A resort hotel and a casino, The Bellagio is easily one of the most iconic buildings, let alone casinos, in the world. Situated on the remains of the famous Dunes casino, the Bellagio has become a favourite of film shoots, music videos and other media publicity shoots. The stunning 8 acre artificial lake in front of the building with its musical fountains is an undeniable symbol of opulence and success.
With over 10 000 square meters of gaming space, almost 4000 rooms and more than 10 notable restaurants, the Bellagio is almost a city in itself. With various attractions including clubs and art galleries, it would take a lot of effort to be bored here.
It was the most expensive hotel ever built when it opened, costing at least $1.6 billion. We say at least because this was the original construction cost. It would not be a stretch of the imagination to add at least another $400 million to that figure. The opening night ceremonies alone cost almost $90 million.
The Bellagio was built by Steve Wynn, a legendary Vegas figure. The architects and interior designers are a literal who’s who of the most talented individuals in the industry.
The Poker Rooms
The Bellagio Poker rooms are world famous as the place to play for high rollers. With table limits as high as $8000, it’s no surprise that you will find many of the World Series of Poker players here in a Friday night. Rumours have it that pots regularly exceed $1 million.
The Bellagio has also been host to many televised World Series of Poker games.
The Fountains Of Bellagio
The famous Fountains of Bellagio are water displays timed to music that plays every 30 minutes, or every 15 minutes after 8pm. The water comes from a natural spring that was used for decades, most recently to irrigate a golf course that used to be at the site.
The fountain consists of over 1000 different nozzles to create the water shows. Words cannot really describe the beauty conveyed by this feature right in the middle of the Nevada desert. You will have to see it for yourself to fully appreciate it.
The Botanical Gardens
The botanical gardens and conservatory are free to the public features that host seasonal flower exhibitions and displays. Just as with the water fountain, the botanical gardens are a sheer display of man’s power of nature.
Seeing the amazing, exotic range of flowers that have been imported and transplanted here in the hotel is a sight to behold.
The Fine Art Gallery
The art gallery started as a display of Steve Wynn’s art collection but now it has become a rotational exhibition showing some of the finest art in the world. The original location actually had to be moved to its current one due to the large number of people who would come to see the showcase of art and design.
The gallery has featured work from Monet, Andy Warhol, Van Gogh and an impressive collection from Faberge, Steve Martin and Chatsworth.
The Kidnapped Daughter
It is not all roses and daisies in the Bellagio. In the early 90’s, Steve Wynn’s daughter was kidnapped. The kidnappers held her for a $2.5 million ransom.
Wynn could only gather $1.45 million in cash, which the kidnappers accepted. His daughter was recovered, shaken but unharmed, at the Las Vegas airport where the kidnappers arranged to drop her. Two suspects were eventually caught and served 21 years in prison.
The Armed Robbery
2017 has been a pretty busy year for the Bellagio with a massive fire gutting shops along the northern end of the Bellagio fountains in April.
A few days before that, a group of armed robbers in animal masks broke into and robbed the Rolex watch shop. There were conflicting reports of gunfire. Currently the suspects are still at large.