Prepare for fun, action and bright colorful lighting at Circus Circus Reno’s recently remodeled Midway. Chances are strong for a bag full of stuffed-animal winnings, too. Nearly every employee stashes away clear bags to hand out to players who need a place to store their winnings from the $1 and $2 Midway games. As part of renovations, Whac-a-Mole and Pixel Play are the two newest cash games.
“The new Midway is a place where you can go to have a great time no matter what your age,” said Glenn Carano, general manager of the Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus Reno. “We have received outstanding feedback from our customers on its reinvention, and it gives us great pride to have this entity as part of the Eldorado Resorts Reno properties.”
Changes to the Midway, located next to the Silver Legacy, began last year and finished prior to Thanksgiving. The changes come from a $50 million re-investment that Eldorado Resorts kicked off in 2016 and plans to continue for several more years downtown.
“Part of the goal of the company is to provide its best for its guests,” said Sara Robbins, Eldorado Resorts publicist. “As part of this, Eldorado made a commitment to invest $50 million in renovations to its three Reno properties.”
Fresh paint, new flooring and new lighting now update the Midway. The Midway tent received an upgrade, too, while the circus vibe at the Midway transformed from traditional American to a more whimsical European feel.
According to visitors, the biggest change in the upgrades is the shift of the stage to a new direction. Previously, the back of the stage faced into the Midway, making it difficult for people to see shows and maneuver around, but the front now looks directly into the Midway. This improves ease of movement at the end of the Midway and increases the opportunity to catch some show right from where people are.
“It’s better this way,” said Logan Saltiban, 12, of Reno, who visited the Midway on a recent Saturday. “The stage would get crowded on the side before. The new design helps so that things are more open and people can move around.”
His aunt, Alisha Nielsen, who visited the Midway with him, said she has been coming since she was a child.
“I like the fact that it sill has some of that older-time feel, but there also are newer games, too,” she said.
Some of the arcade games at the Midway were updated to reflect new trends, Robbins said. Wherever people walk at the Midway, they can expect to see these machines heartedly spitting out tickets. These tickets are tradable at the redemption center, located in the back corner of the Midway, to obtain candy, stuffed animals, kids gadgets, and even a scooter — for 3,000 tickets.
Stuffed animals also can be won right at the dollar games on the Midway, with some games promising a winner every time. At the Camel Races game, players roll a ball into one of several holes, making their camel advance forward when a ball successfully drops in. The first camel to cross the stretch leads to a prize, and employees make the game more invigorating by constantly declaring who is in the lead.
“I think a lot of people are coming down and checking [the new Midway] out,” Robbins said. “The stage was a big change and the equipment for the acts are new.”
The stage shows at the Midway feature clowns, acrobats and artists. On a recent Saturday, an acrobat lying on her back balances an umbrella on the top of her foot before tossing it up into the air and catching it. On the weekends, stage acts start every 45 minutes, beginning at 11 a.m. Showtimes are different during the week, so be sure to check out the Circus Circus Reno website if your plan is to catch a Midway act.
“It used to be a little cramped in here, but now it’s a little more spacious,” said Lucas Paredes, 13, of San Jose, California, who recently visited the Midway with his family for the weekend. His family often comes to Reno, which means four to six hours of play for him at the Midway. His bag is full of animals and tickets, attesting to the skill of a return Midway player.
Opportunities for fun at the Midway extend beyond just games — looking down upon the Midway from an elevated walkway is a series of carnival-type carts. Players can get their pictures taken, have their faces painted or buy playful trinkets or objects.
A construction wall is currently erected beyond that, but Eldorado Resorts has the ultimate plan of opening a new food court, with a Panda Express, Habit Burger Grill, and Piezetta Pizza Kitchen, by Memorial Day weekend. The grill and pizza kitchen will be the first of those chains to locate in Northern Nevada. Other Circus Circus Reno renovations planed by Eldorado Resorts include room updates and a new sports bar and lounge for the Circus Circus Race and Sports Book.
“It was time for the property to have some love,” Robbins said. “The feedback has been very positive. There is a lot of excitement about it. There are people who are now making it a point to stay at Circus Circus on their next trip to Reno.”