The Truth About Circus-Circus

By Ana Bru

Known for its entertainment and attractions, the Las Vegas strip is a lively tourist destination comprised of casinos that each have a story. Currently there are about thirty of these casinos on the strip, and the Circus-Circus is one of them. Themed around the circus, the hotel contains more than 1,900 guest rooms, gambling, restaurants, a carnival, a wedding chapel, and a circus arena. 

Circus-Circus opened on July 1, 1978 and was last renovated in 2011. Circus-Circus remodeled their hotel rooms by adding flat-screen TVs, pillow top mattresses, and Wi-Fi internet access. Despite these renovations, many visitors remain disappointed with the Circus-Circus’ conditions. Damaged flooring, an awkward floor plan, dingy lighting, an outdated design, and the deplorable condition of the hotel’s entrance all account for the casino’s poor reputation and lack of architectural creativity.

But the casino’s website suggests something else entirely. Las Vegas’ major source of revenue is tourism, and since many visitors conduct their vacation bookings over the internet, casino websites are flattering. When visiting the Circus-Circus website, the flaws of the casino are not addressed, as that would threaten business.

From the hotel’s website

When visitors actually arrive at the hotel, they are greeted with low quality shops selling imitation jewelry and knockoffs purses, a $14.99 buffet of soggy and greasy food, and chipped paint along the walls of the interior and exterior. Circus-Circus may be historic and built on a desirable location on the strip, but it offers little.

The actual Circus-Circus

Because the Circus-Circus fails to offer its customers the type of experience portrayed in its ads, it may be in danger of demolition. After all, many casinos have been demolished to make way for more modern and appealing buildings, like the Dunes (later replaced by the Bellagio) and the Boardwalk Hotel (to make way for City Center). If Circus-Circus doesn’t get its act together, it might wind up as the latest addition to this list of hotel has-beens.


Anderson, Roy. “Casino Renovations.” IP Hotel Casino and Renovations. Web. 23 Feb. 2012.<;.

Circus Circus. Web. 27 Feb. 2012. <;.

“JEM West – Foodservice Design Consultants – Home.” JEM West. Web. 01 Mar. 2012. <;.

Silver State Floor. Web. 25 Feb. 2012. <;.

Vegas Click.” Web. 23 Feb. 2012.


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