University of Nevada students say goodbye to Circus Circus housing


Some students at the University of Nevada-Reno (UNR) were just getting comfortable in their new homes at the Circus Circus casino in Reno, but the adventure is quickly coming to an end.  An agreement between UNR and the Eldorado Resorts-owned property after an explosion at the university last July saw students begin to set up their dorm rooms at the casino in October, and it’s now time to return to reality.  Work to repair the damage to the college is almost complete, and UNR, much to the displeasure of Eldorado, won’t be renewing the housing contract.

university-of-nevada-students-say-goodbye-to-circus-circus-housingA boiler room explosion at the university took out portions of two buildings last July, resulting in the university having to scramble to find adequate accommodations for 1,300 students.  Officials found the right solution in one of the hotel towers at Circus Circus, just five blocks from campus, and it quickly became known as Wolf Pack Tower.  But, all good things must come to an end.

Nye Hall, one of the two school dorms that were damaged in the blast, is going to reopen this August, according to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  With that being the case, there’s no need to renew the contract with Eldorado, and UNR is going to temporarily rely on private apartments until the students can begin their trek back to their old way of life.  The Uncommon Reno and Canyon Flats communities will provide 838 beds for the 2020-21 school year, the outstanding number needed to ensure all students have adequate living quarters and aren’t sleeping on park benches.

UNR’s insurance claim is going to be able to cover the repairs to the school’s damage, as well as provide for the temporary housing, as well.  The cost for the sleeping quarters is going to come in right at $10.1 million, which is much lower than the $21.67 million UNR gave to Circus Circus in last year’s agreement.  However, both Uncommon Reno and Canyon Flats are new communities, and construction isn’t expected to be complete until just ahead of the anticipated move-in date this August.

The 838 students who remain displaced are those who had been living in the other dorm that was affected by the blast, Argenta Hall.  It won’t be ready to go until sometime next year.

Not only did Circus Circus receive a welcome injection of cash from the agreement with UNR, it also received additional perks.  The casino was able to take the $21.67 million and not pay the standard 13.5% hotel room tax since the hotel tower was temporarily defined as “transient lodging” for the school.  Transient lodging is exempt from the tax.