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Watch Circa grow — from dirt to 35 floors in 20 months

With an original goal of completing Circa in time for a December opening, things changed when the coronavirus hit and social distancing was imposed on work crews
Building the tallest building in downtown Las Vegas was already a daunting challenge based on strict timeline constraints.
Circa owner Derek Stevens knew he had to open by December to meet lending covenants. So that became the target.
When the coronavirus hit, a new challenge emerged. Social distancing was implemented, meaning no more than four construction workers could use the slow-moving construction elevator at a time.
That’s when Stevens adopted a new strategy to complete the first five floors of the building for an Oct. 28 opening with the hotel rooms to follow in December.
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Journeyman iron worker Peter Vermolen at the Circa construction site in downtown Las Vegas Boulevard Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
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Safety officer Christine Hill at the Circa construction site in downtown Las Vegas Boulevard Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
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Concrete general foreman Trevor Lantham at the Circa construction site in downtown Las Vegas Boulevard Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
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Workers finish their shifts at the Circa construction site in downtown Las Vegas Boulevard Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
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The old Las Vegas Club building is under demolition on Oct. 5, 2017. The owners of downtown's D Las Vegas and Golden Gate properties are clearing the area on Fremont Street to build a new hotel-casino project. (David Guzman Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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The site of Derek Stevens’ new property, Circa, being built in downtown Las Vegas at the northwest corner of the Fremont Street Experience on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
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The exterior is taking shape during a construction tour of the Circa on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
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Construction continues on Circa in downtown Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
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Workers continue to develop the main floor during a construction tour of the Circa on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
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Developer Derek Stevens gives a tour of the pool area during a construction update of the Circa on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
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Derek Stevens, CEO and developer of Circa Resort and Casino, signs the last steel beam before it is hoisted on top of Circa’s hotel tower, the tallest building north of the Las Vegas Strip, on Friday, June 19, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
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A man looks through one of the windows looking out on the construction for Circa Resort and Casino in downtown Las Vegas, Wednesday, March 20, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @carolinebrehman
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People watch as workers remove the high-kicking Vegas Vickie on Fremont Street on Tuesday, June 13, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
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Construction continues on Circa resort on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @benjaminhphoto
In the making
A porthole outside Circa, the new hotel-casino by owners Derek and Greg Stevens, displays a video feed showing the construction progress at the property on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2019, in Las Vegas. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @davidguzman1985
480
Height in feet of Circa Resort
35
Number of floors above ground
Workers hoist the last steel beam signed by Derek Stevens, CEO and developer of Circa Resort and Casino and Ironworkers Local 433, to place it on top of the future of Circa's hotel tower, the tallest building north of the Las Vegas Strip, on Friday, June 19, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
777
Number of rooms and suites estimated when complete. The management team is making decisions on the number of suites or rooms in the top seven floors after demand is calculated.
The final letter for the sign is placed atop the Circa resort in downtown Las Vegas, Thursday, July 23, 2020. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
2,100
Amount of concrete used to build, in cubic yards
The exterior of Circa seen from Stadium Swim on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @benjaminhphoto
8
Fremont St., the listed address of the property
Now ready to greet guests are a three-story sports book and a swimming complex large enough to be called a stadium.
1,000
Maximum number of construction workers on site
Construction continues at Circa as seen from the roof of The Plaza on April 22, 2019, in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Left_Eye_Images
The interior
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An aerial view of the top of Circa hotel casino in downtown Las Vegas, on Monday, October 12, 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @Vegas88s
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A view of Circa, the first from-the-ground-up casino built in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
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A view of Circa, the first from-the-ground-up casino built in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
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Garage Mahal at Circa, the first from-the-ground-up casino built in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years, on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
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A partial view of the Mega Bar is seen during a tour of Circa, the first from-the-ground-up casino built in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years, on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
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Mermaids Casino is seen at the Fremont Street Experience Saturday, June 25, 2016. Mermaids Casino, La Bayou and Glitter Gulch will close their doors on June 27 to make way for a new project (Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau)
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From left, Lorena Amaya, co-owner and CEO of Desert Rock Enterprises Derek Stevens and Sarah Cass have their photo taken digging into one of Mermaids Casino's deep-fried Twinkies Saturday, June 25, 2016. Mermaids Casino, La Bayou and Glitter Gulch will close their doors on June 27 to make way for a new project. (Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau)
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Developer Derek Stevens, left, and Mayor Carolyn Goodman take photos in front of neon signage for Stevens' new downtown Las Vegas project Circa Resort & Casino on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, in Las Vegas. Derek Stevens and his brother Greg currently co-own the 18 Fremont project, D Las Vegas, Downtown Las Vegas Events Center and Golden Gate Hotel & Casino. Benjamin Hager Las Vegas Review-Journal
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The VIP check in area at Circa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @benjaminhphoto
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Gambling-themed art lines the walls of the high limit gaming area at Circa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @benjaminhphoto
Modern art work lines the walls at Circa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @benjaminhphoto
9
Number of stories of the Garage Mahal, a transportation hub across Main Street from Circa
982
Number of parking spaces at Garage Mahal
The roulette table in the high limit gaming area at Circa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @benjaminhphoto
5
Number of restaurants in Circa
6
Number of bars in Circa, including the rooftop Legacy Club
1,350
Number of slot machines on the casino floor
2
Number of stories of the casino
A view of Vegas Vickie during a tour of Circa, the first from-the-ground-up casino built in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years, on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
49
Number of table games on the casino floor
3
Number of stories of the centerpiece Circa Sportsbook
1,000
Capacity of the stadium-style sportsbook that owner Derek Stevens said will be one of the largest in the world
A view of the Circa Sportsbook from the second level during a tour of Circa, the first from-the-ground-up casino built in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years, on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
1,500
Number of employees initially hired at Circa
974
Square footage of Fuel, a retail outlet on the first floor of the casino
4,575
Square footage of Circa Collections, a retail outlet near Stadium Swim
Stadium Swim
Stadium Swim, which features a 40-foot tall, 14 million pixel screen, at Circa, the first from-the-ground-up casino built in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years, on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
6
Number of tiered pools at Stadium Swim
15,000
Square footage of wet space at Stadium Swim
Stadium Swim, which features a 40-foot tall, 14 million pixel screen, at Circa, the first from-the-ground-up casino built in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years, on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @csstevensphoto
125
Square footage of screen at Stadium Swim
30
Number of cabanas and super cabanas that can host up to 25 guests
4,000
Capacity of Stadium Swim
337
Number of chaise lounges
38
Number of daybeds
8
Number of poolside boxes
Key dates

