MGM Resorts International announced Friday that it has closed the sale of Circus Circus to TI-owner Phil Ruffin for $825 million.
Ruffin now owns the 3,700-room resort-casino, along with 37 adjacent acres. The purchase price includes $662.5 million in cash and a $162.5 million note due 2024. The Nevada Gaming Commission approved the deal Thursday.
MGM said in a Friday press release that the sale was part of the company’s “asset-light” strategy, which is “designed to focus on MGM Resorts’ core business and maximize value for its shareholders.” The company plans to utilize the proceeds from this sale to “further its capital allocation strategy and enhance its strategic and operational flexibility.”
This is Ruffin’s second purchase from MGM. In December 2008, he purchased TI — then known as Treasure Island — from the company for $775 million. He also owns the 200,000-square-foot Casino Miami in Florida and about 50 percent of Trump International in Las Vegas.
Ruffin told the Nevada Gaming Commission earlier this week that he has big plans for Circus Circus.
He’s working to get “The Illusionists,” a Cirque du Soleil show playing in New York, to move to the property. He said the show would be housed in a new 2,000-seat, $11 million theater.
Visitors can also expect an updated casino with a stadium-style gaming area, according to Ruffin. And the property’s 10 acre RV lot — the only one of its kind on the Strip — is set to be replaced with a sand-beach pool with a wave machine.
But not everything will change under Ruffin. The 5-acre Adventuredome and popular steakhouse will stay, and Ruffin intends to rehire nearly all of the existing employees.