LAS VEGAS -- Although some agents and their clients might question
the concept of Las Vegas as a family destination, Circus Circus has
carved out a real family-friendly niche.
And why not?
Despite the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's
reluctance to hang the "family destination" tag on the city, family
travel to Las Vegas was up in 2001 from the previous year, even as
overall visitors numbers declined for the first time since
Last year, guests under age 21 accounted for 12% of the city's
35 million visitors -- about 420,000 visitors who cannot even set
foot on the casino floors.
"Hotels understand the financial logic of creating
family-friendly attractions as more families vacation together,"
said a spokesman for Circus Circus.
How successful a family sell is the property?
Jack Richards, president and chief executive officer of American
West Vacations in Phoenix, said that for the first six months of
this year, his company booked 12,000 travelers to Circus Circus --
and most of that business was families -- with an average of three
persons to each room.
"Circus Circus is a very easy sell for families because of the
attractions," he said.
Likely he means the Adventure Dome Theme Park that's at the heart
of Circus Circus' following. The park has 21 rides and many
attractions that appeal to all ages, including adults.
Although admission is free, prices for individual rides range
from $5 for "premium rides" to $3 for "family and junior rides."
All-day passes are available for $18.95, and junior passes (those
under 36 inches) are $13.95.
Tots can ride minibumper cars, the Ferris wheel and carousel.
For teens, there are roller coasters, laser tag and two IMAX ride
The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays through
Thursdays; to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays; and to 8 p.m. on
The Midway Stage, free to guests, presents such classic circus
acts as trapeze artists and jugglers, from 11 a.m. to midnight
Circus Circus runs no special promotions for families, believing
their prices and attractions are compelling enough, according to
Room rates are between $39 and $89 for a standard room; cots and
rollaway beds are free. Commission is 10%.
All of the restaurants offer children's menus, and Circus Circus
has a daily dinner buffet for $6.99.
Other family attractions in town range from youth centers and
shark reefs to water parks to keep kids occupied and
Kaleel Sakakeeny covers family travel for Travel Weekly. He
can be reached at [email protected].
The kids are all right
LAS VEGAS -- Several licensed baby-sitting agencies here offer
the services of CPR-certified child providers. Some sitters will
come to the hotel room. The following services are available 24
hours a day:
• A1 Babysitting Service
Rates: $40 for the first four hours; $8 each additional
Phone: (702) 382-0432.
• Around the Clock
Rates: $48 for the first four hours; $10 each additional
Phone: (702) 365-1040.
• Four Seasons Babysitting Services
Rates: $30 to $40 for first four hours; $7 to $9 each
Phone: (702) 384-5848.
• Grandma Thompson's Romp 'n' Play
Rates: $5 per hour, minimum of five hours.
Phone: (702) 735-0176.
Book it: Circus Circus
Phone: (800) 634-3450
Rates: $39 to $89 per night