- Online rumor hints at closure of Bellagio Fountains
- MGM Resorts International denies the fountains are to close
Of the many world-famous sights on the Las Vegas Strip, one of the most iconic is the Fountains of Bellagio. So imagine the furore when it was rumored they were to shut off in favor of something that actually makes money.
Several times each and every night, a free water spectacle is put on, with the fountains set to both lights and music. The heavily choreographed show is one of the major free attractions in the city and is watched by thousands every night.
The new Vegas waterpark
Despite the popularity of the free show and its importance to the Strip, there have been rumors regarding its closure. According to Las Vegas Review Journal, Steve Wynn, who had both the Bellagio and the fountains built, had been considering replacing a golf course at the Wynn Las Vegas with Wynn Paradise Park; the centerpiece of this new attraction would be an artificial lagoon surrounded by beaches with a central island playing host to nightly firework shows.
A potentially huge revenue earner
This decision apparently got executives from MGM Resorts International, the company that owns and operates the Bellagio, talking about the Fountains of Bellagio.
Not only do they take up a large amount of space on the Strip, they also don’t directly generate any revenue.
According to an executive, the new waterpark at the Wynn Las Vegas could make an effective substitute for the Fountains of Bellagio. The lake in front of the Bellagio would be transformed into a ‘revenue earner’ in the form of a restaurant promenade complete with boutique shops. MGM Resorts International has since denied any plans to eliminate the fountains, though it has not denied that meetings regarding the future of the fountains have taken place.
— MGM Resorts (@MGMResortsIntl) May 23, 2017
The Fountains of Bellagio
The fountains are set in an eight-acre artificial lake in front of the Bellagio Hotel, one of the Strip’s most elegant resorts and the world’s 14th largest hotel.
The lake was modelled after Lake Como in Italy and costs around $300,000 per month to maintain. The fountains were the world’s largest from their opening in 1998 till 2010, when the Dubai Bay fountain opened. The fountains can reach as high as 460 feet and the entire display spans some 1,000 feet.
Would it be like taking the Empire State Building out of New York, the Eiffel Tower from Paris, and Big Ben from London?
Either way, for Vegas to lose one of its most identifiable landmarks would surely be a loss that no amount of ‘revenue generating’ enterprise could make up for.
MGM Resorts has no obligation to subsidize a loss making attraction for the benefit of tourism generally in the city. Period. But at the same time, who would fancy being the company spokesman that has to announce they are shutting down to make way for a shopping mall?
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