Sources Say Circus Circus Las Vegas is Sold

Circus Circus, long considered the red-headed stepchild of the MGM Resorts family, has reportedly been sold. All due respect to red-heads. And stepchildren.

We have it on good authority the sale of Circus Circus casino is a done deal. It’s unknown when an official announcement of the sale will be made.

We first got wind Circus Circus was in play for a sale back in August 2019. See below if you’re not on the Twitters.

Circus Circus sold

We have the best sources, ever.

It seems there were two phases to Circus Circus being shopped to potential buyers.

In the first round, the sale was to include one hotel tower and the Rock in Rio site (Las Vegas Festival Grounds). There we apparently no takers for that offering.

Next up was a sale of the entire resort, including the adjacent Las Vegas Festival Grounds.

Our sources say the Circus Circus sale encompassed a whopping 102 acres.

The rumored buyer is Phil Ruffin, owner of TI.

Circus Circus sale

The lights that launched a thousand engorgements.

Plans for Circus Circus are unknown, but a sale bodes well for the likelihood of further investment in sprucing up the place, including what’s likely to be a much-needed renovation of the rooms.

Circus Circus has long served a customer other Strip resorts don’t, extreme value seekers and families.

Despite its profitability, MGM Resorts has never quite known what to do with this offbeat casino that doesn’t fit neatly into the company’s portfolio.

A casino we love, by the way. See our 10 reasons to love Circus Circus.

Steakhouse Circus Circus

“Whatever you do, don’t touch the steakhouse!” we all said in unison.

The sale of Circus Circus will provide a bump to MGM Resorts’ pool of cash as it continues to pursue its MGM 2020 initiative to increase profitability.

Additional investment (or any, really) in Circus Circus by MGM Resorts just wasn’t in the cards, so a sale makes a lot of sense.

Stay tuned for confirmation and an official announcement about the sale of Circus Circus.

You heard it here first!

Update (9/20/19): Here’s the latest on the sale of Circus Circus via Bloomberg. The publication says about MGM Resorts, “An accord to sell the resort could be announced as part of a larger transaction involving the company’s real estate portfolio, which also includes the Bellagio and the flagship MGM Grand.”

Update (10/15/19): The sale of Circus Circus for $825 million to TI owner Phil Ruffin has been confirmed. Try to act surprised. Some have asked if Circus Circus will be torn down. While some suspected Circus Circus would be imploded, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Ruffin plans to run Circus Circus, and will probably find a partner for the festival grounds.

43 thoughts on “Sources Say Circus Circus Las Vegas is Sold

  1. Jason Ghiselin

    Can I start the speculation? Seems like a good fit for Boyd. Gets them back on The Strip overnight…with a caliber of property they can run in their sleep. There’s a good chance they’re using the same “off-brand” loyalty/rewards card software Circus has (I don’t think they were never merged into M Life).

    1. Greg M

      As a side bet if it’s Boyd, I think they will rebrand the place as Stardust or Eschelon. With the return of Sahara, Stardust makes more sense.

    2. SteveGustafson

      No they weren’t merged in. I stayed there in June. My m life card was no good. I had to use an old Circus Circus players club card from the 90s

  2. James

    Hope whoever bought it they bring Slots of Fun back to what it used to be like. Fun small casino wit great table games that were not 15.00 dollars a pop, great cocktail service and a full house all the time. And get rid of Subway and bring back original food counter.

    1. Robert Powers

      SAF will never be the same. And I say keep subway. Employees still get $5 footlongs lol. It’s the only thing that makes money there (in SAF). Hopefully they improve the edr. Miss the cooks line ☹️. I guess we find out Monday if it sold haha.

  3. Victor

    Wynn kept the Golf Course. Now they have what they wanted a full 102 acres for a ride & water theme park.
    But it will be pricey. There counting on parents to shell out the money. It’s all a shell game anyway.

  4. PS

    As one that has spent my youth on that midway (and thousands of dollars in quarters I might add) I hope it remains. I have no fault with updating like new paint, new carpet, a carousel that actually turns and general maintenance that seems to have gone by the wayside for decades, all of that is needed. But, at its core, I hope it stays the same. I can’t imagine the Lucky the Clown sign being replaced with a generic LED board, please no!!!

    By the way, in case you didn’t know, the midway doesn’t accept cash anymore, you have to put your money on a card now.

  5. Mary Pope

    I’m a senior but I still love Circus Circus’s midway. It’s got an upbeat fun vibe and hints of old Vegas – not like the money grubbing new Vegas ( which I luv too because it’s so over the top).

    Renovate, but don’t destroy this tarnished gem. When you’re there you feel like a kid again. Priceless.

