Updated October 26, 2020 - 7:40 am
Circa is opening at a challenging time in Las Vegas. Not only is a global pandemic stifling visitation, a good number of those who are visiting are eliciting violence.
But co-owners and brothers Greg and Derek Stevens are confident that downtown’s newest property has the right security measures in place.
“There’s been a lot of evolution (with security measures) here over the past few months,” Derek Stevens said, adding that protocols at his other downtown properties have “worked out pretty well” so far.
Las Vegas’ tourist corridor — especially the Strip — has seen a flurry of violence in recent weeks.
Overall, violent crimes have gone down in the Metropolitan Police Department’s jurisdiction this year, but gun crimes and assaults are on the rise on the Strip, and aggravated assaults in the area are up 29 percent since last year.
While these events have led to some operational changes among Strip resorts, Greg Stevens said a rise in violence didn’t alter the security measures planned for Circa.
Once the hotel opens this year, guests will need to present a room key at the elevators. Guests will have access to their room’s floor and public floors, but all others will be blocked. If a guest has friends or family staying on a different floor, they will may gain access to that floor as well through the front desk.
Greg Stevens said there’s no need for people to be “roaming in a hallway” that doesn’t host their room.
“Our security plan was always our security plan. I just thought that was the right thing to do, and it’s what people appreciate. It wasn’t reactionary to anything,” he told the Review-Journal. “It’s just that the technology allows us to do this, so why wouldn’t you?”
Circa’s nine-story Garage Mahal is another area constructed with safety at front of mind.
The structure incorporates natural lighting and bright, white LED lighting, warding off any dark corners that might make guests feel unsafe.
“We wanted it as bright as possible, so the garage is basically all white,” Greg Stevens said. “It should provide for the brightest, cleanest parking experience you’ll see just about anywhere.”
There’s also an arsenal of cameras that can read license plates. Greg Stevens said these can allow security officers to help guests locate their vehicle if it gets lost among the garage’s 982 parking spaces.
Derek Stevens said the property will open with security measures similar to those used at his other properties, the Golden Gate and the D Las Vegas. In July, a D Las Vegas spokesperson said the property has implemented ID scanning, extra police officers on property and temperature scanning since reopening.
In addition to helping security, the ID checks at Circa will prevent those from under 21 from entering, allowing for smoother operations for those inside the property, Derek Stevens said.
He estimates his staff at Circa would have had to check the IDs of 7,600 people a day, on average. That can add up to a long wait time at bars, with Stevens estimating that each ID check takes roughly 15 seconds per person. By operating a 21-and-over property, that wait time is reduced dramatically.
“We just think it’s going to create a more efficient and really better atmosphere. We think we can provide much better customer service,” he said. “If (the line at the entrance) starts backing up, that means we’ve got to get better. So we’ll figure it out. It may slow things down, but remember how it speeds other things up.”
Derek Stevens added that security measures at the property will probably evolve over time.
“Security today is different than what it was six months ago; it’s different than what it was prior to Oct. 1,” he said. “As an industry, you’re always learning from history.”