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Circa offers peek at new convention space — PHOTOS

Visitors at Circa’s new convention and meeting space this week will see the usual lounge seating and high-tech projectors. But there’s something else on the third floor that might catch their attention — an extended-length Cadillac Escalade casually parked in front of the ballroom.

It’s there temporarily to show off the area’s offerings such as easy load-in and load-out for large cargo.

The unveiling of the convention and meeting space on Monday completes the resort’s phase two construction, owner Derek Stevens said during a media preview. The thirteen rooms and 35,000 square feet of ballroom and breakout space will open for operations beginning Sept. 1.

“We always thought there was a need for more hotel rooms downtown, back when we were designing Circa, and we always thought there was a need for more and some higher-tech meeting space downtown,” Stevens said in an interview. “I think you’re going to see and feel one of the best sound systems for meetings and convention space anywhere. We really tried to create something that convention planners, destination management people would really enjoy and feel is useful.”

The meeting rooms have state-of-the-art audio and visual capabilities to meet that demand. The technology includes 16K LU laser projectors, retractable screens, audio tie lines, patchable Ethernet tie lines, strands of patchable single-mode fiber in pairs on LC connectors, quad outlets and LED screens.

The 14,000-square foot Galaxy Ballroom, the largest meeting space, includes full rigging and partition walls. The room is connected to an outdoor terrace overlooking Main Street and Ogden Avenue.

Roster of events

Stevens said his team sought advice from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority when designing the space. One point they learned, he said, was to build easy access to loading areas. So Circa designed an oversized service elevator big enough to hold a vehicle, like the Escalade parked in the lobby, for upcoming preview events.

The space is outfitted to highlight Circa’s mid-century, art deco and modern design by JCJ Architecture and an original design concept by Steelman Partners. The meeting spaces are named after iconic former Las Vegas motels: Galaxy, Starlite, Carousel, Ambassador, La Concha and Bonanza.

Meetings are already booked at the resort, including a 300-person event for a cryptocurrency industry-related client, said Sasha Lee, Circa’s director of sales.

Lee said it’s targeting corporate meetings such as those from Fortune 500 companies, but the floor can switch to hosting sports viewing parties and other large private events. It also wants to create an optional satellite sportsbook area at the front desk, pending gaming commission approval.

Circa’s sister property, the D Las Vegas, also has convention space, but it’s about one-third of the size of Circa’s. Lee said she doesn’t expect much overlap between the two properties because the D’s space is smaller, and it’s in a three-star tier property that focuses on family reunions, balls and smaller group meetings.

“We don’t foresee any kind of cannibalization from Circa and the D because they’re just completely two different demographics,” Lee said.

Stevens hopes that the space will help pad midweek visitation, which has been slower to return from its pandemic-low than weekend and special event visitation.

“What you’re seeing in the last couple of years, which is a little bit unique, is that weekday business in Las Vegas overall has been softer,” he said. “For us, this helps a bit on the weekday business with these 100-to-400-person groups and things like that, that help us utilize the entire asset of the property.”

With phase two days away from opening, Stevens said he and the team plan to study how the space is received before Circa’s future construction begins. The site has several floors of shelled hotel rooms that could become one-bedroom suites, standard rooms or whatever may best fit future demand.

“We need to understand how this investment impacts the future,” Stevens said. “We’re just trying to learn from one phase before you make the next one. That’s kind of where we’re at.”

McKenna Ross is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Contact her at mross@reviewjournal.com. Follow @mckenna_ross_ on Twitter.

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