It's one of the most recognizable casino names, Circus Circus. It's not the pink monstrosity it once was, but there are still little kids everywhere. Because of the name recognition and relatively cheap rates, Circus Circus draws people for their first trip to Vegas. It's perfect if you're traveling with small children that you want to leave unattended.
Room Quality: The tower rooms are decent, especially in the newest, the West Tower. The amenities include fancy beds and flat-screen TVs. Skyrise Tower rooms are almost as nice but also the most garish and brightly colored. They aren't horrible, just bright and colorful. The Casino Tower has muted colors, dark woods, attractive furniture and bedspreads.
Service Quality: If you have kids, this place offers the amenities you want, and lots of them, like arcades, swimming pools, and pizza restaurants.
What You Get Bottles of in the Bathroom: The usual: shampoo/conditioner and a bottle of lotion. What you do with the bottle of lotion is your business. They don't even shape the bottles like clowns or pink ponies or nothing.
Clientele: Families, families, children and people who love children.
How's the Pool? The pool areas are okay, nowhere near the nicest on the Strip, but if you're a kid, they're fantastic. They are usually a nuisance for adults because of the number of kids.
Resort Fee: (What is this?)
$7.95 a night. You get wireless internet, two rides in the Adventuredome, chips and salsa, two midway games, two free drinks, two fitness passes and local and toll-free calls.
Table Games: Blackjack, craps, roulette, Let It Ride, Pai Gow, and a few oddball games like Casino War! They have a couple fairly substantial pit areas, and these are one of the few places where you can avoid the kiddies.
Bet Minimums: Games mostly start at $5 but they may have a $3 table if you can find it. Watch out for those single deck BJ games, because they pay you a dismal 6:5 on blackjack and double on ten or 11 only-Avoid! Craps has lousy double odds. Roulette chips can be had for a buck with a $4 min.
Machines: Slots from a penny on up to $25. Very little full-pay poker, but some varieties of slots exclusive to Circus Circus, with special circus themes. Oh, boy!
Cocktails? Fair. Maybe this place's social conscience keeps them from getting the parents too drunk, but we doubt it. Rather, we suspect that they don't want to give out too much of the free stuff.
Who Gets Comps? The Circus Player's Club is decent in cash, better in comps. At the tables, you better be playing $25 hands if you want any comps to rack up. Also be exceptionally polite. No burping! But if you absolutely must, burp quietly. And if you absolutely must burp the alphabet, do all 26 letters. It's rude not to.
Blue Iguana Express: It's really a fast food joint and it serves tacos, burritos, nachos and that sort of stuff.
Circus Buffet: Advertised as "one of Las Vegas' biggest buffets," this used to be one of the worst in town, but now it's a new and improved version. The prices are low.
Garden Grill: Not much distinguishes this place from just another coffee shop, except that it's open for dinner only. Typical deep fried stuff, sandwiches, a wide range of dishes that include Italian, Mexican and Chinese.
Rock and Ritas: This is a bar with loud music and what they call a party atmosphere. The special is the flair bartenders who dance and throw stuff in the air.
THE Steakhouse: Considered by many to be among the best in Vegas, mostly because of the meat, not the appetizers (although, they now have tapas) and salads. In an elegant room, they serve big steaks, aged properly and cooked to perfection.
Other choices include the little coffee place called Barista's Bagels and More, Krispy Kreme, McDonalds and a Pizzeria.
Adventuredome: There is a huge pink-glass dome behind the hotel, covering up a mini-theme park. It contains a good-but-short roller coaster, water flume ride, bumper cars, a motion simulator ride, wandering clowns who will paint your face or scare the crap out of you, depending on how you feel about clowns, and several other amusements for the kiddies.
Circus Acts: Over the main casino, under the big-top, circus acts are performed daily from 11 a.m. to midnight. Your young children will enjoy them. We've seen lots of acts involving trained dogs, and Chinese acrobats contorting themselves. The music is a three-piece live combo that grinds out music.
Midway: Lots of the same games you find at carnivals and video games ring the circus area on the upper deck.
Number of TVs: About 33, mostly for race betting. There is one big screen in the mix.
Number of Seats: About 45 seats around tables and four big comfy booths. Hurray for booths. There are also four desk seats with individual TVs.
How Many Betting Windows? Seven windows with electronic boards for odds and lines.
Free Drinks? Not anymore, or at least the drink service is inconsistent. Don't rely on it.
Snack Bar? No, but the Casino Cafe coffee shop is right nearby.
Minimum Wager: $5 sports, $2 for racing
Other Notes: This sports book is noisy and small. It's just off the casino floor and it has no enclosure.
Number of Tables: There are seven tables, but usually they don't have anyone playing on more than a few.
Comfort of Chairs: Average.
Closed Room or Open to Casino? It's an open room off the casino floor with glass partitions and pretty close to the sports book.
Game Spreads and Limits: Hold-em at $3-$6: and No Limit at $1-$2. The no-limit isn't always going.
Beginner Games or Classes? No classes, but the friendly poker staff will teach you the basics if you ask nicely. They will not help you cheat the other players, even if you ask really, really nicely about a million times. Trust us.
How Crowded is the Room? There are always at least one or two games going. On the weekends or busy weeknights, you might have a short wait for a game, but it's rarely more than fifteen minutes.
Comps? Plenty of free drinks, and a $4 food credit (plus line pass - wahoo!) for four hours of play. Also, five hours a day will get you casino rate.
How Good Are the Players? The quality of players varies wildly. There are some older, solid locals and regulars, then there are tourists who have never played before in their lives.
What Else Do I Need to Know? The games have bad beat jakckpots and hand of the day jackpots. They also offer single-table tournaments and a daily no-limit tournament.