August 2015

Derek and Greg Stevens, owners of the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate, acquire and close the Las Vegas Club on Main Street.

April 2016

The Stevens brothers say they’ll build a third hotel-casino after acquiring a building that housed two small casinos — La Bayou and Mermaids — and the Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch adult entertainment club. The three provided land for the project.

June 2017

The process of removing the neon sidekick to Vegas Vic and the 24 big letters that spell out “Las Vegas Club” on signs from the venerable casino started a seven-month demolition.

October 2017

Demolition begins on the Las Vegas Club, La Bayou, Mermaids and the Topless Girls of Glitter Gulch.

Dec. 2017

Demolition continues into mid-December with the final clearing of the ground not expected until early 2018.

Jan. 10, 2019

Stevens announces the name of the resort will be Circa. He said at the time the Circa name is a nod to the great eras of the past, and the resort will deliver a new experience built on original old-school Vegas hospitality.

Feb. 19, 2019

The first from-the-ground-up casino project in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years breaks ground.

April 2019

The project starts to go vertical with first dozens of concrete pours.

October 2019

Stevens assures the project will open in 2020.

March 2020

Construction work crews are slowed by new social distancing requirements brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic. A slow-moving construction elevator can only take four workers at a time to the upper floor forcing Stevens to make some strategic changes in the opening.

June 18, 2020

Circa’s final metal beam is hoisted and put into place.

July 23, 2020

Circa gets its first exterior sign bearing its name with a giant “C” and “irca” being lifted to the top of the resort by YESCO Sign Co. crews.

August 2020

Circa receives clearance to open the casino and hotel rooms separately with the grand opening scheduled for Oct. 28, 2020, and hotel rooms opening in December 2020.

Sept. 24, 2020

Stevens and his team receive final, unanimous approval for licensing by the Nevada Gaming Commission.
Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.
This story has been updated to reflect the correct number of floors Circa has..

Watch Circa grow — from dirt to 35 floors in 20 months



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