Billionaire Phil Ruffin Adds Las Vegas Icon Circus Circus To His Growing Empire

Phil Ruffin has added the celebrated Circus Circus hotel to his portfolio. The less-known personage acquired the property from MGM for $825 million as he sought to expand his real estate and handcart business fortunes.

According to Phil Ruffin, the hotel adds to the Las Vegas middle-class and family tourists’ market. Over the years, the city has been famous for its glitz and glamour. Las Vegas provides luxurious experiences to international visitors, thanks to its great establishments like Bellagio, Four Seasons, and Wynn.   

The Circus Circus deal includes the following:

  • The 3900-room casino hotel
  • A 10-acre RV park
  • The Adventuredome theme park
  • The neighboring Slots-A-Fun Casino
  • The 37-acre fiesta grounds

Circus Circus is not the only property the tycoon has acquired from MGM. He also purchased Treasure Island, a 2900-room hotel, for $775 million back in 2009. Phil Ruffin said that he highly respects Jim Murren and the MGM team. He added that their relationship started back in the days of Kirk Kerkorian.

Adding to the Empire

Ruffin is not as famous as his fellow Las Vegas magnates Sheldon Adelson and Wynn. Neither is he as popular as some late titans like Kirk Kerkorian and Howard Hughes. Ruffin’s friend and partner in Las Vegas’ Trump International Hotel, Donald Trump, is more popular than him. However, Ruffin is worth approximately $3.2 billion and is among the world’s top billionaires.

Unlike his fellows, Phil Ruffin is still expanding his empire at his age. He was keen to buy Circus Circus hotel last fall when MGM announced the sale as part of their master plan to target new growth opportunities.

Ruffin said that he had been trying to acquire the property for some time. When MGM finally announced the sale, he made an offer, thinking it was preemptive. He turned out to be the highest bidder.

Planned Renovation

Although the 1968 hotel looks a bit worn out, Phil Ruffin insists it was a bargain. He claimed that building a new casino hotel in the present world would cost at least a million dollars per room. The total cost would come to $4 billion.

Meanwhile, Ruffin and his team are planning to revamp the Circus Circus hotel bit by bit to ensure that only a few rooms are out of service at any particular time. They want to add a theater with additional 2,000 seats at an estimated cost of $11 million. The Adventuredome, which hosts 2.5 million visitors annually, will also get an upgrade. The team will also redo the Slots-A-Fun.

“A Big Piece of Dirt”

Ruffin acquired 102 acres of land from the deal. To him, it is a big piece of land. He plans to use part of it to construct a water park with sand beaches, a wave pool, and a lazy river. The water attraction will be similar to that found at Mandalay Bay.

Future Purchase Plans

Ruffin is interested in acquiring properties from Caesars Entertainment and MGM in the future. He claimed that the two companies said they were going to put their properties on sale. Ruffin says his team will acquire whatever comes on the market in its continued efforts to build the company.  

I'm Adam Shaw, Senior Editor and one of the first members at VegasSlots. I'm a massive football sports fan but also love casinos and occasional trips to Las Vegas. Gaming runs in the family

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