Built on the site of the demolished Dunes hotel and casino and inspired by the Lake Como town of Bellagio in Italy, Bellagio is a luxury hotel cum casino on the brilliant Las Vegas Stripe, famed for its elegance. Constructed in 1998, it was the brainchild of Steve Wynn, who has had a hand in many of Las Vegas’ biggest and best casinos and hotels. The property was owned by MGM Resorts until 2019, when it was sold to the Blackstone Group. However, MGM continued to operate the property under a lease arrangement.
Between the massive building and the Stripe, there is a huge artificial lake that houses the dancing water fountains of Bellagio, synchronized to music. Designed by Wet Enterprises, based in Los Angeles, the fountains are formed as a pair of large concentric rings and a long, curved arc. In addition to that, two smaller circles are attached to the arc near each end. Shooters allow the arc and the circles to rise as columns and curtains of water, reaching heights of 500 feet (150 m), as well as providing high-speed chase sequences.
Subsequently, the engineers also developed the Oarsman nozzle, a robotic water jet that can be moved 120 degrees from side to side, to front and back, grouped with a pod of lights that follow the water stream, which can create nearly infinite patterns on the lake. As if that is not enough, a fog generating device rises from beneath the water to blanket the entire lake with artificial fog and around 4000 individually controllable underwater lights follow the precise movements of the water patterns, sparkling on the water or glowing through the fog. Set to music, the fountains erupt every half-hour in the afternoon and every 15 minutes throughout the evening, until midnight.
Peter Kopik, the director of design and choreography at WET, the California Company that developed the Fountains of Bellagio, handles the design and choreography of all the new songs that are added time to time to the list.
Though the dancing water of the Bellagio fountains of Las Vegas is a familiar sight in the Hollywood movies, there is nothing like seeing them in person. It is the most ambitious, choreographically complex water feature ever conceived which is destined to romance the senses. The thoughtfully interwoven water, music and light never fails to impress and creates a long term hypnotic effect, as the rivulets of water sway back and forth with the sound of music. A warm desert night spent watching the enchanting and dancing Bellagio Fountains creates one of the most authentic moments in Las Vegas.