  6. John Delibos

    I only hope and pray it’s Boyd Gaming. They know how to run properties that appeal to a broad customer base. I always felt bad about what happened to the company at Echlon. The downturn really dealt a great family run gaming company a raw deal. This would give credence to the the idea that the nice guy can get the girl/guy.

  7. JackT

    I stayed there in 1982. Unfortunately, it hasn’t changed much. In a place like the Las Vegas STRIP, that is unheard of. I cannot imagine that it is still profitable, with all the much better offerings on the STRIP. Even if you have young kids, Excalibur is a better choice than this run down Circus Circus. But, on the other hand, LOYALTY is an admirable quality. 2-3-4 generations coming to Circus Circus.

    1. JM

      It still churns out cash every year which not much else in that location would manage. It has a target demographic (not you) and markets/prices correctly for them. Give it some credit – what other sort of property could have kept going when surrounded by wasteland?

  8. BR

    It has long been MGM’s cash cow. It has been paid for 10 times over. But it does not fit their portfolio. Oh well. So long clown.

  9. ringleader

    they should give the trend of everything looking the same the finger and add more/better theming!! or least get a decent buffet lmao hopefully they replace the garage elevators they got to be among the worst in the world!!

    1. not steve wynn

      say what you want about the 90’s area theming the casinos did but they were each there own identity for the most part…. not like the current era where most the shit just seems to be the same looking lack of uniqueness/character… its boring when same shit over and over…# bring back themed unique propertys!!! lol luxor since they changed feels like a airport lmfao Also whoever buys the circus circus hopefully will do right by the old girl and not do like they did to the sahara or heck the tropicanna. The trop gives off a hospital vibe way way to much white its litterally vanilla, its an insult to the history of the property to sterilize it like that, should be bright and in your face, in a good way!! lol

  10. Coop

    Eldorado Resorts?. I assume since Eldorado owns Circus Circus Reno they have a play here. Either I am a moron or the only one paying attention. Vote below…LOL


      Steve Wynn is a ‘persona non-gratie’ in Nevada gaming after he had more than his nails buffed by that manicurist and many, many others.

  11. 081984

    I worked for Circus Circus for 24 1/2 years, once MGM took over the place, employees were never the same. Now Circus Circus looks like a big indoor swap meet, fire hazard. The hallways are crowded with way too many vendors selling the same cheap crap. I pray that the new owner (s) when officially get to take over that some of the vendors (if not all) will be eliminated (clear up the hallways. Yes bring back the original employee dining room for the employees.

  12. Dr Rock

    I love circus circus . Its one place that takes me back in time when I was little . My sister and I would spend all our time there when our parents were gambling during our vacation every summer in the 70s and 80s. I took my own kids there and now my grand kids . Circus circus will always have a place in my heart. I hope they never tear it down !!!! They tore down Wet n Wild on the Strip which everybody loved and then they took Scandia away . I guess I’m a little bit sentimental 🙂


    Who says MGM wouldn’t give up its cash cow? They’ve made one bad decision after another for years, sacrificing long-term customer good will, reputation, and stability for short-term profit over and over again. This falls right into line.
    But whoever buys it, I think changing the name would be another mistake. The place has fifty years of name recognition. What they should do is renovate and clean up, highly publicized of course, and then call it the “NEW Circus Circus.”
    Of course, that would take money….

  14. Mr Grimm

    I hope they don’t tear it down, I grew up in vegas and it was one of my favorite places to go. I would love to go back soon and see it again for memories sake and hope it stays for many more generations to enjoy! Give it a facelift but keep the place the same as it used to be back in the ’80s fix everything that needs to be fixed and it will be a truely unique experience for all to enjoy i remember as a kid being up on the midway looking down at all the adults at the time playing the adult games as I used to call them lol. Great memories for me from there. its been over 20 years since I have been back to vegas where I call home even though I havent lived there since my early teen years but I grew up there through the 80s and part of the 90s

  15. JonJon J

    I have been hearing for years how good the steak house at Circus Circus is, so I went… and will never go or recommend again.

    Upon entering, the Manager or Maitre D was sitting at the bar smoking a cigarette……… and we had to wait for the hostess to greet us. We had a reservation. We were seated and by the way we had a reservation for when the place first opened so we were the first people there. After being seated, we waited and waited and waited to be approached by anyone, finally I grabbed someone passing by and asked for them to send our server over. Waited longer, to the point was getting angry. The server finally showed up and was obviously pre occupied with something else, kept asking us, “what was that you wanted”. By this time, we still had no cocktail, no water, no appetizers. My inner gorilla was screaming, but i was with my wife and wanted to keep my cool. More time passes, nothing. I finally get up and take two glasses and fill them with water and return to my booth. They saw me, they said nothing.

    I could continue rambling about the worst place on the strip to eat but wont.

    Lastly, the food was just OK at best. I would never recommend this place. Whoever said, dont touch the steak house is an idiot in my opinion.


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