Circa’s Hotel Rooms Opening Sooner Than Expected, As Las Vegas Seeks Ways to Attract Customers

Posted on: November 25, 2020, 01:03h. 

Last updated on: November 26, 2020, 05:56h.

Circa Resort in downtown Las Vegas is opening its hotel rooms next month a little earlier than anticipated — with a twist.

Circa Resort
Circa Resort towers over Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. The hotel tower opens in December. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Circa is making 512 of its 777 rooms available on Dec. 26, two days earlier the announced date of Dec. 28. The resort’s gaming areas, pool and restaurants opened Oct. 28 while crews were completing work on the hotel rooms.

Guests who book a room on the hotel’s opening date, Dec. 28, can check in for free as early as Dec. 26, owner Derek Stevens told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. A suite on opening night is $248.62, according the resort’s website. This does not include taxes and a $33.84 resort fee each night.

This promotional move comes as resorts in downtown Las Vegas and on the Las Vegas Strip are trying out strategies to attract customers during the economic downturn. The Las Vegas Strip, where the state’s largest resorts are located, is outside Las Vegas city limits.

Downtown Las Vegas and the Strip have struggled since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Gaming revenue downtown fell by 22.7 percent in October compared to the same month last year. During this period, casino wins on the Strip dropped 30.2 percent.

In an effort to attract visitors, some resorts are lowering room rates. Others are attempting special marketing strategies. Park MGM recently became the first smoke-free casino on the Strip. The Cromwell, also on the Strip, and Circa Resort downtown are adults-only properties.

Alan Feldman, of UNLV’s International Gaming Institute, told that demand for such concepts already has been established.

“There are many customers, leisure as well as casino, who find kids distracting,” he said. “For more than a decade, there has been a consistent increase in demand for smoke-free rooms and smoke-free areas in the casino.”

Tourism Slump

As these efforts are underway, a decline in tourism has promoted several resorts to shut down the hotel portions of their properties during the middle of the week. On the Strip, these include the Mandalay Bay, Park MGM, and Planet Hollywood. The gaming areas are still open.

Without large-event and convention business on hold, hotels have trouble filling up rooms on weekdays. The weekday occupancy rate in Las Vegas is below 40 percent.

Vaccines that could be effective in preventing coronavirus infections have given hope to those in the tourism industry looking for an economic boost.  However, a turnaround is not expected soon.

With COVD-19 cases on the rise, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) this week imposed a 25 percent capacity limit on casinos. This “pause” is set to last at least for three weeks.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said this pause is “crushing to the city.”

Drawing Attention to Downtown

The city of Las Vegas has embarked on a campaign to pump up tourism in the historic downtown casino district along Fremont Street. This district is known as Glitter Gulch. Circa Resort is the first hotel-casino built from the ground up in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years.

Hoping to entice tourists to the downtown area, the city has installed lighted gateway arches at the base of the Strat Hotel Casino and Skypod.

Also, the Plaza Hotel and Casino at Fremont and Main streets is hosting a New Year’s Eve fireworks show. The long-running fireworks spectacle on the Strip has been canceled this year because of the pandemic.