Throughout my adult life, Las Vegas has been my destination about eight times when on vacation. Each time has been with different friends or family and we stayed in different places. I’m not sure I’ve done the same thing twice. Just this May, my ninth Sin City trip was once again going to be all new. This time, instead of just visiting the Fremont Street area and the Fremont Street Experience, I would be staying there. The Strip hotels had been done several times before and seeing what the newest resort/hotel in downtown was offering, The Circa Resort & Casino was the new Vegas experience I was looking for. I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s how it went.
Where to Stay –
Hotel: Circa Resort & Casino, 8 Fremont Street Experience, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Our Thursday to Sunday getaway had us unpacking and relaxing at one of the newest offerings in Sin City, Circa Resort & Casino. Located on the northwest corner of Fremont Street, one of my favorite areas in Las Vegas, the Circa has a phenomenal and commanding presence that cannot be denied. The resort could be seen from the window of the limo from the airport, one of Circa’s custom limousines.
Our 52nd story Suite had amazing views of the mountains to the north which provided me great sunsets and sunrises, when I was there to see them and when I left the shades open at night (which is something I always do when in Las Vegas). The rooms on the south side of the resort looked down onto the strip. Every Las Vegas building could be seen from Circa and every once can see Circa from their building.
Back to the Suite – it was spacious having a lounge / bar / living room area with a Murphy bed as well as a separate king sized bedroom. The bathroom was palatial with room to spare. I knew that three nights would not be long enough to enjoy my room. The rich deep blues and golds with the darker wood shades were a great design choice.
If you do need more room to meet with friends or family, check out a hospitality suite where you can hold functions or get togethers that have stunning views of their own.
Experiences at Circa –
The hotels and casinos on Fremont Street are not known for hosting shows or large performances … yet. Currently, the Fremont Street Experience on Fremont Street is the show, but one reason why circa stands out is that it offers other things than gambling.
Make some plans with friends new and old to spend a sunny afternoon at Stadium Swim. Either a private cabana or just relax in one of the many pools at the Stadium. It has been named the country’s largest pool destination for sports lovers as it has a 14-million megapixel screen that has the technology to never have a glare. Food and drinks are great here so make a day of it watching sports or sun-kissed bodies. The dj was pretty good, too.
If you’re not a pool fan or a card gambler, maybe hopping over to Circa Sportsbook, the world’s largest sportsbook, will give you the entertainment you desire. With a multitude of gams playing all at once and the change to bet on them all, it looks like people are just sitting in front of a massive television, but there is a great deal going on. The three-story venue is a sight to see and experience.
Legacy Club Sunset Package + Cocktail Demo
We chose to save this activity for the end our weekend. Heading up to one of the higher observation decks in Las Vegas to the Legacy Club where they offer a very enticing Sunset Package from Circa’s 35th floor.
Enjoy a panoramic view of the Las Vegas valley from the comfort of one of our firepits that seat groups of 2-12. Receive your choice of two handcrafted specialty cocktails from our cultivated menu, along with a champagne toast at sunset, and more.
Where to Eat –
If you go to Las Vegas and don’t eat well, you’re doing something wrong. And if you’re counting calories while you’re there, well, just stop. See where it’s busy, read some reviews and go from there. With the addition of the Circa, so many great food destinations were added, too. What is also great is that Circa owner Derek Stevens seemed to have brought with him the best food offerings from the Detroit, Michigan area, where he is from and where he got his start in the automobile parts industry.
Barry’s Downtown Prime (Executive Chef Barry S. Dakake)
Every Vegas destination/resort/hotel does seem to have a steak house of some kind as it’s big competition to have THE steak house people will go out of their way to visit. With table-side preparations, a range of classic cocktails, and amazing steaks prepared by a Las Vegas culinary legend, Barry’s Downtown Prime had no problem with traffic flow as it lived up to its hype. Take a tour of the restaurant’s website to see the variety of dining options like The Sultan’s Table, The Chef’s Table, The Garden Room, The Sabre Room, The Mint Room, and many more, allowing repeat visitors a multitude of dining experiences.
Saginaw’s (Owner Paul Saginaw)
You will find many of the dining options right off the casino floor. This is true for Saginaw’s, a great delicatessen that gives you a big Jewish hug and fills your belly with all the best versions of your deli favorites. From Matzo Balls, reubens, brisket, and pastrami sandwiches, and latkes, chopped liver, it was first hard to choose what to eat, but even harder to stop eating what was presented. Michigan restaurateur Paul Saginaw makes, lives, and breathes Saginaw’s Delicatessen. For breakfast or lunch or breakfast all day, don’t forget to get a pickle.
