Seriously, I have to stop doubting Derek Stevens and his opening date of 2020 for his new casino project in downtown; The Circa.
After I first saw the plans for the new resort, I saw his timeline and that big hole he had created, then rechecked his proposed timeline of late 2020. I thought the wiz kid of Fremont Street had finally smoked a few too many… There was no way he was going to make that deadline for the size of the project he was planning for. Especially in the crowded downtown corridor.
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe Derek is the second coming of Benny Binion and Steve Wynn rolled into one with a dash of Jacki Gaughn for good measure. His new look at the old town is reshaping the Downtown area and waking up a few people to the idea that Downtown Vegas may still be worth saving. He has really breathed new life back into a stagnant and ignored marketplace.
Other than the silly idea of shutting down the Bay City Diner, the man has worked some real magic on transforming a large section of property he and his brother own along the downtown freak zone. More commonly known as The Fremont Street Experience (FSE). While also rejuvenating the middle-class market for Vegas tourists the MGM dominated Strip unceremoniously booted out a few years ago.
Last year, he headed up the demolition of the Las Vegas Cub, the Golden Goose, and Mermaids. Telling us not to worry, he was going to open up this gigantic resort called Circa Resort in 2020. Seeing the drawings and seeing the hole in the ground, trying to match the size of the hole to the size of the project and the deadline. I was a bit concerned. Again, thinking this time the wizard of Vegas had bitten off more than he could chew.
Mega Dump Vegas Style
Now I am thinking I may have to eat those words as we now know what his secret sauce is: Do everything in Mega Dumps! Silly me, this is Derek Stevens we are talking about. He has a knack for making everything have a “Vegas” flare to it. Anyplace else you would line up some concrete trucks and start dumping. But this isn’t Iowa, This is Vegas!
Here, you don’t just line up some concrete mixing trucks and start dumping. You make it a spectacle. You turn it into a big deal! You take the start of a very busy week for Las Vegas tourism, close down part of downtown for 12 straight hours. Then you line up 2o5 concrete mixing trucks. Surround your project with concrete pumpers and plenty of workers. Then you just start pouring 2,050 cubic yards of concrete to set the foundation!
That’s Doing it Vegas Style!!
For you number geeks… Not only was that 2,050 cubic yards of concrete poured. It included 371 Tons Of Rebar In The Pile Cap On Top Of 50 Drilled Piers going 120 Feet In The Ground. Unlike the Encore, I don’t think this structure is going to be moving much once it’s built!
The 1.25-million-square-foot 777-room resort, casino, and spa will be a well-balanced mix of assorted tourist amenities including “immersive culinary, entertainment and gaming experiences”. Not to mention the largest sportsbook in the country.
(All Images Courtesy of Tom Donoghue Photography)