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Group behind hit Las Vegas shows turning desert town into 'Circus Town'

SPW Nipton_ArtistsArrive.png
Spiegelworld

The production company behind several hit Las Vegas shows bought a dusty desert down an hour south of the Strip and is turning it into a “circus town.” No, really.

Spiegelworld, the company that created Absinthe, Opium and Atomic Saloon Show, purchased the town of Nipton, California, and plans to make it the center of the company’s global operations. The company announced the purchase on Wednesday.

Nipton will host “artists and performers will retreat to dream, create, and undertake unfettered artistic experimentation which will feed into the creation of Spiegelworld’s world-class shows,” they said in a media release.

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Their plans for the town include an accommodation and restaurant experience for a “limited number“ of visitors, an artist-in-residence program and a “spiritual home” for Spiegelworld shows.

Spiegelworld is in the process of reviving a theater in Atlantic City as part of an investment with Caesars Entertainment, as well as the development of Discoshow in Las Vegas and an attraction in New Orleans. Next month, the company will host two comics in Nipton to develop ideas for Las Vegas’ hosting of Formula 1 in November.

“Having a rambunctious circus company purchase a small town may sound like the Schitt’s Creek spin-off series. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. When we visited as guests a few years back, we fell in love with the peacefulness, the vast desert vistas, and the fireside chats with freight train drivers, miners and workers. Jim Eslinger, self-proclaimed mayor of Nipton, warned me that you need to have respect for the Mojave, and the desert will tell you if it is happy or unhappy with what you’re doing,” said Spiegelworld founder Ross Mollison.

“Spiegelworld performers and artists are already embracing the potential of Nipton and are excited to get involved in the creative direction of the town, the restaurant, accommodation, artist retreats and small festivals we plan to present. Nipton will showcase the beauty of our circus family and I simply can’t wait to share that community under the magical desert stars.”

As of May 2021, the town was listed for sale at $2.75 million.

Kristen DeSilva (she/her) is the online editor for Nevada Public Radio. She oversees and writes State of Nevada’s online and social media content.