Victory Burger & Wings Co. (brother and sister Chris Sotiropoulos & Grace Keros)
Circa has a great sports presence in Las Vegas and in the world. With that, there needs to be a great sports bar and Victory Burger & Wings Co. is such the place. Overlooking the property’s massive sportsbook (place where you can watch multiple games and bet on sports from all over). Owners Chris Sotiropoulos and Grace Keros are third-generation owners of Detroit’s 103-year-old American Coney Island. Another business Circa owner and creator Derek Stevens was able to bring out from Michigan to become a part of his Circa family. Burgers are amazing, the wings are so flavorful and plump (this coming from a non-wing lover), and the breakfast cereal shakes are worth the calories, which we are still not counting.
Not wanting to sit down for a coffee or breakfast or any food 24/7? Jackpots is the perfect solution for some caffeine or a croissant. Located on Circa’s second floor, next to the Garage Mahal bridge entrance and the elevators from your room, nothing could be easier for that recharge or quick bite.
Everyone’s tastes are different and desires change from day to day. I think 8 East would be the spot that I could go to every.single.day. A Pan-Asian restaurant, 8-East electrifies an amazing variety of plates that span influences from Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean and Thai cuisines. The tastes, flavors, textures, spices, heat, comfort, and look of all of these dishes will have your head spinning as the variety is euphoric. Oh, and they offer Whiskey Flights, a must.
Project BBQ + Drinks from Circa Bar
When someone mentions bbq and the “Hogstravaganza” platter all in the same sentence, yes, it is something to check out. Street side and not inside the resort Fremont Street Experience goers know Project BBQ as Fremont Street’s first permanent food truck and a meat-eaters paradise. We found out what the “Hogstravaganza” was as entire Carolina-style roasted pig approached us parade-style. Pig plus a multitude of sides were seen with sparklers, party horns, and fanfare. The experience is one that I would do again. Plan ahead as Project BBQ can do 4 pigs a day. It was very convenient to have the outdoor Circa Bar just beside Project BBQ right on Fremont Street. People watching, great drinks, and some of the best BBQ I have had in ages … happy place.
Of course you can have drinks anywhere in LAs Vegas at any time, but sometimes you just want to sit, and, well, just drink.
Located on Circa’s first floor, adjacent to the lobby and check-in area, right there when you come in, welcoming you into Circa is Vickie and her bar, Vegas Vickie’s. Here, you can kick back and watch the original Vegas cowgirl herself as she kicks her 1-ton / 2,000 pound leg up and down. We think she’s happy being inside. After all, they had to build the casino around the 25-foot gal as no door was big enough for her to fit in. A true photo opp here.
Yes, I used all caps on the name and this spot is deserving. Have a seat at the 165-foot-long bar MEGA BAR, the official “Nevada’s longest indoor bar.” The BAR anchors the first floor of the casino. This spot is better than the hotel lobby for people watching as it one of the main passages into the Circa Casino from Fremont Street. This might be why you will find the owner of Circa, Derek Stevens here on most nights, many with his wife, and seated in a prime spot to watch downtown’s famous flair bartenders as they send bottles and glasses flying through the air all night long. It’s Vegas, don’t count the drinks, just your chips.
A Great Trip Indeed –
Whenever Las Vegas calls, make sure it’s always for a new and spectacular experience. Break out of the norm, break out of the usual and explore. I have always enjoyed Fremont Street and the Fremont Street Experience, but I have always been set in the path of staying on the strip. With the addition of the Circa Resort and Casino, Fremont Street offers an escalated, new, vibrant choice. Stevens as well owns the oldest casino/hotel on Fremont, the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino located just across the street from Circa, and he owns the D Las Vegas, just on the other end of Fremont. He knows what he is doing, he’s actually a very down to earth man that will give you the time of day and then some. I had a chance to meet him and his Detroit gang and even his wife and was so pleased to see such great people having fun, working together, and producing great offerings that I would love to enjoy again and again.
The revitalization of downtown Las Vegas is strong, alive, and in full motion. It’s an “Experience” to have next time you are planning your Las Vegas vacation. For my 10th trip, I think I might just repeat for once.