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1 location in Circa will allow under-21 guests, Stevens says

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September 29, 2020 By Richard N. Velotta

Everybody knows Derek Stevens plans to open his Circa resort as a 21-and-older property.

What most people don’t know is that there will be one location in the downtown Las Vegas property — Barry’s Downtown Prime restaurant — where under-21s will be able to go.

Stevens told the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday that chef Barry Dakake negotiated in his lease with Circa the exception that enables him to bring younger guests to the restaurant.

Stevens explained that there will be four entry points to Circa — at Fremont and Main streets, at Fremont and First streets, off Ogden Avenue and through the climate-controlled elevated entry from the Garage Mahal — and he figures identification checks at those locations will occupy 20 hours a day at 10 seconds per ID check to do an estimated 72,000 screenings daily.

People with reservations to Barry’s will need a Circa escort to get to the restaurant, the property’s only basement venue.

Commissioners on Thursday spent about an hour questioning Stevens and two of his top-level executives before unanimously approving the licensing of Circa, the first from-the-ground-up casino built in downtown Las Vegas in 40 years.

Licensing approvals also will enable Circa Sports to open a satellite sportsbook at the Tuscany early next year.

The property, which embodies everything Stevens enjoys about Las Vegas, opens its doors to the public Oct. 28.

Thursday’s hearing with commissioners went almost exactly the same as the one with the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Sept. 9.

Stevens regaled commissioners with stories about his early visits to Las Vegas on pleasure trips and to attend conventions. He talked about how he and his brother, Greg, talked gaming and how to finance a casino with his parents at Thanksgiving dinners. He spoke of how much he’s into sports wagering and how his three-story Circa sportsbook will become a landmark in Las Vegas that people will flock to and how the first bet he ever made in Las Vegas was putting down a quarter on a Sigma Derby horse racing game.


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