Reed Travel Features
LAS VEGAS -- Circus Circus Enterprises is making swift progress
in its Masterplan Mile project on the Strip here.
The firm imploded the Hacienda Hotel and Casino on New Year's
Eve to make way for the development of a megaresort as part of the
Circus Circus purchased the 11-story Hacienda and the 73 acres
adjacent to the property in 1995 to enable the firm to expand
southward from its Luxor and Excalibur properties.
When combined with those two, the acquisition gave Circus Circus
one continuous mile of Strip frontage extending from Tropicana
Boulevard to Russell Road.
Under Circus Circus' Masterplan Mile project, the area is slated
to become a multiresort, casino and entertainment development,
which will be unveiled in phases over the next several years.
Eventually, Circus Circus expects to own or control as many as
20,000 hotel rooms on the Masterplan Mile.
Although specific details about the upscale property to be
constructed at the Hacienda site have not been released, Circus
Circus said it will consist of approximately 3,600 rooms and be
connected to a stand-alone, 400-room Four Seasons Hotel, providing
the city's first five-star property.
The luxury Four Seasons property, which is expected to open in
1998, will be owned by Circus Circus.
In addition to Four Seasons, Circus Circus said there is a
possibility that other major players in the casino resort industry
might participate in joint ventures for other developments on the
73 acres next to the Hacienda site.
A groundbreaking date for development of the megaresort at the
Hacienda site has not been set, but the project will represent the
second major phase in the Masterplan Mile project.
The initial phase of the program, which is under way, includes
the expansion and renovation of the firm's Luxor Las Vegas and
Excalibur casino resorts.
The most ambitious effort taking shape is a $240 million project
at the Luxor.
Under the expansion and renovation program, the property added
two stepped, pyramid-shaped hotel towers, which brought 1,948 more
guest rooms on line and increased Luxor's total room count to more
At the existing Luxor pyramid, other features of the initiative
that were to be unveiled with the opening of the tower rooms
included a new front entrance, where the registration desk and VIP
check-in area have been relocated; a tour and travel check-in area
with bus parking; a remodeled Nefertiti's Lounge; a coffee house
called International Grounds, and an IMAX Theatre, which will
feature 3-D movies.
Luxor also is completing various cosmetic enhancements in the
property's interior and is remodeling guest rooms, and it opened a
lounge called the Nile Bar.
The property's Nile River Ride closed, and Luxor is planning to
debut another multimillion-dollar attraction this year.
The expansion program will feature the opening of additional
facilities at the existing Luxor pyramid this year, including two
dining venues, a steakhouse and an Italian restaurant; an
Egyptian-themed, 1,200-seat showroom, where a new stage show called
"Imagine -- A Theatrical Odyssey" will be performed, and a wedding
In the new towers, expansion features expected to debut this
year include 20,000 square feet of additional meeting and
convention space; a 12,000-square-foot spa, and a shopping
Luxor will be connected to Excalibur by an enclosed,
climate-controlled moving walkway, which opens this month.
At Excalibur, an expansion and renovation project also is under
Under the program, the property will add 14 suites, which are
scheduled to open at the beginning of this year, construct meeting
and banquet facilities and make other enhancements.
This month, Excalibur also will begin a major renovation and
redesign of its third floor, where it will create 13,000 square
feet of meeting and banquet space that can accommodate from 25 to
It will be the first time Excalibur offers extensive meeting
facilities; the property expects the addition to boost its appeal
in the group marketplace.
To make way for the third-floor development, which will be
called the Great Hall, the property's gourmet restaurant, Camelot,
will close and be moved from the third floor to the second floor,
where Excalibur's coffee shop currently is located.
The coffee shop, which will be expanded, will be moved to the
casino level, enabling the property to offer all 24-hour outlets on
the casino floor.
The Excalibur wedding chapel also will be moved from the third
floor to the second floor.
The Camelot restaurant is scheduled to reopen in September,
while the wedding chapel will reopen on Valentine's Day.
Outside the Masterplan Mile project, the firm is nearing
completion on a $60 million expansion and renovation project at its
Circus Circus property.
Circus Circus was scheduled to open a 1,000-room hotel tower
last month, boosting the property's room count to 3,774.
The 35-story structure, called the West Tower, is the property's
third hotel tower. It is similar in design to the existing Skyrise
Tower and is situated between Grand Slam Canyon (Circus Circus'
theme park) and Circus Tower.
Under the expansion program, the entranceway to Grand Slam
Canyon was torn out to make way for the new hotel tower, and a new
theme park entrance is located on the second level and is connected
to the promenade.
A new hotel lobby, with valet parking and one central
registration desk for the entire property, is situated on the first
floor of the West Tower.
On the second floor of the West Tower will be a
40,000-square-foot promenade, which will connect all three
The promenade, which debuts this month, will feature 14 retail
outlets and three restaurants: the Promenade Cafe, offering typical
American fare; Stevali's, a casual fine-dining venue offering
Italian specialties, and Comida Rica, a Mexican restaurant.
The Promenade Cafe and Stevali's are additions to the Circus
Circus lineup, while Comida Rica is an existing restaurant in the
property's theme park, which will be connected to the
Within the first half of this year, Circus Circus is scheduled
to complete a variety of other enhancements, including two new
rides at Grand Slam Canyon theme park and approximately 8,000
square feet of additional meeting and banquet facilities.
With the expansions at Luxor and Circus Circus and the opening
last June of the 3,014-room Monte Carlo, a joint venture with
Mirage Resorts, the firm will have debuted 6,000 hotel rooms in
The expansions and renovations, in addition to planned projects,
are expected to cost approximately $1.5 billion.