Kirk Kerkorian Bust Stolen from Circa Resort Recovered at Nearby Las Vegas Casino

Posted on: February 19, 2021, 07:10h. 

Last updated on: February 23, 2021, 10:08h.

A stolen bust honoring casino pioneer Kirk Kerkorian is back at the Circa Resort in downtown Las Vegas.

Kirk Kerkorian
Casino developer Kirk Kerkorian poses in 1968 at the under-construction International Hotel in Las Vegas. A bust of Kerkorian stolen from Circa Resort has been recovered. (Image: New York Times)

Derek Stevens, Circa’s owner, tweeted a video of himself on Feb. 16 discussing the theft from the resort’s Legacy Club. The club is at the top of the resort’s 458-foot hotel tower.

Kerkorian’s bust is one of several on display along a wall inside the club. The display honors Las Vegas casino developers and owners who had an impact on the industry. Others include Howard Hughes, Steve Wynn, and Benny Binion. Each bust is displayed in its own lighted nook.

In the video, Stevens says the Kerkorian bust was removed late at night on Feb. 15. He says the bust was found in a room at the Four Queens Hotel and Casino.

The Four Queens and Circa are on Fremont Street in a downtown area known as Glitter Gulch.

Stevens said his security staff, working with security from the Four Queens and Fremont hotel-casinos, found the bust after looking for it Monday night and Tuesday morning.

In the three-minute video, Stevens indicates that the stolen-bust story is not a fabrication.

“Anybody that says I’m making this up, you’re missing the point,” he says. Holding the bust and striding toward the camera in a gray pinstripe suit, Stevens says stealing it is “inappropriate behavior, frowned upon in this establishment.” As he says this, the unidentified person shooting the video laughs.

Stevens then gives the bust to an employee, who returns it to the wall display.

Thankfully, Mr. Kerkorian is back in action,” Stevens says. He adds that security will be beefed up in that location.

Police were brought in Tuesday night to look into the matter, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. However, Circa officials did not want to press charges against the suspected thief.

Major Casino Developer

Kerkorian is regarded as one of the developers who ushered in an era of large resorts in Las Vegas. In the late 1960s, Kerkorian developed the International hotel-casino just east of the Las Vegas Strip. The International later became the Las Vegas Hilton, and finally the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino.

Kerkorian also developed two versions of the MGM Grand.

The first MGM Grand later was renamed Bally’s. It is on the east side of the Strip, joined by an interior walkway to the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. The second MGM Grand, site of several major boxing matches in recent years, is a green-tinted resort near McCarran International Airport. It also is on the east side of the Strip.

Kerkorian died in 2015 at age 98.

Historic Downtown Las Vegas

Circa is the first hotel-casino built from the ground up in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years. No one under age 21 is allowed in the resort, except at a steakhouse on the property.

Circa was built on the northwest corner of historic Fremont Street.

Throughout the city’s history, several colorful figures have operated casinos in downtown Las Vegas. These include Binion, a former Texas gambler whose Horseshoe Club formerly hosted the World Series of Poker, and New York gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel. Siegel was among other underworld figures who briefly owned the El Cortez during the 1940s.

Stevens owns two other properties on Fremont Street, the Golden Gate, and D Las Vegas. Circa was in the news recently when a nude woman temporarily shut off power at the resort.