palace), Circus Circus went through major renovations in 1997, adding a new room tower (for a total of 3,774 rooms) and toning down the circus theme a bit. When I stayed there, before the rooms were renovated, the rooms were of acceptable quality. As expected in a budget property you get no frills and thin walls that let you hear your next door neighbors; but it was clean and everything was in working order. If you're bringing kids to the Las Vegas strip (I'd say 12 or younger) then Circus Circus or Excalibur are your two best choices. Kids over 12 might like the Adventuredome at Circus Circus, an amenity Excalibur lacks. It's a five acre indoor amusement park. And it's another activity that can keep them busy for a few hours while you take on Johnny Chan in the poker room.

View of Circus Circus from the roof of Encore at Wynn's parking garage, June 2009.
View of Circus Circus from the roof of Encore at Wynn's parking garage, June 2009. | Source

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