While the new downtown Las Vegas Circa Resort & Casino hotel had been under construction for five years, Derek Stevens and his brother, Greg Stevens, opened their doors during the pandemic: Circa casino and amenities made their mark. debuts on October 28, while hotel rooms became available to the public on December 28.
Stevens, a native of Detroit, who renovated Fitzgeralds and opened the D Hotel downtown in 2012 and also owns the Golden Gate, is the name and face of hotels, while his low-key brother, an engineer by training, lives in the Michigan. Circa is a tribute to the pioneers of Las Vegas, as seen throughout the property, from portraits and metal busts to hallmarks of the property, including the 60th-floor Legacy Club rooftop lounge.
Some facts that make Circa at 8 Fremont Street Experience stand out in the desert landscape of Las Vegas: When it opened two months ago, Circa was the only hotel in Las Vegas for people 21 and over. (this is strictly enforced, and the Cromwell on the Las Vegas Strip would follow suit shortly thereafter), and Circa, an opulent blend of old school and modern, is the new home of the iconic Las Vegas brand. Vickie.
Sports enthusiast Stevens, 53, answered questions at the Mega Bar on Saturday afternoon while smoking a few cigarettes and as electronic dance music blared in the background in the 777 Circa rooms, the former home of Las Vegas Club, Glitter Gulch, La Bayou and Mermaids and the first newly built resort in 40 years:
What do you think of your brand new Circa Resort & Casino?
It was a five-year project. We bought the Las Vegas Club in August 2015. Going through demolition and then design and construction, I’ll tell you, my team and I were pretty excited when October 28th rolled around, and we were able to open the elements. keys – the casino, the bookie and the Stadium Swim.
And then we had eight weeks to sort out the problems a bit, and we were delighted that on December 28 the hotel opened. We’ve only really been open for business for four days, but it’s been great. Las Vegas had quite a bit of pent-up demand for new products and so far I think things are going pretty well.
Like you said, Circa had been in the works for five years, so you weren’t anticipating a global pandemic. How did you pivot?
You are absolutely right, the pandemic was not part of our thinking (laughs). The way we pivoted is we were very lucky the Governor (Steve Sisolak) deemed building Nevada essential. It was very good for the state, and it allowed us to focus on the first five floors of this project and the Garage Mahal.
We were able to open two months earlier which was a big help. It was good for us to open early and we were able to create 1,500 new jobs in the city at a time when the city was in dire need of new jobs. And now we’ve just had a whole new wave of hiring with the hotel open.
The pandemic has certainly cast a wrinkle in things, but we are working on the governor’s current guidelines like everyone else. I am quite happy with the current situation.
Tell me about the name behind Circa and the brands across the property.
We really struggled for a while to find a name. Our working title was just the address here, the old Las Vegas Club address. We looked at a handful of names… one company that we introduced and spent time with said, “It really is a tribute to Las Vegas. “
But it won’t be around 1906, it won’t be around the 1950s, it won’t be around the 1980s, it won’t be around 2000. It’ll be everything, and that’s why the name is Circa. Everything struck us. We are celebrating all of these wonderful times in Las Vegas history. We wanted a new property with new amenities, but we also wanted to pay homage to Las Vegas.
What really stands out about Circa? Mega Bar, Stadium Swim, the largest bookmaker in the world. I should let you answer my question.
(Laughs) With Mega Bar, the longest bar in the world west of the Mississippi, I stole the idea. The Long Bar at the D hotel was something we just created – it wasn’t meant to be the longest bar west of the Mississippi. We just put it in and made a really long bar, and it worked. I spent a lot of time at the Long Bar.
When we got the opportunity here at Circa, we took it up a notch and created Mega Bar. Circa truly offers some unique attractions – the world’s largest sports betting site, Mega Bar, Garage Mahal, amenities to make people feel safe, comfortable and well-lit, music and art. also.
And then Stadium Swim, it was a project while we were in design, we were still running the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center. We have had concerts, music festivals and nightlife. Watch nights really took off and the event center really helped us design and create Stadium Swim. It’s not a new concept, but it has a big screen, and I wanted to focus on the pools that are open 365 days a day.
How would you describe your stay in Las Vegas after successes with the D, the Golden Gate and the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, to get from Detroit to downtown Las Vegas?
I love the state of Nevada and I love Las Vegas. I’m a businessman, so I do all of my business during the day, but what I really like is that after spending a day at the office, so to speak, I can go down to the casino. I feel really lucky to meet so many people. The visitor to Las Vegas is unlike any other visitor. They are excited, happy and have a certain exuberance to be here. I like being surrounded by enthusiastic and positive people. I really like Las Vegas.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do for fun in Las Vegas?
Oh, I like to sit at the Mega Bar or the Overhang Bar (the bar above the bookie). I’m learning my new spots here. I love the sports book, and I love sports. I don’t miss too many games. I like to watch sports and spend time with groups of people. … I spent six hours at Stadium Swim yesterday. It’s January 1st and I’m watching the big college football games by the pool. I can’t wait for sports fans and everyone to experience Stadium Swim.
You’re a huge Vegas Golden Knights fan and a longtime Detroit Red Wings fan, right?
I’m definitely a number 1 Golden Knights fan, but my second favorite team is the Detroit Red Wings. They’re at different conferences, so they only play once a year here and once a year in Detroit. I don’t think I’m going to have a lot of conflict, but I would love to see the Red Wings play against the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup. It would be a win for both sides as far as I’m concerned.
I can’t wait for the new season to start. I think the Vegas Golden Knights have brought so much to the Las Vegas community. … From a community perspective, it’s just great to see that our city really loves our hometown team.
What are you waiting for in the new year?
I look forward to what I think is an incredible pent-up demand to come to Las Vegas. I think once we get over the pandemic Las Vegas will only roar. He will come back first through the independent traveler, couples, a few friends, stag and hen parties, small groups.
I think there is a huge demand to come to Las Vegas. It’s going to take a little longer with the conventions, but they’ll come back eventually. We’ll be ready to meet unprecedented demand, so I’m really excited about what 2021 has to offer. I’m really excited for 2021 – I’m excited for everything.